The notion of relaxing on a beach all day in one’s golden years is still a retirement dream for many. But, some individuals harbor a desire to keep working after retiring. Whether retirees are looking for a volunteer gig or a part-time job, certain qualities can make an opportunity uniquely suited to post-retirement.
• Flexibility: Retirees may be looking to contribute to their communities or simply earn a little spending money, but they will likely still want the freedom to travel or spend time with their families whenever they choose. Flexibility is something to look for in a post-retirement job. This is what makes consultant work so attractive to retirees. In-person hours may not be required of consultants, who can then offer their input while visiting their grandchildren or traveling the world.
• Socialization: Though the ability to work from home can make it easier for retirees to earn some extra money, some seniors aren’t concerned about their finances, but want to work just to get out of the house. In that case, look for a job that offers the opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Socializing as an older adult is a great way to fend off loneliness. In addition, one study published in 2007 in the Journal of the American Public Health Association found that social support networks have a positive effect on cognition among older adults. So a post-retirement job that enables retirees to socialize could delay or reduce the severity of age-related cognitive decline.
• Engagement: A job seniors find engaging also is more likely to provide the types of benefits seniors are looking for in post-retirement work. Researchers at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work found that seniors who find a job or volunteering opportunity truly engaging are more likely to benefit psychologically from those experiences than those whose post-retirement work is not engaging. If seniors find themselves simply going through the motions with their post-retirement work, they should look for opportunities that they can be more enthusiastic about.
• Pressure-free: Regardless of what retirees did for a living prior to calling it a career, chances are they dealt with work-related stress. The American Stress Institute reports that 83 percent of workers in the United States suffer from work-related stress, while Statistics Canada reports that 62 percent of Canadian workers say work is their main source of stress. After a lifetime of confronting work-related stress, individuals who want to work in retirement should look for pressure-free opportunities. This is an important quality, as the ASI indicates that stress has been linked to increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders.
The right post-retirement job may differ from what individuals looked for during their careers. Various qualities can combine to make for a post-retirement gig that benefits seniors in myriad ways.