You’re almost ready for retirement. You’ve been looking forward to this moment for most of your professional life. You’ve worked towards it and saved up, so that you could enjoy your golden years without worry.
But your well-deserved time of freedom and relaxation might not last as long as you expect. Many retirees ultimately go back to their jobs, or find a new one, just a few years later. Here are five signs you’ll return to work after retiring.
You Didn’t Save Enough
The IRA or 401(k) you’ve been contributing to for so many years has just one purpose: to support you, once you retire, for the remainder of your years. Unfortunately, gauging how much you’ll need is a difficult task.
Most people significantly underestimate how much longer they’ll live. An even greater number underestimate the amount of money they need to put away in order to get them through those years. Therefore, their savings run out more quickly than expected, and they’re forced to return to work in order to make ends meet.
Even if you did save up enough to live on when you retire, a sudden emergency can deplete that money in an instant. The most common unexpected expense is a medical issue; you need a costly procedure, or to go on a new medication that’s not covered by Medicare. As you get older, your health will likely continue to decline, which will always cost more than you plan.
There’s unfortunately very little way to guard against this, but there are a couple of steps you can take to mitigate it. First, be sure to eat sensibly and exercise regularly, in order to keep in shape and stay healthy as long as possible. Second, review your insurance policy and make sure you have adequate coverage for whatever may happen. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself returning to work to cover unforeseen expenses.
Now that you’ve retired, you’ll finally be able to take up that activity you’ve always wanted, but never had time for: golf, fishing, boating, skydiving, etc. But remember, all of these things cost money, and you’re on a fixed income. The more you spend on your hobby today, the shorter period your IRA or 401(k) will last.
Not everyone with an expensive hobby blows through their savings and is forced to return to work, though. For some, getting another job is a conscious decision, in order to fund their passion. If you choose to do this, consider finding employment that coincides with your new activities: working at a golf course, opening up a fishing gear shop, making extra money repairing old boats, etc. They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
You Retired Too Soon
At age 62, you’re eligible for partial Social Security benefits. If you retire at 66, you can receive the full amount. Therefore, those are probably the goals you’re looking forward to as you count down the days until you can leave work.
However, if your job offers its own retirement plan, benefits are usually based on how many years you’ve worked, rather than how old you are. If you turn 66, but haven’t yet reached the maximum benefit level for your employer-sponsored retirement plan, it might be a good idea to work a few years longer, in order to secure the extra money.
You Just Miss Working
Returning to work after you retire isn’t automatically a bad thing. A life of relaxation may sound like a dream come true, but it’s not for everyone. Some people find that they’re happier when they’re working: either they miss the job they left, or they realize they need to be doing something productive with their time to keep from going crazy.
If this is the case for you, then there’s nothing wrong with returning to work for as long as you can. The best part is, since you’re doing it on your terms, you don’t have to take a job you hate, or be saddled with terrible hours. Work when you want and how you want, in order to remain happy, healthy and productive.
These are just a few of the signs you’ll return to work after you retire. But whether it’s by choice or of necessity, a decision like this shouldn’t be made lightly, or catch you off guard. Plan thoroughly for your senior years and build up your IRA or 401(k) as much as you can, while you can. That way, you know you have enough to get you through whatever life throws at you, and you’ll be free to enjoy your retirement in whatever way you see fit.