The challenges you face in retirement might differ than those your neighbor or former colleague struggles with. But there are certain universal issues that seniors tend to grapple with, and these three are big ones:
- Limited income.
- Declining health.
Fortunately, there's a single solution to all of these problems that requires just a modest effort and willingness to be open-minded on your part: getting a part-time job.
Boost your earnings
When we think about the issues seniors commonly face, it's easy to see why working in some capacity is a great way to address all of them. First, let's talk limited income. It's tough on many seniors to go from a steady paycheck to a meager allowance from Social Security, especially since those benefits are only designed to replace about 40% of the average person's pre-retirement earnings.
In fact, Social Security pays the typical senior today about $18,000 a year, which probably isn't enough for you to get by on. And while you should, ideally, enter your golden years with a healthy level of savings, not everyone does. If that's the case, and you're struggling to maintain a decent lifestyle based on the income you're looking at, then working is a great way to solve that problem.
Preserve your health
Many seniors decline mentally and physically once their careers come to a close. If that's a concern for you, the solution could boil down to getting a part-time job. Not only will working help keep you mentally sharp, but it could effectively force you to exercise, all the while serving as the social outlet you need to feel connected to others.
It's hard to go from working a full-time schedule to suddenly having hours upon hours of free time on your hands with no way to fill them. Working during retirement, however, can help you avoid the feelings of worthlessness and restlessness so many seniors fall victim to. And the less bored you are, the less likely you are to suffer from depression -- a condition that impacts retirees much more so than their younger, working counterparts.
What's the right work setup for you?
Working in retirement looks different today than it did 10 years ago. Before the gig economy really took off, holding down a job generally meant reporting to a specific location at a preset time every week. Now, working during retirement can mean finding a job that suits your interests and schedule. It can mean logging on at home, traveling to different sites, and taking weeks off at a time to travel or do some of the other things you always planned on once you were no longer chained to a desk job.
In fact, retirement is a great time to start your own business if you're tired of working for somebody else. And if you'd rather get a traditional job -- one where you do report to an office or retailer on a regular schedule -- that's fine, too. If you're the type who thrives on structure, that may actually be the best solution. The point, however, is that working in retirement can take on a lot of different forms, and it can also solve a lot of the different problems that seniors frequently face.