Benefits of continuing to work in retirement

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Historically, retirement meant a time when most people stopped working

Today, that’s not necessarily true. A recent study1 of current workers found that:

Chart showing percentages of who will work after retirement

57% — Plan to work full- or part-time after they retire
17% — Are unsure if they will work after they retire
26% — Do not plan to work after they retire

As more people retire early and live longer, some may continue working for a variety of reasons.

To decide if being a working retiree makes sense for you, consider these lifestyle and financial benefits.

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Boost your health

A job can keep you active physically, mentally and socially. Exercising your body and mind promotes good health. So does feeling connected to others.

Stay involved locally

A job that gets you out and about in your local area can give you a sense of belonging. It can also provide a sense of purpose as you help others through your work.

Support a cause

You might shift gears to work with an organization that shares your commitment to a cause. From food pantries to animal shelters, non-profits need volunteers and paid help.

Continue enjoying work

If you love your career, age is no reason to quit. Whether you stay in your current role or find a similar one, taking on new challenges will help you continue to grow.

Find balance

Switching to a part-time role may provide better work-life balance. Reduced-hour options vary widely, from consulting to retail work.


Supplement your savings

Working during retirement may give you extra money for discretionary spending. That could mean enjoying dinners out or traveling more frequently.

Access health insurance benefits

If you retire before you qualify for Medicare, a job might offer lower-cost health benefits than private insurance provides. (Part-time work may not include benefits and full-time work may limit access to a pension. Rules vary, so ask employers.)

Delay taking Social Security benefits

The longer you wait to collect Social Security, the larger your monthly check will be. Your benefit amount increases each year between ages 62 and 70. Working in retirement can help you wait to take Social Security until you’re older.

Put off dipping into your retirement accounts

Remaining employed can give your investments more time to grow. You may also be able to take advantage of catch-up contributions to help you reach your goals.

Can I work after I start receiving retirement benefits?

The answer is "yes." Keep in mind, however, that full-time work may prohibit you from drawing a pension if it's provided by the same employer. The income could also affect your Social Security benefits if you're younger than full retirement age and earn over a certain amount.2 Check details before deciding.

Watch this video to see what working in retirement could look like.

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Are you on track to meet your retirement income goals?
Use My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM to find out, then consider increasing your contributions to help you reach them.

To learn more about investing concepts and investing through your plan, visit our resource center.

[1] “Retirement Security Amid COVID-19: The Outlook of Three Generations,” TransAmerica (May 2020)
[2] "Receiving Benefits While Working," Social Security Administration