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7 Benefits of Working as a Senior

Why would anyone choose to keep a job when they could retire? For some of us, it boggles the mind. After all, most workers eagerly await retirement. We tend to think of it as our ultimate reward for decades of effort and hard work.

But sometimes, the reality of retirement living doesn’t match what we envisioned. In fact, some older people (even new retirees) experience loneliness. Others miss the routine of having a job. In addition, some older adults miss the mental stimulation of working, or they want to explore career interests that they were too busy to pursue previously. And, of course, many seniors simply need more money.

Employment—for seniors especially—can be a truly positive experience. In fact, jobs for retired people can provide obvious and not-so-obvious advantages such as:

A Paycheck

Without a doubt, being paid is often one of the primary benefits of having a job. In fact, one in five workers that are over 60 don’t anticipate ever being able to retire due to financial issues.

Other seniors may simply want to have more than enough money to meet their basic needs. Whether you want to travel around the world or help pay for your grandchildren’s college tuition, you may need extra money to carry out those plans. A retirement job can help you can fund those goals more easily.

A Longer Life

Many jobs help older people stay active and engaged, which can have important health benefits. And that can lead to longer life expectancy. In fact, one study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that delaying retirement for just one year after the age of 65 can lower a healthy senior’s risk of death by 11 percent.

Sharper Mental Capacity

Many working seniors feel that their ability to maintain good mental well-being is a large advantage of having their jobs. Research in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggests that remaining in the workforce may also delay the onset of dementia.

Greater Overall Enjoyment & Social Well-Being

Can working help you feel younger? In a Merrill Lynch study, 83 percent of retirees agreed that it can. Of course, how much you enjoy your job depends a lot on whether the job is a good fit for you. But consider this: Working may also help reduce your risk of depression. Loneliness is a growing problem among seniors. That’s why jobs for older adults can be so important. They provide built-in opportunities for social contact and community engagement. Besides, missing the camaraderie of co-workers is one of the most popular reasons for returning to work after retirement.

Opportunities To Try New Things

Transitioning to a new job or starting a business can be tricky when you’re younger. Some people can’t afford to take risks because they have families to support, or they simply decide to focus on climbing the corporate ladder instead of exploring different career options. For older adults, the retirement years can offer the chance to finally branch out or explore ways to make money from a favorite hobby. In fact, according to the Merrill Lynch study, almost 60 percent of working seniors say they work because they want to try something new.

Health Insurance

Once you’re 65, you’re eligible for Medicare. But seniors often have healthcare needs that aren’t covered by Medicare. A job that offers health insurance benefits can potentially save seniors a lot of money when it comes to paying for prescriptions and medical care.

More Retirement Savings

Every year of work adds more money to your lifelong earnings, which raises the amount of Social Security you’re eligible to receive. Plus, if you’re earning enough money already, you can probably delay applying for Social Security. Your benefits will increase eight percent for every year you work past retirement age (until you turn 70).

Continuing to collect a paycheck can also delay the need to start using your retirement savings, allowing your investments to continue to grow. If you’ve managed your savings wisely, a few more years of growth will help build your nest egg.

Keep in mind that if you are collecting Social Security and go back to work before your retirement age, you could inadvertently reduce your Social Security benefits. So, it’s best to talk to an accountant about the financial implications of working in retirement, particularly with regards to Social Security and retirement savings.

Related Articles & Free Vermont Maturity Subscription

Finding a Job When You Are Over 50

Pursuing Your Passion in Retirement

Rethinking Work after Retirement

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