Working After Retirement

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 25, 2021
2 min read

Many older adults choose to keep working after retirement. Could it be right for you? Here are some benefits and risks to think about.

The work you choose doesn’t have to be long-term or full-time. It could simply be a temporary or part-time job that helps you ease into retirement.

Some possible benefits are:

Fewer health problems. Older adults who work part-time after retirement have fewer serious diseases, like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Psychiatric problems

Mental sharpness. When it’s time to retire, consider picking up a part-time job that’s different from what you did during your full-time career. When you stay busy and continue challenging yourself, you’re less likely to get dementia.

The key is to do something that keeps you busy but doesn’t add extra stress to your life. You may pick up some new skills.

Staying social. Working a side job after retirement gives you the chance to meet new people. You might make new friends.

Extra money. Some financial benefits of working after retirement are:

  • Investing in new or old hobbies
  • Bridging the financial gap until you qualify for Medicare
  • Making your retirement savings go further

Added stress. If you choose the wrong job, you may feel drained physically and emotionally.

If you decide to take on a part-time job and end up stressed and fatigued, don’t feel funny about resigning from it. Look for another job that’s a better fit.

Unintended financial impacts. Before you pick up a part-time job during retirement, talk to a financial advisor to make sure that working won’t hurt you financially. Consider your retirement accounts, Social Security, health benefits, and even tax implications.

Less free time. Some companies allow more flexibility to retirees, but not all of them do. You may need to request time off in advance.

If you looked forward to setting your own schedule in retirement, a part-time job may keep you from doing what you want, when you want.

If you’re thinking about working after you retire, don’t make the decision alone. Talk to your:

  • Spouse or partner
  • Family
  • Doctor
  • Financial Advisor

If you decide that working after retirement isn’t for you, you can choose other healthy things to stay active, like:

  • Volunteering
  • Joining a gym or fitness center
  • Keeping up friendships