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Working After Retirement – is it Worth it?

The Benefits of Working Part-Time After Retiring

Thinking of taking on a part time job in retirement? Have you underestimated the amount of free time you have now that you’ve downed your tools, and looking to keep yourself occupied? Working after retirement on a part-time basis offers both health and income benefits. But as with any new decision, it depends on your personal situation. If you’re looking for ways to be active in your retirement years, a part-time job may be worth considering.

As the year gets into full swing, family and friends make their way back into work and into a busy routine, it can be a trying time adjusting to the much slower pace of retired life. Many retirees aren’t quite mentally prepared for the lack of ‘busyness’, and if the thought of making your way into some form of part-time work has entered your mind, fear not, you aren’t alone. Recent research has found that the percentage of retirees moving out of retirement and back into the Australian workforce is increasing. Over a five year period, 26.7% of retirees returned to work annually, mostly in the 45 to 54 and 55 to 59 age groups. Interestingly, even the 60 to 64 age group, saw around 8% of retired men and, at least 6.9% of retired women return to work each year.

Supplementing Your Retirement Income

While there are many benefits to taking on work after retirement, the most obvious one would be the supplement to your retirement income. While not everyone needs to boost their finances at this stage in life, longer life expectancies have certainly made it appealing. Even more, those who return to work are fortunately still able to receive their pension and superannuation while working part time if the right conditions have been met. This essentially means that you can contribute to the workforce and earn an extra income, all while drawing less from your pension-related funds

It’s the perfect situation to build up additional finances for when you can no longer work at all. But, be aware that the above doesn’t apply to all and certain requirements must be met. According to MLC, your part-time work may pay up to $300 for every two weeks of work in order for your pension not to be reduced. Additionally, you can only add to your superannuation if you have worked a minimum of 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in that financial year and if you’re below the age of 65 or are aged between 65 and 74.

Mental Health Benefits of Staying in the Workforce

Luckily, boosting your finances isn’t the only benefit to making your way back into the world of work. More often than not, retirees forget to plan for life after their careers. This doesn’t only cause boredom or loneliness, but also a loss of meaning and identity after what can seem a lifetime of responsibility. Part-time work — whether it’s paid or volunteer, half-days or two to three days a week — can do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing during these quieter years. 

Many take post-retirement work as a chance to explore, or even discover new interests, hobbies or challenges. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do or try, but never had the time? Now is the perfect opportunity to think about what it is you’d really like to do with your free time, and make sure it’s something you want to do, and not need to do. Now, there’s no need to step back into a fast-paced office where deadlines are tight and emotions run high. But, you can still achieve that past sense of purpose. As Upskilled so eloquently puts it, “A strong work ethic can be difficult to break, and many retirees find that even just having a part-time or a volunteer job is a great way to get that sense of accomplishment back.”

So, whether you are retired, or on the verge of retirement, give the idea of working post-retirement some thought. The possibilities are almost endless; you can choose where you’d like to work, how often you’d like to work — whether it’s a paid opportunity or not — and potentially reap both financial and health benefits that will bring a renewed sense of meaning into your life.

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