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Retiring Early? How to Decide If You Should Work Part-Time

If you plan to retire fairly early, you face the decision about what you will do with your time afterward. Most Americans rightly look at their retirement as their big chance to travel, to enjoy leisure time, and to spend more time with friends and family.

But should your retirement plans include working part-time? The answer may be yes, and for a variety of reasons. And if so, how should you approach work after retiring? Here are some answers to your questions. 

What Are the Benefits of Working in Retirement?

Working part-time — including seasonal work and irregular gigs — benefits your retirement financially. It’s an excellent way to fill in any gaps in your retirement accounts and ensure you don’t outlive your money. This is particularly helpful for early retirees who want to delay claiming Social Security (to increase monthly checks) or who need health insurance before Medicare qualification. 

In addition, though, you gain emotional and mental health benefits from working at least a little. It increases social interaction with other adults, which can be a problem for many retirees who don’t have a large social network already established. You also keep your skills updated and your brain sharp. 

Finally, if your career was a big part of your world before retiring, the transition to doing nothing work-related can be too much all at once. Some early retirees, then, find that rather than going cold turkey and quitting all at once, a reduction of work commitments is easier to adjust to. And if you control how much you work and when, you can still focus your life on new activities. 

What Are the Downsides of Working Later?

Of course, working in retirement isn’t for everyone. Certainly, it can be physically taxing for those whose health may not be the best. While most early retirees don’t suffer major health concerns at first, you don’t want to work so much that it affects your wellbeing — physically or through a high-stress environment — in a permanent way. 

Generally, earning a side income to augment retirement income boosts your finances, but you may need to watch how much you earn. Social Security, for instance, taxes are based on how much outside income you earn. You may also need to avoid earning so much that you lose out on tax credits, stop qualifying for things like subsidized health insurance, or see an increase in your tax bracket. 

What Type of Work Could You Pursue?

Many early retirees seek work within their old field of knowledge. Talk to your employer before retiring to find out more about opportunities to consult independently or work part-time in some capacity. Many employers recognize the value of retaining retiring employees’ skills and experience, especially when the employee still has a great deal to offer. 

If your old job was too physically demanding or stressful to enjoy after retirement, though, you can still seek a less demanding part-time position. Options vary, including working as seasonal help, temporary work filling in for office workers, or taking a different position within an industry you’re already familiar with. 

Where Can You Get Started?

The best place to start a plan for working after retirement is with an experienced local staffing agency. They have a network of clients and a constantly-evolving inventory of jobs available to meet your interests. They will work with you to find the right positions for the right amount of time to make your retirement both financially stable and enjoyable. 

Tulsa’s Green Country Staffing can help. Call today to speak with a staffing professional and get started on the next chapter of your work and home life.      

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