Punching the clock part-time could lead to a more comfortable retirement and a happier life.

3 minute read

Even if you’ve been counting down to retirement for years and finally see an escape from the workaday world, working part-time after you retire could be a desirable option. For one thing, you may not have to rely on that part-time income as much as the income you brought in with a full-time job for decades.

So, you can choose a job you enjoy, even if the pay isn’t that great. And if the income is supplemental, you don’t have to keep putting up with mean bosses who know you can’t quit, no matter how badly they treat you. Also, by taking a part-time job in retirement, you can increase your savings or lengthen the life of your retirement savings by at least a few years.

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1. You haven’t saved enough

One of the best reasons for working part-time in retirement is because you feel you haven’t saved enough to live comfortably without a full-time salary.

Taking a part-time job can supplement Social Security and other income from a 401(k) or other retirement account so you don’t have to tap into retirement savings for monthly and everyday expenses.

Find out: How Much Does a Retirement Home Cost?

2. COVID-19 took a toll on savings

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting 2020 and causing widespread unemployment, maybe you had to withdraw money from savings or hit pause on regular deposits. Even worse, perhaps you owe a large amount on COVID-19-related medical bills.

Taking a part-time job in retirement, even temporarily, can bring in hundreds or thousands of dollars over several months so you can build your savings or pay off debt.

Find out: 6 Ways the Coronavirus Crisis Affects Americans’ Retirement Plans

3. You’re too young to enroll in Medicare

If you’re retired but haven’t reached 65, the age you’re eligible for Medicare, the government health insurance program for those 65 and older, try working for an employer who provides health insurance to even those working part-time.

Buying health insurance privately is expensive, and working part-time for such an employer can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month in health insurance premiums.

Many large companies offer health insurance benefits to part-time workers, including Starbucks, UPS, Costco, Lowes, and the American Red Cross. Perform an online search for “health insurance for part-time employees” to find more companies that offer health insurance benefits to part-time employees.

Find out: 6 Surprise Costs That Can Drain Retirement Savings

4. You can still work while drawing social security

You can keep working even when you’re drawing Social Security without having your benefits cut as long as you stay under the IRS earnings limit. For workers younger than their full retirement age, the earnings limit going into 2022 will increase to $19,560. If you exceed that amount, the Social Security Administration (SSA) deducts $1 from your benefits for each $2 earned over $19,560.

For people hitting their full retirement age in 2022, the earnings limit is $51,960. If you go over that amount, the SSA deducts $1 for each $3 earned over $51,960 until the month you turn full retirement age. However, there’s no limit on earnings for those who are full retirement age or older for the entire year.

Find out: What’s Causing America’s Retirement Crisis?

5. Social connections are good for your health

Once you retire, you no longer have a ready-made group of people celebrating birthday months and holidays, asking you to lunch, inquiring about weekend plans and admiring your grandkids’ photos. Whether you took those social connections for granted or knew all along you’d miss them when you retired, research shows that maintaining social connections is good for your physical and mental health.

Studies show that having a variety of social relationships – such as the kind you might find at a part-time job, perhaps – may help reduce stress, lower heart-related risks, alleviate depression, and even lead to a longer life. So, why not make some new friends at a part-time job or have coworkers to chat with on a regular basis? Plus, you’ll have more money flowing in, so less need to tap retirement funds.

Find out: 6 Ways Downsizing Can Stretch Your Retirement Income

6. You need extra money to finance a snowbird winter

Even if you’re not crazy about answering to the boss again, working at a part-time job you enjoy could help you save enough to pay the rent on an Airbnb in Phoenix or near a sunny beach in January, February and maybe even March. That’s worth punching the clock part-time.

Find out: 6 Eleventh-Hour Strategies for Baby Boomers Facing America’s Retirement Crisis

7. You can pursue work you love

You know that job you always thought you’d love but never pursued because it paid only $10 an hour? Well, maybe that job is now perfect for your retirement schedule and a good way to supplement Social Security benefits.

For example, you could be a ticket taker at a cinema or fine arts theater or an usher at a local theater, music venue or whatever else makes you happy while you enjoy having access to free entertainment or other job-related perks.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

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