Why Retirees Should Get Back to Work

A part-time job will improve your finances and allow time for fun.

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Our entire working life, we dream of being retired and being able to do the things we always wished we had time for, such as vacations, golf, or gardening. But, once we retire, we waste away our hours wishing we could go back to work.

There are many reasons why going back to work after retirement makes sense. Retirees who work typically stay more mentally and physically fit than their non-working counterparts. Plus, they have more disposable income for the things that make life worth living and the unexpected expenses that inevitably come along with aging. So, how can you find a retirement job that will be an enjoyable experience without sacrificing the free time you’ve worked so hard for? Here are a few job ideas that will still allow you to enjoy retirement:

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1. Become a consultant. If you worked in a high demand field prior to your retirement and gained a bevy of specialized skills, put them to work for your previous employer or other clients as a consultant. Being a consultant often means that you work for yourself, not the company that hired you. You can negotiate your own hours and rates and accept only the projects that are interesting to you. The main drawback to consulting is the lack of consistent work. Most projects have a defined lifespan and there can be long gaps between jobs. If you plan to rely upon consulting to provide a regular income to support you in your retirement years, you may need to consider whether a more steady part time job makes more sense. You’ll also have to figure your own income tax liabilities, since these won’t be withheld from your checks, and there are no benefits such as health insurance.

2. Become a Walmart greeter. Most of us don’t dream of sitting on a three-foot-tall stool beside a stack of colorful circulars and saying, “Welcome to Walmart". But this flexible position is held by many retirees across the country. The pay isn’t great, but your employee discount may make up for it. If Walmart isn’t your thing, try other retail or service-oriented establishments in your area to see if you can pick up a low stress part-time job with benefits. Day cares, retail establishments, and call centers are great places to find easy work.

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3. Volunteer. If you’ve planned well and money isn’t an issue, find a charitable organization that could use your help. Giving back to the community is a very meaningful way to spend your time. Volunteering allows you to make your own schedule, doesn’t affect your income or taxes, and helps better your community.

4. Go back to school. This technically isn’t a job, but it is a great way to expand your horizons and meet new people. Scholarships are often available for older, non-traditional students, and there are a number of free classes offered by most community colleges. You may even qualify for federal assistance to go back to school, which means that you can take classes without cracking into your retirement savings.

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Working in your retirement years is an opportunity to work on your own terms. Retirees bring a lot of experience and knowledge to a position that younger workers simply can’t offer. So make the most of your golden years and get back to work.

Philip Taylor is the author of 104 Ways to Save Extra Money. Read his popular blog, PT Money: Personal Finance for more insightful money tips, like his recent suggestions for the best online checking accounts.