Working in Retirement? It’s Not About The Money.

shutterstock_213304579 (2)Previously, I wrote about the pitfalls of part-time work in retirement. Truth is, I think working part-time in retirement is a great idea – if you do it right.

Not only do you get extra income, but the benefits of work can improve your physical and mental well being as well as provide an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize with others.

The story below illustrates a case in which part-time work has been a big plus.

Meet “Lois.” She lives in out-state Minnesota and is a great example of someone who has successfully integrated part-time work into her retirement plan. Lois, who lives alone, works a few days a week as a waitress at a resort not far from home. She enjoys her job and in her words it “helps keep her busy.”

The extra income is nice, but she doesn’t need the money. Her home is paid for and she gets enough income from social security and some rental income to meet her needs. The extra income from work gives her some extra money if she needs it and helps fund some of her travel adventures. Last summer, she took her three grandsons to Alaska. All paid for with “tip money,” as she calls it.

Having a job to go to a few days a week gives her a lot more than just a little “tip money”. It also provides a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of the house. The resort where she works serves a large local clientele and provides a social outlet as well as a source of income.

Another benefit Lois gets from her job is exercise – physical and mental. As a waitress, Lois is on her feet for hours at a time. She probably logs more than five miles a day in the course of her work. Most people half her age would have a hard time keeping up with her.

Working with money, serving a diverse customer base, and maintaining a busy schedule keep her mentally sharp as well.

Lois also enjoys the social part of her work. The resort where she works is a major hub for locals and regional travelers alike. She often runs into old friends and has made a few new friends along the way.

This is just one anecdotal example of how working in retirement can help enrich your retirement years. No doubt you can think of others as well.

The key is to find work that you enjoy and gives you a sense of purpose. The extra income is just an added benefit.

For Lois, part-time work has been a very rewarding part of her retirement years. As much as her kids would like her to cut back, she wouldn’t have it any other way.