Many people work hard all their lives and want nothing more than to stop working once retirement age rolls around. But these days, a growing number of seniors are continuing to earn an income in some capacity — whether they want to perform a job or not.
A good 65% of Americans anticipate having to work in retirement to supplement their Social Security income, according to a recent survey by U.S. News & World Report. And while that may not be your ideal solution, there's a silver lining to consider.
Why working in retirement isn't so bad
After holding down a job for decades, you may not be so eager to continue to work as a retiree. But you also may not have a choice.
A lot of people's savings have taken a hit over the past year or so between a down stock market and inflation (the latter has forced a lot of people to cut back on retirement plan contributions). And if you enter retirement with a nest egg you're not confident in, you may feel compelled to work to avoid struggling financially.
Plus, we can't write off the possibility of Social Security cuts. The program's trust funds could run out of money in a little over a decade, at which point a reduction in benefits may be inevitable.
That's why you may need to resign yourself to the idea of working as a retiree. But that work doesn't have to be something that makes you miserable.
The gig economy is booming these days, so you might manage to find a job you really enjoy, whether it's caring for animals, producing content for websites, or teaching an instrument you know how to play. You might even manage to turn certain hobbies, like your love of baking or creating art, into an income stream.
Even if you end up having to take a job that requires you to stick to a set schedule and report to a place of business, working in retirement could have mental health benefits, as well as social and physical ones. Having a job to go to could help you avoid boredom — and the bad feelings that tend to accompany it. Plus, work could serve as a social outlet. And if it gets you moving and out of the house, that could work wonders for your health and help stave off feelings of isolation.
Beware the tax implications
While working as a retiree has its benefits, one thing you do need to account for is taxes. Not only will your income from your job be taxable, but if you earn enough, you might bump yourself into a situation where a portion of your Social Security benefits become taxable. So your best bet is to talk to an accountant to see what impact income from a job might have on your tax bracket.
But as long as you prepare tax-wise, you may find that working during retirement is a rewarding experience. So whether you hold down a job because you have to or you want to, there definitely can be an upside.
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