7 Reasons to Work Part-Time in Retirement

Your finances, health, and social life could all benefit from a part-time job.

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Working part-time during your retirement years is a quick way to improve your finances. A part-time job could also be good for your social life and even your health, especially if you find a second career you enjoy. Here are seven reasons to consider working a part-time job in retirement:

You didn’t save enough. Your finances might dictate that you work part-time during retirement. Many portfolios took a hit just before retirement, thanks to the financial crisis of 2008. But even if your portfolio is doing fine, you might simply not have a big enough nest egg to completely stop working during the early stages of your retirement. Consider your financial situation, and determine whether working part-time will help you stretch your retirement income a little further, providing you with a little more breathing room in your budget.

Delay claiming Social Security. Another reason to work part-time during retirement is to put off the need to take Social Security early on. The longer you wait to begin drawing on Social Security, the higher your monthly benefit will be.

Delay tapping your retirement savings. Working part-time can help those who retire early to avoid retirement account penalties. You can’t withdraw money from your tax-advantaged retirement accounts prior to age 59½ without incurring a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. So, if you want to retire early, you can work a part-time job that you enjoy until you can start taking penalty-free distributions from your retirement accounts.

Better health. While the financial reasons for working part-time during retirement are certainly important, they aren’t the only considerations. A 2009 study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that those who worked during retirement experienced better health than those who didn’t. People with retirement jobs also suffer less from major diseases and disabilities. This is great for your quality of life, and it could lead to lower health care costs and a reduced chance that you will need long-term care.

Improve your social life. There are mental and emotional health benefits to working during retirement. The social interaction improves your mood, and can stave off depression.

Mental stimulation. There are indications that keeping your mind active with the help of a part-time job can hold memory-related problems at bay. If you choose a part-time job that you enjoy, such as a position that incorporates your interests or a hobby, the benefits are increased. You’ll do something you love, get paid for it, and enjoy a boost to your social life.

Creative scheduling. You don’t have to get a boring part-time job. Consider consulting, becoming a seasonal tour guide, or teaching classes at your local community education organization. Even if you don’t need to work part-time for money in retirement, you could volunteer in your community for many of the same benefits.

Remaining active during retirement is a great way to ward off major ailments, as well as keep your mind sharp and prevent depression and anxiety from setting in. You can make new friends, earn some money, and generally improve your retirement situation.

Jeff Rose is a certified financial planner and U.S. combat veteran. He blogs at Good Financial Cents and Soldier of Finance.