Some seniors struggle in retirement when the loss of steady income and the purpose given by work leaves deficits in the brain and the bank account. Returning to work in retirement isn’t for everyone, but for many, it’s a way to not only earn supplemental income but also helps keep them active and engaged.
Why work in retirement?
For a person who has worked their entire life, isn’t the break of retirement the thing you’ve been waiting for your whole life? For some, this holds true. But there are also plenty of benefits of working after retirement. Obviously, there’s the income aspect. Having a side gig well into retirement can help you earn extra cash that can be used to fulfill lifelong dreams like international travel or building your perfect retirement home.
But the benefits of working at an older age extend far beyond the monetary. Research has suggested that working keeps the brain sharper by stimulating neural connections that we gradually lose as we age. Not only that, working forces one to stay engaged with new technology—another aspect that’s been shown to boost brain function. Finally, working into old age lets us keep our social connections. All of these things are vital in keeping us happy, avoiding depression and isolation, and staving off cognitive decline.
You’re a small business owner now
After you retire, chances are you’ll end up working for yourself. While you may have an idea of what it means to run a small business, this idea may be outdated. Typical brick-and-mortar small businesses or a business with a traditional corporate structure are not the only way to go when looking for work in retirement.
For seniors, the internet can be a godsend when it comes to earning supplemental income. It allows you to buy, sell, network, and process payments—everything you need to monetize whatever it is you’re doing. Now’s the time to turn that hobby or something you’ve always loved doing into a true moneymaker. This could include selling your art or crafts on Etsy or another online marketplace, or even offering your professional services. Many retirees keep a foot in the game and opt to work as consultants in their field to provide supplemental income. This is a great way to make extra money and continue to put your years of experience to good use.
Don’t overlook the power of apps
The sharing economy (sometimes called the gig economy or peer-to-peer) provides seniors with the opportunity to do low-stress work on their own schedule. A lot of this is coordinated through apps. There are plenty of ways to use apps to make money. If you like to drive, you could consider driving for Uber of Lyft. Other apps like DoorDash and GrubHub let you deliver restaurant food to people for a fee. Postmates is an all-inclusive delivery app that connects delivery drivers with people in need of almost anything. TaskRabbit that will connect you with people who need specific tasks done (like fixing a sink or hanging wallpaper). The good thing about these apps is that they help you make money while staying active, and all on your own schedule.
The cool thing about supplementing your income in retirement with a side gig is that you can set monetary goals and work at your own leisure. Want to earn enough to head out on an Alaskan cruise? Then work a little on the side to help make your dreams a reality. By keeping yourself in the game, you’ll not only boost your bank account, you’ll likely give yourself a mental health boost as well.