Life expectancy is rising, but the benefits from your savings and investments might not be. With the wildly-fluctuating economy, your social security benefits aren’t enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle, especially if you haven’t reached your full retirement age.
Whether it’s by choice or due to circumstances, most people seeking employment after they’ve retired are apprehensive and uncertain. Contending with younger and cheaper competition can be discouraging, but with a few tips and pointers, you could be well on your way to comfortably landing a suitable job.
Finding a new job in retirement is not as daunting as you might think it is, learn how
Tips for Post-Retirement Job-Seekers
When you’re looking for work in retirement, you have to consider the competition seriously. There’s a lot of ‘young blood’ out there applying for the same job, willing to accept a fraction of the remuneration that you may be looking at. What you have to remember, and convince yourself of, are the advantages you have over younger contenders.
Most of your competition would have very little by way of qualified references, who can endorse your skills. Interviewers are well aware that youngsters, and even middle-aged applicants, would be hard-pressed to present an alternative for the testimonials your former colleagues can provide.
Tips and Hints that can help you land the perfect job
Keep yourself motivated – Getting back to work can be frustrating and disheartening, which is precisely why you need to keep your morale up. Focus on what the job means for you, whether it’s a better lifestyle, financial independence or just something to keep you occupied. Getting a job could help you remain physically, mentally and socially active, and retirees who continue working are deemed to live longer lives and be happier.
Remember that you’re not alone – If you’re feeling uncertain or despondent, talk to others who’ve already been through the process. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2013, 60.9% of population between the ages of 55 and 64 were still employed. So, rest assured there is a demand out there for your skills and experience!
- Use age to your benefit – Understand how and why you have an edge over younger, less experienced candidates. When you approach a potential employer, make sure you update your resume to highlight how your experience is relevant and makes you better qualified for the job. You bring more to the table than you think!
- Use your contacts – No, we’re not talking about your eyesight here! Get back in touch with your colleagues and managers from places you’ve worked at and let them know you’re looking for a job. Many of them might have taken post-retirement employment and they could put in a good word for you or give you references.
- Get rid of the corporate blinkers – While it may be much simpler finding a job that matches your experience, many retirees are now looking to pursue early passions and creative pursuits they had to give up. A job outside the boundaries of the corporate world may well be more satisfying and help you keep focused, while offering enough remuneration to keep you independent too.
- Build a foundation – If it’s been a while since you left work, getting back can be tedious. Consider offering your services as a consultant in the fields you’ve worked in. You might need to volunteer for projects with little or no pay initially, so you can build up your reputation in the industry, but it could be worth it.
- Start small with a part-time job – Temporary employment is a great way to get back in the game and gain better insight of the market space. Part-time jobs make great stepping-stones that help you ease your way back to the flurry of work-life. Potential employers may hesitate to offer you higher salaries till you have worked with them for a while – it’s important to accept it and let them know you can prove your worth.
- Recruit some help – If your job hunt isn’t successful or you’re facing too many hurdles, staffing firms that offer services for retirees are a good place to start. These firms can help you with everything from interview tips to resume building, and they often have specialists who are experienced at helping retirees find work.
- Make a good first impression – Always include a cover letter with your resume and start by citing references, especially if you’ve been directly introduced. It should briefly encapsulate your skills and experience first, without focusing on the timescale, and the second half is the perfect place to address any gaps in employment. Share it with trusted friends and well-wishers to get their opinions.
Top resources for finding jobs in retirement
Getting the Most Out of Re-Careering
There are a few things you should keep in mind before you decide to sign on for part-time or full-time employment:
- Social Security Benefits – While you can continue collecting social security if you’re working part-time, unless you’ve crossed the full retirement age, your social security benefits may reduce by as much as 30%. Thoroughly research the reduction in SSI benefits, based on your age and annual income.
- Healthcare and Insurance – Unless your insurance, or your spouse’s plan provides a sufficient cover for hospitalization and medical care, you may be better off accepting a lower paying job which offers better healthcare. Seniors below 65 years of age don’t qualify for Medicare and might be subject to excise tax penalties.
- Part-time pension benefits – If you’re retiring, but decide to remain employed with the company you work for, pay close attention to the way your benefits are calculated. A lot of companies offer benefits based on the salary drawn, which may be significantly lower.
- Take taxes into account- While it may seem obvious when you think about it, many retirees accept jobs based on only their gross income. Research local and federal taxes, because in some cases up to 85% of Social Security Income might be taxable. Before you accept an offer, consider your expenses and weigh them against your income post-taxation.
Looking for a new job is always a confusing and daunting process, and you may have wondered if you can handle the demands of the ‘job-hunt’ when you’re advanced in age. With the right approach, however, finding employment after retirement isn’t difficult at all!
Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning company based in Goodyear, AZ. He has over three decades of experience working with investments and retirement planning, and over the last ten years has turned his focus to self-directed ira accounts and alternative investments. If you need help and guidance with traditional or alternative investments, call him today (866) 639-0066.