It’s been said that retirement is a young man’s dream and an old man’s nightmare.
For those of us in our retirement years, that may be a very true statement.
People are finding retirement an entirely new world. Now, we have a lot of time on our hands since we’re not going to an office or workplace. What do we do with that free time? A lot of people, me included, have rejoined the workplace albeit part-time.
A recent survey revealed more than half of us (52 percent) in our 70s plan to continue some kind of work. It’s even higher for those in their 60s where 66 percent said they planned to do some kind of paid work.
Having idle time is not the only reason some of us return to work. Nearly half of Americans 55 and over have no money put aside in a dedicated retirement plan such as an IRA or 401(k). The harsh reality is that Social Security is not going to be enough to continue our life former life style. The average senior today collects $17,748 a year from Social Security. That doesn’t go very far these days.
Working for a company for 40-50 years and then retiring with a nice pension was the model for many of our parents or ourselves. That not happening for most of us today.
If you had planned on travelling to exotic places or moving to a more temperate climate, it’s going to take a lot of savings to realize those plans.
That lack of financial comfort can lead to clinical depression. The Institute of Economic Affairs says retirees are 40 percent more likely than workers to suffer from some kind of depression, especially boredom.
If you’re 65, you can reasonably expect to live another 20 years. The current life expectancy is 20.6 for women and 18.1 for men after reaching age 65. We no longer can plan on living into our 70s, we now have to look at living into our 90s.
Continuing to work can help supplement your income and possibly, more importantly, give you something to do.
My grandfather was a farmer all his life until the hard work became too much for him. He sold the farm and moved into the nearby city. He began selling real estate … very successfully I might add. When he got into his 80s, he had to give that up and health problems forced him into a retirement home. Bored and depressed, he died six months after moving into the facility.
That’s not the kind of future I’m looking forward to. I’m in my mid-70s and work part-time at a local grocery store two days a week. The added income allows us to eat out occasionally, visit nearby national parks and visit the kids and grandkids. Our combined Social Security benefits barely pay the bills. Fortunately, we’re both in good health, so we haven’t faced the crisis many do with outrageous medical bills.
There are many places out there that hire retirees on a part-time basis. Fast food restaurants are always looking for part-time workers, not just the young who are usually still in school. And, many value hiring older workers because they know how to work. If you’re a handy man, places like Home Depot or Lowe’s appreciate having an experienced worker. If you were in sales, there are thousands of opportunities out there in that line of work.
And, even if you don’t need the extra income, volunteering with local organizations can give you something to do and remain active. Exposure to outside interests and engaging with other people has proven to stave off dementia and depression.
I’ve been a writer nearly my entire life. I still write occasional freelance articles, such as this, to bring in a little income and also to keep my mind active.
Still working at the grocery store and writing is helping to keep my retirement from becoming a nightmare.
– Ryan from St. George, Utah, a FAR customer who is finding purpose in this new stage of his life.
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Finance of America Reverse (LLC).