Full time retirement by the age of65 is no longer the tradition it once was. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey , only 24 percent of workers expect to retire before they’re 65 years old. Twenty-six percent expect to retire at the age of 65, while 37 percent next to wait until later in life before retiring. Six percent say they don’t plan to retire at all.
In many cases—67 percent, in fact—retirees plan to continue to do some work for pay. Their reasons are many and include:
- Want to stay active and involved (82 percent)
- Enjoy working (80 percent)
- Want money to buy extras (57 percent)
- Need money to make ends meet (51 percent)
- Decrease in the value of savings/investments (43 percent)
- Want to keep health insurance or other benefits (32 percent)
Fortunately, if you’re among these seniors who just aren’t ready for full time retirement, you have plenty of options.
Some employers allow senior workers to gradually cut back their hours, slowly reducing the number of days per week or hours per day they work. It’s a simple way to ease yourself into retirement over a number of months or even years. Ask your company’s human resources or benefits department for more information on the process. And talk to your financial planner about how to phase in your retirement income as you phase out that regular paycheck.
Maybe your current job won’t let you cut back your hours. Or perhaps you want to try something totally new. A part-time job may be the answer. You’ll earn extra income, feel more connected to the world around you, and may even learn new skills. Required hours will vary depending on the type of job and employer you choose, but will most likely range between 10 and 30 a week. If you’re collecting Social Security benefits at the time, you’ll want to talk to your financial planner about how part-time work may affect them.
Let’s say you love to travel to warmer climates during the winter but enjoy your hometown during the summer. As long as your savings and investments are generating adequate retirement income, you can choose to switch from retirement to part- or full-time work on a seasonal basis. Employers that regularly need seasonal workers include parks, summer camps, recreation centers, outdoor pools, ski resorts, campgrounds and other tourist sites, and retail establishments (especially during the holiday shopping season). Again, talk to your financial planner about the effect any earnings will have on the retirement benefits you may be currently collecting.
These days, there are few—if any rules—when it comes to retirement. For example, you don’t have to work until you decide you just cannot work anymore before you take some time off to enjoy yourself. If you need more than a two-week vacation to travel, spend time with your family or pursue a hobby, you can take a mini retirement of several months to a year. Talk to your financial planner about the feasibility of dividing your traditional retirement into a number of mini ones instead.