Achieving financial independence or retiring early is a very popular goal these days. So it might sound a little crazy to work even though you no longer need the money to fund your lifestyle.
“Retirement is an illusion because those who can afford the illusion are disillusioned by it, and those who cannot afford the illusion are haunted by it.”
– Mitch Anthony (Author)
Many ‘retirement workers’ have discovered that part-time jobs or volunteer positions allow them to keep a nice pace in life and find a balance among using their talents, enjoying recreation, traveling, and spending time with family.
Here are three important benefits of working in retirement that might persuade you to clock back in a couple days every week.
- Working is good for you.
While it makes sense to want to enjoy your assets when you’re younger, a recent study links retirement with decreased mental and physical activity and higher instances of illness.
Working keeps your mind and body active. It makes you engage in problem solving and creative thinking. It keeps you mindful about your health and appearance so that you make a good impression on colleagues and customers. It challenges you to keep achieving and rewards you when you do.
And, if nothing else, it keeps you from vegging out on the couch all day and driving your spouse crazy!
- Work can give you a sense of purpose.
Many retirees struggle with the transition to retirement because their sense of purpose and identity is so tied to their work. Without that familiar job and its schedule and responsibilities, some retirees struggle to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. A part-time job can restore some of that sense of structure and drive.
In fact, you might find that working in retirement gives you an even greater sense of purpose than your former career did. You might have worked a job you didn’t 100% love in order to support your family. Now that you no longer need to worry about that.
You can take that community college teaching position. You can work a couple days every week at that non-profit that’s making a difference in your community. You can set up regular volunteer hours at a charitable organization that’s close to your heart. You can feel like you’re making a contribution to society without worrying about the size of your paycheck.
- Work can improve your connections to other people.
Early retirement can be a period of isolation for some folks. Your friends and family might still be busy working and raising children. The familiar social interactions you enjoyed at work are gone. You and your spouse probably share some common interests, but you can’t spend every single second together.
If you retire early, It’s important to be open to making new personal connections. A new workplace is a great place to start that process. You’ll meet new people from different walks of life. You’ll work with and help people who can benefit from your personal wisdom and your professional skill set.
And the more involved you are in your community, the more curious and adventurous you’re going to be about trying new restaurants, shopping in new stores, and interacting with more people.
Of course, working in retirement can affect other aspects of your financial planning even if you don’t need the money, such as taxes, spending plan, superannuation, withdrawal rates, social security etc. These are important things to consider and plan for. But far too often, I’ve seen people focus only on the money side of planning for retirement and fail to consider how they will spend their time, energy and skills in the next exciting part of their life journey.