Are You Prepared to Retire Cold Turkey? Semi-Retirement and Part-Time Employment

If you are approaching the Golden Age of Retirement, chances are you have dedicated a significant number of years to the workforce. The transition of working full-time to the life of a retiree can be an abrupt and difficult change. Will you have enough to occupy your time? Is your Retirement savings adequate for maintaining your quality of life? For many working Americans, the answer to these questions are unclear. The thought of retirement does not seem like a walk on the beach.

Does reaching retirement age mean you have to stop working cold turkey? – No, introducing the semi-retiree!

Semi-Retirees are those who continue to work in their current position, or a new, on a part-time basis. Their reasons for gradually transitioning into retirement vary from both personal and financial reasons.

“I like working.”

“Working allows me to stay active (mental stimulation).”

“My job gives me a sense of relevance.”

“I have not had time to figure out what I will do next; working part-time will give me a chance to explore what makes me happy.”

“I can’t afford to fully retire.”

“Working part-time will allow my retirement investments to continue to grow.”

“I have outstanding debts to pay off before I stop working.”

“I am providing financial support to my parent / disabled child.”

What options are out there for those reaching, or who have reached, retirement age?

Many companies realize the value of long-time employees and will offer part-time or consulting jobs to semi-retirees. This practice, however, has not found wide-spread adoption; 22% of retirees were given the option to stay with their company on a part-time basis.*

If staying with one’s current company is off the table, there are many ways for retirees to continue to remain active in the workforce and supplement an income.

Top Part-Time Jobs for Retirees:

  1. Consulting Services. You are an expert in your field and employers realize the value of seasoned workers! Stick to the industry in which you have the most experience and know-how. Charging an hourly consulting fee can easily turn into a lucrative part-time income.
  1. Retail. The opportunity is there! 29% percent of retail employers are looking to hire retirees this year.** Although pay is typically on an hourly basis, a retail environment provides an opportunity for greater flexibility and social interaction.
  1. Homemade goods are trending and websites, such as, have blown the market wide open for the at-home crafter. Turn your hobby of knitting, pottery, photography, sewing, etc. into an online business.
  1. Elder care. If you have a CNA certificate, the healthcare field opens many doors for retirees, whether you choose to work in a home healthcare setting or a care facility. If you are interested in working with the elderly but do not have a healthcare background, many families are looking for basic companionship, home up-keep, transportation, errands, etc. for their loved ones.
  1. Tour Guide. Whether at a museum, winery, or historical landmark, the job of a tour guide allows you to share your passion and knowledge with others.
  1. Gardening. Turn you love of growing fruits and vegetables into a small business! Americans are willing to pay a premium on fresh, natural produce so set up a farm stand or bring your crop to a local farmer’s market.
  1. Bookkeeping. Put your financial background to work! Many small companies lack the funds to support a full-time bookkeeping position; these companies frequently look for financial professionals to work Per Diem.
  1. Child Care. If you have energy ready to burn, consider offering day or after school care for local children.

There is no wrong answer to the question what will you do when you retire? Rest assured whether you choose to kick back by the pool with your favorite book or find fulfillment in remaining in the workforce, the opportunities are plentiful.

Written By Amanda Keefe

* The Rise of Semi-Retirement

** U.S. News & World Report