Don’t Retire from Life Find new Mountains to Climb

Thinking about or planning for retirement?  One of the questions that will come up during the process of moving to retirement is whether or not the retiree should seek some kind of employment afterwards.  For some, economic realities are such that this is a foregone conclusion; work is necessary to survival.

Even for those who have a comfortable retirement annuity, though, serious consideration should be given to post-retirement work.  The plusses and minuses of working after retirement should be carefully weighed before making a decision. 

Reasons for not Working after Retirement

Retiring individuals who are eligible for Social Security should consult with the Social Security Administration on the potential impact of employment on the amount of their benefits.  Often, the social security payment is offset by a certain percentage at different levels of post-retirement income.  Unless the amount of income is significantly greater than the reduction in benefits, it might not be worth it to work.

Many organizations who hire retirees seek to pay below prevailing wages, reckoning that the retiree doesn’t need to earn as much as a younger worker.  Large numbers of workers willing to work for lower salaries can negatively impact wage levels generally, and this should be kept in mind when seeking post-retirement work.  Will others in the work force accept the retiree as an equal part of the team?  Or, will he or she be viewed in the same light as a scab who crosses union picket lines?  A negative environment in the work place is not what a retiree should be looking for.

On the Plus side, Why You Should Consider Working after Retirement

Other than the economic reasons; if your annuity is not enough to live comfortably on, then not working is really not an option; there are other important reasons that people who retire should work.

When a person has been active for many years, suddenly ceasing activity can have physical and emotional repercussions.  Often, severe health issues manifest themselves in the early months or years of retirement of those who go from active to inactive.  Working, even at a part time job, helps to give the body time to accustom itself to a diminished level of physical activity.

Probably even more devastating than physical problems are the emotional and mental issues faced by people who wake up one morning with ‘nothing to do.’  Suddenly, the days that were filled with activity lie stretched out in front of the person, blank and formless.  One can easily get emotionally lost when faced with this kind of situation.

For many people, work is a source of self-esteem and self-worth.  Retirees who haven’t planned for some self-affirming activity in retirement can suddenly feel devalued and unwanted with serious psychological and emotional repercussions. 

One final reason for working after retirement is the excuse it gives the married retiree to leave home periodically.  Couples who have been married for decades who find themselves cooped up together around the clock because the working partner is retired and has nowhere to go, can begin to rub each other raw.  In this case, absence helps the heart from growing colder.