Exploring Flexible Work Arrangements for Post Retirement Employment
Many of us will never truly "retire." Either because of financial requirements or our need to stay mentally and socially involved, many retirees want to continue to working, albeit in a different capacity. In a recent AARP study, older workers said that workplace flexibility is very important, particularly being able to set their own hours, take time off to care for relatives or attend to other life priorities, and work a reduced schedule. Read on to learn about possible flexible work arrangements that may be appropriate for you.
Retirement Part Time Jobs
Working less than a full 40/hour day may be an ideal second career solution for retirees, depending on your economic and social needs. In a growing economy, hourly and part time jobs are abundant in a variety of industries. You can decide how much you want to work, but there are trade-offs. Are you flexible about the hours you are available or do you want a fixed schedule? Are you willing to work weekends? Often retirement part time jobs mean a reduction in pay in exchange for flexibility. Benefits such as health insurance and retirement benefits may be diminished, or not available in retirement part time jobs. Consider your commute as well; it may not be cost-effective to drive during rush hour for a few hours of post retirement employment.
Seasonal / Summer Retirement Jobs
If you don’t want to work full time, consider using your skills to work seasonally, perhaps at different companies throughout the year. Obvious "seasons" include tax season (if you have accounting or bookkeeping experience) and around holiday times. In addition to cashier and clerk positions, retailers also hire seasonal help to fill other essential jobs such as store ambassadors, customer service reps, in-store demonstrators and even entertainers! This is also a great way to experience a job or company without making a long-term commitment. Summer retirement jobs can be a great boost to your wallet and your spirit.
If you are currently working, job sharing may be an option to explore before deciding to leave permanently. Job sharing occurs when two individuals do the equivalent work of one full-time job. Dividing up a job into two parts lets you share the job with another worker but requires good communication and some overlap, so that you can coordinate your activities and participation in essential meetings and presentations. Seek a compatible worker with complementary skills and propose a job share for your post retirement employment. Workoptions.com is one online source for templates to craft a comprehensive and persuasive proposal for your current employer to consider.
Ask potential employers about their flextime options. Flextime allows workers to choose what time to begin and end their work days, as long as essential hours are covered and work requirements are achieved. Most employers require that employees still work a certain number of hours each day, but they can arrive and leave on a flexible basis. With a compressed work schedule, employees work longer days for more time off. For example, you may have the option to work 40 hours in four 10-hour days, providing you with an extra day off each week.
Whether it’s called telework or telecommuting, they both imply the same thing: working at home (or somewhere outside of the business headquarters or office) generally by computer with access to company systems via the Internet. This option is becoming increasingly common with high tech, engineering and outsourced telemarketing/call center companies. Good computer skills and high speed Internet access would be requirements for this type of post retirement employment.
Self- Employment / Contract Work
Whether you stay in in your current industry or venture into another, being self-employed gives you complete flexibiliy and responsibility for your schedule and income. Consulting offers you the opportunity to extend your experience and knowledge to familiar clients, but you must continually source new clients to keep an on-going revenue stream. Consulting gigs can turn into longer-term contract positions with given goals and time frames. So-called "work from home" opportunities abound and take some research to determine which are legit and which are scams. Self-employment does have its own unique tax implications, so be sure to research these, so that you comply with IRS and state requirements.
Starting Your Own Business Post Retirement
According to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, people 55 through 64 years old in the United States are more likely than anyone else to start a business. More and more retirees are going into business for themselves, often starting a sideline, hobby-related business or consulting in their current industry, where they can utilize their years of experience and business contacts.