One stereotype of an older adult is of someone who is longing for retirement, but suffers from ill health because he or she needs to keep working. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Diseases indicates the opposite: Employed older adults have better health than unemployed older adults, and people in more physically demanding jobs have the lowest levels of poor health. Chicken or the egg? Meaning, are people who retired because of ill health skewing the study? More research will need to be done.
Here’s a clear-cut quality-of-life benefit of working after retirement: Your working-years’ career may have been one that you chose because of the salary or the benefits, or because the schedule allowed you to raise your children in the way you’d prefer. Post-retirement, you can choose to work at something you’re passionate about, something that gets the blood pumping every day. FabJob.com offers detailed, practical guides to working in a wide variety of fields, ranging from being a writer or wedding planner, to running a bed and breakfast or owning a dog daycare center.
Or maybe you’re living a comfortable, satisfying lifestyle, but decide you want to go on the trip of a lifetime. A part-time job, even if temporary, could fund the extra luxuries you want.
Meanwhile, an article at Monster.com details reasons for working post-retirement:
- Provide an opportunity to find meaning and accomplish things that are compatible with your values.
- Give you a reason to get up in the morning and a community in which to operate.
- Give younger people an opportunity to get to know more older people, thereby fighting stereotypes that suggest we lose our usefulness, creativity, imagination and productivity as we age.
- Keep you engaged. Examples of people working into their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s have shown us that people who work into these later decades often outlive those who fully retire.
This article also discusses theories presented in The Three Boxes of Life and How to Get Out of Them by Richard Bolles. He claims that we will eventually “outgrow the idea” of three stages of life: those of learning, work and retirement. These stages will merge, Bolles says, so that we can “experience lifelong learning, work and play.” Working at a job, post-retirement, gives you pleasure and allows you to learn new and exciting things.
More Part-Time Jobs to Consider
An article published in AARP.org quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics that 22 percent of the U.S. workforce will be age 65 or older by 2022. So if you’re interested in a part-time job, the real question is not whether it’s possible; it’s about what makes the most sense for your interests and lifestyle.
What did you do as a career? Can you develop a consulting program based on your knowledge? What contacts do you have to network with to get your first consulting contracts?
If starting your own business isn’t appealing—and you’d like to do a variety of work—consider contacting a temp agency and signing up. Here’s what you need to know about temping as an older adult.
Do you enjoy doing repairs around the house or on cars? Sewing? Cooking? These services are in demand and you can take on as much—or as little—work as suits your schedule and lifestyle.