Working after retirement can be choice or necessity

There’s no longer a magic number for retirement. Some people find that they want to work past the traditional retirement age, while others discover they need to. In addition, some retirees discover that they actually liked working and want to return to work rather than settle into retirement.

Sixty-five is no longer the required age to stop working. In fact, many people are foregoing retirement and staying with the workforce. Why? No single reason applies to everyone, but finances often come into play.

Thanks to a troubled economy that has carried over into the workplace, pensions and severance packages are no longer the norm for retiring workers. When faced with the prospect of reduced funds and dwindling Social Security benefits, many choose to simply keep on working.

Furthermore, individuals who retire before 65 are often faced with finding their own health insurance plans because Medicare doesn’t start until age 65. Even still, high prescription costs for chronic conditions can exceed the allowance of Medicare. Employee insurance plans tend to have better options, and that often factors into an employee’s retirement decision.

There are many people who continue working because they actually enjoy it and not because of some financial necessity.

Working tends to keep the mind sharp and helps seniors feel like contributing members of society. According to a study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, retirees who continued to work in a bridge job (meaning part-time or temporary employment) experienced fewer major diseases and fewer functional limitations than those who fully retired. Researchers considered only physician-diagnosed health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and psychiatric problems.

Those thinking of remaining in the workforce can check with employers to see if retirement is mandatory or voluntary. Seniors re-entering the workforce may want to brush up on some skills and reconnect with former employers or colleagues to make the transition easier. Here are some other strategies to consider.

n Refurbish your resume. Focus on what things you can do rather than what you did in the past. You may be up against younger applicants and will have to make a case for your hire.

n Be flexible. You may need health benefits more so than a high salary. You can work with an employer to develop a compensation package that is mutually beneficial.

n Develop computer skills. Today’s work environment relies heavily on computer skills. It is unwise for you to think you’ll get by on experience alone. Obtain a rudimentary education in computer usage and common office programs, which can set you apart from other older applicants.

n Know there’s nothing to prove. Retirees have the benefit of taking their time and finding the right fit in a post-retirement job. Unless money is an issue, shop around until you find the job that appeals to you, even if it’s part time or lower salary.

Courtesy Metro Creative Connection

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