How to Get a Job as a Retiree
If you’re a retiree looking to re-enter the workforce, you’re not alone. Many older workers were laid off and forced into early retirement in 2020 when the pandemic first hit. But for several reasons, some of those same older workers are dusting off their resumes and looking for jobs.
During the early stages of the pandemic, two-thirds of retirees said they retired earlier than expected, according to a survey by Allianz Life. Employers figured older workers wouldn’t stick around much longer, so they were easy targets for layoffs when the economy crashed in early 2020.
But now that there’s a nationwide labor shortage, the tables have turned on the employer. Unable to fill positions, many employers are contacting retired ex-workers and asking them to come back. It’s a great position to be in as a job candidate, as retirees have tons of leverage to demand flexible work arrangements, better benefits, and higher wages.
Even without the current pandemic market conditions, older workers have been retiring much later in life in recent years. Part of the reason is because fewer Baby Boomers have enough money saved up.
Nearly a third of Baby Boomers have no money saved for retirement, according to a recent study from the Stanford Center on Longevity. And for those who do have some money squirreled away, it’s not nearly enough. The median retirement savings for those born between 1954 and 1959 is only about $209,000. Accounting for a 4% withdrawal rate, that would amount to only about $8,000 per year in income, which is roughly $697 a month.
Empire Resume will delve into how to get a job as a retiree, including the pros and cons of working after retirement, the best jobs for retirees, and other tips and insights about working in your golden years.
Advantages of Working After Retirement
Working after retirement comes with several advantages, and the main one is making extra income. Some retirees may not have saved enough, but you may also need extra income if the cost of living increases or you’re faced with a financial or medical emergency. Retirees today may also be feeling the sting from rising prices because of the inflation of the past couple of years.
Getting a job in retirement, even a part-time one, helps alleviate pressure on your budget. Even if you’re doing well, extra income can be used for “fun money” to pay for vacations and other bucket-list type things. Another advantage is that the longer you work a traditional job, you’ll continue to pay into Social Security, which increases the value of the benefits you receive later. The same goes for not tapping into a retirement account, allowing the investments to gain value.
Working after retirement comes with lifestyle benefits, too. Staying in the workforce longer helps ease boredom, gives you a sense of purpose, and keeps you mentally and physically sharp. Others can’t imagine a life without some type of work. Sitting around watching TV or going to the golf course doesn’t cut it for some retirees, and they’d rather keep working in some capacity.
Downsides of Working After Retirement
Working in retirement comes with some great benefits, but you should know the potential drawbacks. The biggest one may be continuing to work could affect your Medicare eligibility and Social Security benefits.
Some retirees are still eligible for these benefits if they continue to work, but it’ll depend on your age and income. Eligible workers can collect Social Security technically anytime between 62 and 70 years old, but the benefits could be reduced by a percentage until you reach “full retirement” age.
Working in retirement could also affect your taxes. For example, your Social Security benefits might be taxed if you make an income over a certain threshold. Taking a job after retirement also means you’ll pay the normal state and federal income taxes, and probably Medicare taxes, as well.
Looking for a Job in Retirement
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a bit, the first thing a retiree may notice is that job-hunting process has gone almost entirely digital. Searching for a job today usually means applying online through websites like Indeed and LinkedIn. The days of dropping off paper resumes at a business are mostly gone. If you feel a little out of touch with today’s technology, sign up for adult education classes at a community college or consider taking free courses online.
Many of the basic rules for resumes are the same, but there are some key changes to keep in mind. First off, keep your resume short and concise, preferably no longer than two-pages. Only include detailed information from jobs within the past 10 years, and don’t go further back than that. Also, highlight your achievements on your resume instead of just listing your job duties at the previous positions you’ve worked.
Another change is that many companies today use what are called Applicant Tracking Systems to scan resumes and streamline their hiring process. This means that it’s important for your resume to include certain keywords and phrases that will help it not get rejected by the tracking software. Working with a professional resume writer like Empire Resume helps ensure your resume is enhanced and will make it past the software and be read by a hiring manager.
While some retirees may not be the best with today’s new tech, remember you have a lot of flexibility and leverage as an older worker. Given your experience in your field, you’re probably considered an expert, and you can use that knowledge to transition to different and less stressful roles.
For example, a former police officer could potentially find a part-time job as a security guard at a college, while a former marketing director may be able to use their wealth of knowledge to teach marketing. Other great, flexible jobs for retirees include tutoring, freelance writing, substitute teaching, pet sitter, tax preparer, and freelance consultant.
Working in Your Golden Years
Retirees continue to work in their golden years for various reasons. A 2018 survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies revealed the most common reasons retirees keep working are for financial reasons (56%), they enjoy what they do (47%), and being and staying active (47%).
Because of the nationwide labor shortage, retirees have tons of leverage in the job market. There are millions of job openings now in multiple industries, which has inspired retirees to return to work and switch to different industries they’re more interested in or find something that’s less stressful and demanding.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more helpful insights on careers and employment, including articles such as Applying for Jobs on LinkedIn, Six Types of Behavioral Interview Questions, and Generation Z in the Workplace.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.