Broker Check

How to Continue Earning Money in Your Golden Years

by Howard Hook, CFP®, CPA

As published in New York Daily News “Money Pros” on June 12, 2014

Question: I can’t afford to stop working at 65. I’m concerned that I won’t be able to continue working at my present job. What can I do to remain employed and generating income?

Answer: The age at which one wishes to retire takes up much of the retirement discussion these days. But what if you’re faced with a forced retirement from a job at a certain age and don’t believe you can afford to stop working?

To begin, you need to first determine whether or not you really can’t afford to retire at 65. Many people think they can’t retire based on incorrect assumptions. One of the biggest mistakes people make in determining this, is treating income and expenses uniformly throughout retirement. 

 Certain expenses incurred at the beginning of one’s retirement are not necessarily present at the end. Examples of this are travel and leisure activities. For most retirees, these expenses decline as they age. Conversely, certain expenses, such as those for medical care, may increase later in retirement.

A part-time job during the early years of retirement may help delay the amount needed to be withdrawn from your investments just enough so you will succeed in retirement. Let’s say, however, that after a thorough self-examination you determine that you need to keep working, and you don’t think you’ll be able to stay at your current job beyond a certain age. This is not unusual at a time when many organizations are looking to replace baby boomers with younger, less expensive workers.

You have a number of different options. The first thing you can do is to ask your employer if there is an opportunity for you to stay on in a reduced role. Since good people are hard to find, employers may consider this a viable option. Part-time employment may work for you as well, especially for someone 65 or older, since you may not need health benefits once you become eligible for Medicare. You may also ask your employer if they would hire you back as a consultant. This type of arrangement can further reduce an employer’s costs, which may make such an arrangement attractive. Another thing to consider is expanding your network of potential fields by looking at other industries that might benefit from your skills. Many people don’t realize how their skills translate to other types of jobs.

One client of mine worked his entire career as a newspaper reporter until finding himself faced with forced retirement. He eventually realized that his writing skills translated well to many different types of jobs, and so increased his potential opportunities.

Still another option is to strike out on your own. Another client, a computer specialist, moved to Florida where he bought a small business that sells pickles at area flea markets.He’s now working three days a week, keeping busy, and making more than enough to finance the early years of retirement.