Are you planning to retire to another job?

People are living longer, healthier lives. Consequently, they need more income to cover a longer life span than initially expected. That may be what's fueling an interest among boomers to continue working after retirement instead of pursuing a life of leisure. But it could also be that boomers just like to work.

A recent AARP survey determined that 37 percent of nearly 5,000 workers age 50 to 64 plan to continue working for pay in some capacity after retirement. Their parents were more likely to volunteer, spend more time with family, or get involved at their place of worship in retirement. Clearly, maintaining a sense of purpose is important for any retiree, and working may fulfill that need as well as help people stay active and connected to others in their community.

What Kind of Work?

The survey indicated that, of those who plan to continue working post retirement, 44 percent say they want to try something new, 23 percent expect to stay in the same field, and 33 percent don't know what their work life will entail.

But flexibility is paramount across the board. Most of the survey respondents valued part-time work that allowed them “to work from home, travel, help others, and be rich.”

Sound familiar? It's not far from the lifestyle many of the readers of Get Rich Slowly are currently working toward — regardless of whether they're ready to retire or not.

Will Retiring to Another Job Work?

Presumably, the survey respondents are planning to retire to another job out of happy choice because finding a new job can be quite challenging for boomers, especially if they are starting over in an entirely different field. And what if some kind of training is necessary to be able to pursue it? About four in 10 respondents admitted that training will be a key factor to remain competitive in the workplace.

But boomers are not without skills. Most are likely to rely on personal contacts and networking as well as their experience and deep knowledge of their professions. But to expect that part-time work post retirement can make up for poor retirement planning is not wise.

So What Does it Really Take to Retire?

The answer to this question is different for everyone, of course. If you're a millennial or Gen Xer, the most important thing you can do is to educate yourself about personal finance — starting with understanding the extraordinary power of compound interest. But there are other steps to start taking too:


Ready to start your emergency fund?


What if You're Facing Retirement Now?

If you're a boomer still preparing for retirement, interestingly, the advice can be much the same — although there may be more urgency depending on your individual circumstances. Boomers that face severe shortfalls in their retirement funds may even need to continue working and postpone retirement. The good news is that many are in their peak earning years, may now be unencumbered by direct family responsibilities, and may be more disciplined to avoid lifestyle inflation … so they can still gain ground with concerted effort.

William Cowie talks about being over 50 when he woke up to the fact that he wasn't prepared for retirement. He recognizes that his path and method of investing, though successful, was risky. Can it be done? Yes. Is it risky? Definitely. Is it recommended? No. Is all hope lost? No. Get busy and find a path that works for you.

If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail

The point is to get started now. When it comes to retiring, if you fail to plan, you may need to plan to retire to another job. If, on the other hand, you have been diligent in planning your retirement and you just want to retire to another job … right on!

Where are you in your retirement plans? Are you planning to retire to another job? If so, will you work part time, in a different field? Will you be following your passion or trying to stay connected? Tell us about it in the comments!

More about...Career, Planning, Retirement

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Beth
Beth
4 years ago

I think this is one of these cases where “retirement” is a misnomer. I don’t want my financial plan relying on me having to work to age 70+ — I’d rather aim for financial freedom so I can choose to work later in life.

It worries me that people who can afford to save more now don’t because they just plan on working longer. We don’t know what life will throw at us. Why not do without a few luxuries and work on setting ourselves up for success later on?

Jen From Boston
Jen From Boston
4 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Also, just because you plan to work in retirement doesn’t mean you can work in retirement. Ideally you’d be healthy enough, but on never knows. That’s why in my planning I assume I won’t be working.

lmoot
lmoot
4 years ago
Reply to  Beth

What about people who can afford to save more but are calculating they won’t need or want more?

Beth
Beth
4 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

Hmmmm. If their future needs are minimal but they still have to work until they’re 70 because they’re overspending now, something isn’t adding up. Or they have a much higher risk tolerance than I do. Or a much better family medical history.

My dad used to say you have to save for the future but live in the present too. I think it’s easier to have that balance when you’re content with a simpler lifestyle.

lmoot
lmoot
4 years ago

I don’t want to have to rely on working until I’m 70 in order to support myself. But I hope I am working at 70. I’ve always loved the outdoors and I hope to be able to use years of experience(which I have yet to gain), to share that love with others. I could see myself doing things like working seasonal jobs, leading tour groups in local and international tourist spots, working in zoo’s, natural history museums, and the sort. I will admit that this plan affects my lack of enthusiasm for throwing everything I can afford into retirement. I’m… Read more »

Claudia @ Two Cup House
Claudia @ Two Cup House
4 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

I agree–I don’t want to have to work at 70 because I need to pay a mortgage. I want to work at 70 because I can. I also really enjoy zoos and museums, so I could see myself as a docent or part-timer. I’ve also considered applying to be a seasonal park ranger later in life.

Emily @ JohnJaneDoe.com
Emily @ JohnJaneDoe.com
4 years ago

It’s scary when people plan on working well into their 70s or even later, because there’s no guarantee they will be physically capable. Sure, there are plenty of perfectly healthy seniors who are quite capable of working. But it doesn’t take much at that age for an illness or injury to be debilitating and expensive. If you are planning on adding income and end up adding expense instead, you’re going to be in real trouble. My dad is in his mid-70s. Still working because he’s afraid of not having anything to keep him active and engaged. And so he hasn’t… Read more »

freebird
freebird
4 years ago

I tried early-retirement shortly before my 50th birthday. That lasted only a few weeks before I got bored and went back to my old job. Money wasn’t a factor because my investment portfolio had grown to over 50x my annual living expenses. I just didn’t realize how difficult it was to occupy an entire day without having any work to do. Over the years I became a world-class expert in my field, and I actually missed having smart people request my opinion on the problems they encounter in my area. But I did negotiate some changes when I returned, like… Read more »

Sanjeev
Sanjeev
4 years ago
Reply to  freebird

Freebird,

Great story on financial Independence and going back to work again and working only what you like.
My questions are: 1) how did you manage to be financially independent? 2) how do manage your healthcare, if your current company is not providing you?

freebird
freebird
4 years ago
Reply to  Sanjeev

Sanjeev, thanks, for (1) I detailed it out in a comment to last week’s ‘how you got started’ entry on this site. What made the difference for me was a very high savings rate, made possible by not drinking the kool aid. Many people came to silicon valley to get rich (myself included) but I knew the odds are low so I prepared to accept a consolation prize. If you live small and invest the local wage premium rather than spend it, you can likely retire to a lower cost location in not very many years even if your stock… Read more »

akoilady
akoilady
4 years ago

Due to events beyond my control (in large part) I will have to work until 70. That being said, I don’t feel that is necessarily a bad thing for me. I think I need the structure to the day a job gives me. And I should be able to continue in my current job. My best friend is 73, still works about 20 hours/week as a self employed Psychologist. She doesn’t have to, but it is her choice. She and I share similar fields. Depending on how things shake out financially at age 66, I may choose to work in… Read more »

The DeLeon
The DeLeon
4 years ago

It is extremely worrisome that people are relying on working to pay for their retirement and not saving today for their future. When we look at statistics and the average 55+ year old only has $50,000 in savings its scary to what the future holds. If these retirees continue to work it also sets up an issue of whether the younger generations will have jobs to get if we have a larger employment force competing for the same jobs. This can also create a downward pressure on wages if retirees are willing to work for less than what the competitive… Read more »

Bryan @ Just One More Year
Bryan @ Just One More Year
4 years ago

Absolutely not — we do not plan on retiring to another job! That is not retiring, that is a job! 🙂 Here are our definitions: * Our jobs: This is what most of us do to earn money to fund our FIRE goals. For many, this is not a pleasant experience or our true-life calling. * Our work: A definition of what we love to do regardless of making money. This could be playing a musical instrument, woodworking, public speaking, photography, or any other activity that is a natural aptitude and we feel were meant to do. * Retirement: No… Read more »

Gretchen
Gretchen
4 years ago

This may sound bad, but whenever I see an older person working – especially at a low wage job, I wonder if they’re working because they want to work, because they want to keep busy, or because they have to.

akoilady
akoilady
4 years ago
Reply to  Gretchen

I live in an area where the predominant culture is very work oriented. Many seniors here choose to work because it is how they define themselves, regardless of what the actual job is.

I understand what you mean–but I think sometimes the person’s attitude says a lot about whether they need to be there or not.

lmoot
lmoot
4 years ago
Reply to  Gretchen

I sometimes wonder the same thing, but I usually tend to project it onto jobs that I personally would hate to do (retail!). However after talking to several retired friends in retail positions, I’m surprised that they came out of retiring specifically to pursue that particular job because they enjoyed it…and retirement wasn’t all that fun because their friends were also out working! Do keep in mind though that I live in FL where older people in general is a common sighting. These people also take frequent vacations and only work a few days a week at their choosing, while… Read more »

Jen From Boston
Jen From Boston
4 years ago
Reply to  Gretchen

I used to work in fast food (college summers) and retail (right after college), and I would work with a few older folks who were already officially retired. They worked to get out of the house and stay active, and because they didn’t have to work for a living they seemed to enjoy the jobs more. And they were the better employees, too.

I loved working with them.

Tre
Tre
4 years ago

I plan to transition to part-time consulting in my fifties, but do not plan on working at 70. I know several business owners in their 70s with more than enough money to retire, but they don’t know what to do with themselves if they are not going to work.

Thias @It Pays Dividends
Thias @It Pays Dividends
4 years ago

My hope that most people want to “retire” to another job because they actually like working and want to do something new in retirement and not because they are banking on needing the wages to be able to survive retirement. If their retirement plan hinges on them continuing to work to some degree in retirement, they could run into problems if something like their health takes away their ability to work.

Michal @ GetSomeSavings.com
Michal @ GetSomeSavings.com
4 years ago

My Plan is to retire at age of 50!
What I understand as retirement is to do what I really want to do. I’m not going to put my ar*e on a couch and watch TV.

I am not planning to work as an employee in a full time job because I have to, like now (even though I like it somehow). I want to work for the rest of my life but I will do what I want to do, when I want to work and where I want to work. And that is what I understand as retirement!

Stella Chiu
Stella Chiu
4 years ago

Hi, Linda

it is hard to generalize. No matter how well you prepared sometimes life threw you the lesson.
The ideal situation is to work in the same company until you are 70 without changing the job. If you need to retire to another then you must prepare to have new skill.

thanks for the post

– Stella

My Factoring Network
My Factoring Network
4 years ago

Work after retirement is sometimes tough to go. Well, If I say that working after retirement is easy then it will be wrong. We should start savings from beginning of our life to enjoy the retirement phase.

Kelli B
Kelli B
4 years ago

Good article! While we all fantasize now and again about retiring and living out the rest of our days in some tropic paradise the numbers how that isn’t a usual case. In fact, there was another article a few years ago about how we need to retire the word “retire”.

One great option for retirees (or anyone really) is to become a virtual assistant: http://www.freebiefindingmom.com/how-to-become-a-virtual-assistant/

This allows you to work from anywhere so you can still travel and have flexible hours.

akoilady
akoilady
4 years ago
Reply to  Kelli B

Thanks for this tip. I recently read about virtual assistants. I believe I would be suited to this type of work: I’m a “coordinator” in my full-time job. I might even look into this for another funding stream right now!

Kurt M
Kurt M
4 years ago

My greatest concern is that retiring early will negatively impact my Social Security calculations – even if I defer collecting until my target retirement age. My annual estimate states that it is based on my making the same income until I reach my target retirement age. If I retire early to a new, lower paying career, don’t I end up reducing my eventual Social Security payout?

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