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Human Resources

Employment After Retirement

A whopping 74 percent of workers plan to get a new job after they retire, according to a recent annual retirement expectations survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

If you're considering heading back to the work force or think you might return there eventually, here are a few things to consider:


Age and income may reduce your Social Security benefits in the short term. You can work while you receive Social Security retirement (or survivors) benefits. When you do, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your family and your survivors could receive.

Note: If you are outside the United States, the rules for receiving benefits while you are working are different.

While you are working, your earnings will reduce your benefit amount only until you reach your full retirement age. After you reach full retirement age they will recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when they reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings.

To view the formula to determine how much your benefit must be reduced, visit:


Consider your health care coverage. Health insurance is a huge concern if you're going to retire before age 65. That's because you don't qualify for Medicare before age 65, so you'll need to determine how you are going to pay for health care, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars if your spouse doesn't have insurance or if you don't get it through an employer.

Having a part-time job that pays medical benefits can be a real boon during those in-between years. Of course, such jobs can be hard to come by, but if you are lucky enough to find one, it could save you thousands of dollars a year in medical expenses.

In a few years, seniors who are too young to qualify for Medicare will face an additional burden as a result of federal health care reform. Starting in 2014, seniors in these in-between years will face an excise tax penalty if they don't purchase "qualifying health insurance." The excise tax for not having insurance will initially be 1 percent of adjusted gross income; by 2016 it will rise to 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income.

Even after you turn 65, when Medicare kicks in, it can be helpful to have additional health insurance through your employer because there are many gaps in Medicare.


Tailor your search. Look for an employer that values workers ages 50 and older. AARP's list of the best employers for workers over age 50 is available at

Find a job that lets you decide when and how you want to work. Ask about flexible work arrangements–working part time, telecommuting, job sharing, being a consultant–and balancing your work and family life.

Consider the following career options:

  • Nonprofits - Nonprofit organizations come in all stripes, from charitable relief organizations to foundations that promote children's literacy, support the arts and sciences or help craft sustainable energy policy. Search for a nonprofit organization that matches your personal passion!
  • Education - According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education will be the third fastest-growing job sector in the decade spanning 2008 through 2018.
  • Healthcare - Health care and social assistance is by far the fastest growing job sector in America [source: Bureau of Labor Statistics].
  • Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation – Bookkeepers can bounce around between several small businesses, depending on their needsTax preparation is terrific work if you'd rather squeeze all of your income (and stress) into the four-month window from January through April. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals alike, charging by the hour or by the service.
  • Consultants - Some companies will hire back retired employees as part-time contract workers. Or, try your hand as an independent contractor, particularly if you have serious expertise and cache in a consulting niche like management, information technology, finance or marketing.
  • Executive or Career Coaching - If you've built an impressive resume over the course of your career, you could parlay that achievement into a second career as a mentor and coach for the corner-office crowd. You can either sell your services as an independent contractor or receive training and certification from a popular coaching service like ActionCOACH.
  • Bartending - Bartending is a second career that's a good match for sociable retirees. All it takes is a quick course at a bartending school.
  • Bloggers and Columnists - It's best to start small and aim for a very specific niche.
  • Politics -Try running for the school board, the county comptroller or some other position where you can start small. If you get a taste for it, you might have landed yourself a rewarding second career!