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article imageOp-Ed: Working after retirement may be the best thing for you

By Elizabeth Brown     Jul 24, 2014 in Business
Retirement isn’t just about kicking back and relaxing in your sunset years anymore. Americans are living longer, and many are finding that retirement is really more about finding a second career rather than hanging up their time cards altogether.
The recent economic downturn is another reason for older adults to seek employment during retirement from their primary careers. A 2012 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) showed that only 14 percent of Americans believe they have enough money saved to “live comfortably in retirement.”
The news isn’t all bad, though. It turns out that many retirees are returning to work because it helps them feel more healthy and productive. A 2009 study by the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology stated that those who continued to work after retirement suffered from fewer physical and mental illnesses. Another study showed that people who work after retirement actually live longer.
For some, retirement from the mainstream work force means the chance to pursue a “dream” job that they put on hold in favor of steady, stable employment. In 2010, the Wall Street Journal profiled eight older adults who successfully transitioned from jobs like engineers and stock brokers to artistic endeavors like acting, writing and singing.
"To think that someone would look at your work and be willing to pay anything to have it in their home…is a real thrill,” said Ed Walsh, a teacher turned professional painter.
Some retirement experts recommend say that it’s best to stay within the field in which you’ve already worked when pursuing a second career. This helps avoid the expenses of pursuing additional education and training when seeking employment later in life. For example, those with business or financial experience might pursue a second career in tax preparation or financial consulting. Those with experience in the healthcare field may find success in pursuing jobs like patient advocate, or a home health care aid.
With such a vast variety of opportunities for retirees in the work force, it’s becoming more and more clear that life after 50 isn’t about planning for the end of life. It’s about creating new beginnings.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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