Returning to Work: A Guide for Retirees Getting Back into the Workforce

There are many reasons to go back to work after you retire. Perhaps you want to pad out your Social Security income, or maybe you simply find personal fulfillment from working. Many jobs are more flexible today than ever, making it easy to find a rewarding career that doesn’t eat into your free time too much. Below, learn about the things you’ll want to consider before accepting employment and find out which types of jobs you might be best suited for.


Before diving in, it’s important to know how employment may affect benefits such as Social Security and Medicare. AARP explains that you can still collect retirement benefits if you are earning income from a job. However, your benefit amount might be reduced if you retire before your full retirement age and earn over a certain amount of income from your job. The good news is that the earning limits no longer apply once you do reach your full retirement age.

As you probably know, Medicare eligibility starts at 65 years years of age. This is the case regardless of whether you’re working. If you have health insurance from your employer, you’ll still want to look into your Medicare options when you reach your eligibility age. Many people who work into retirement don’t realize that there are penalties for delaying Medicare coverage, which is why it’s important to do your research before it’s too late.


After considering how employment could possibly affect your benefits, you can then turn your attention toward finding a job that you’ll love doing in retirement. For some retirees, a full-time job is still the most appealing option. However, you can often get a better work-life balance by sticking to part-time or even seasonal employment. According to Forbes, jobs in retail, hospitality, and teaching have the most openings for part-time work. However, just because these jobs are easy to find doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy doing one of them.

It’s true that some retailers and other companies are better to work for than others, but you’ll want to do your research before submitting an application. Doing research is a good way to determine if a company will offer the culture, pace and work-life balance that you’re looking for.

If you already have a great full-time job but want to work less often, you might also consider doing phased retirement. With this approach, you can reduce your hours, cut down your workweek, or even try working from home instead of just quitting once you reach retirement age. However, the Balance warns that not all employers are open to the concept of phased retirement, and you may need to get creative pitching the idea to your boss.


As you explore your options, keep in mind you don’t have to stick to the same type of career you had before retirement. You may find that an entirely new line of work — such as selfemployment — is just what you were looking for.

There are endless opportunities for being your own boss as a freelancer. Just about any skill can be turned into a source of income. For example, accounting, tutoring, editing or any other specialized job can be done on a contract basis. In retirement, you might also find fulfillment as a pet sitter or a caretaker for children.

Knowing how to pitch your skills and find clients is one of the most important aspects of doing freelance work. If you aren’t sure how to reach clients, try creating a profile on freelancing websites such as Upwork, which allows you to find work in customer service, sales, marketing, data entry or even creative fields like writing and design. Having your own professional website is another way to market your services and attract customers.

In retirement, there are endless career opportunities to supplement your income, make social connections, or enjoy personal fulfillment. Whatever career you choose, make sure it allows you to set the schedule you want so you can enjoy everything retirement has to offer.

Once you’ve kick-started your post-retirement career, look to the experts at HD Tax Preparation and Small Business Services for all your business planning, bookkeeping, and tax preparation needs.


By: Sharon Wagner