Plan Ahead for Part-Time Work in Retirement

Going from full-time work to no work at all is a difficult thing. Financially mapping that out is one thing, but a lot of emotion also goes into slowing down one’s work schedule. There are feelings of triumph but also defeat or giving up. People fear retirement as something that will cause them to age faster due to lack of interaction with others and contributions to society. This line of thinking often leads to the thought of part-time work. It appears to possess the best qualities of both sides; fewer hours, retained income and continued contribution to your career or a form of work that requires very little stress. This last aspect of part-time work is a trend among Baby Boomers that may be underestimated. 

Jobs that have very little stress and other convenience features are probably preferred if someone is considering transitioning away from full-time work. However, with 70 million Baby Boomers moving toward this goal all at once, these stress-free, part-time jobs may not be readily available. There are only so many golf course starters, or Lowe’s greeter jobs to go around. Same goes for bus drivers, flower shop workers and even paid tutors, all of which seem to be popular considerations. (For related reading, see: 7 Fun Part-Time Jobs for Retirees.)

How to Plan for Your Future Part-Time Job

Since you will likely need some skills to work beyond retirement, let’s take a quick look at how to make that transition easier.

Know your numbers. Take a look at your retirement savings and other retirement plans. Make a realistic budget for your life after retirement. Will you be able to live off your savings alone? If not, will you need a full-time or a part-time job? Go into retirement planning knowing exactly what you have and what you need.

Consider your other options. You have part-time or full-time options, but you may also consider working online, starting a small business, freelancing your skills, finding a job abroad or even returning to school to start a whole new career.

Develop the skills now. If you want to compete for that three-day-a-week, no-stress, make-your-own-hours job, don’t wait until you are fully retired and find out it’s harder than you imagined to get. Network, ask around, look into the job postings online and find out the actual skills and abilities they want on your resume. (For related reading, see: On a Retirement Job Search? Try These Agencies.)

Get personal with your health. All of this part-time work is going to be contingent on your health. Health issues are actually one of the most prevalent reasons people retire in the first place. Maintaining your body as you age is a subject within itself, but for our purposes here an important takeaway is to be honest with yourself about what type of part-time work your body can actually handle. Some part-time jobs may be stress-free and personally rewarding, but if they involve standing for hours at a time and that isn’t something you can handle any longer, it might be time to consider plan B or C. 

Retirement may seem like a dream; your long-awaited dream of not having to work. However, unless you’ve saved, your dream of resting may be short-lived. Many retirees return to work or work part-time. If you think you may work after retirement, it’s important to know that you may need certain skills, and now is the best time to brush up on those skills.

(For more from this author, see: 7 Ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs in Retirement.)


Securities offered through Triad Advisors, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Planning Solutions Group, LLC. Planning Solutions Group, LLC is not affiliated with Triad Advisors. PSG Clarity is a division of PSG.