an older man works at a seafood stall

Working After 65: Who Says You Have to Retire?

We heard the Beatles ask what would happen “When I’m Sixty-Four.” Now it’s our turn to ask that same question. Turning 65 is the standard retirement age. But should it really be “The End” of your working life?

Don’t be a groupie and retire just because everyone else is doing it. Look at turning 65 as “A Beginning.” With the help of the Beatles, let’s look at some of the benefits of working past retirement and what new opportunities you can pursue.

Staying Healthy

Many seniors say “I’m So Tired” and spend their retirements sitting on their couches. Getting up and staying active is essential for staying healthy in your golden years. Your job gives you a:

  • Longer lifespan
    According to a study by Oregon State University, adults who retired past the age of 65 were 11% more likely to have an increased lifespan than those who took an early retirement. Work gives us a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning.
  • Slower Health Decline
    According to research from the Center for Advancing Health, people who stay socially active have a slower rate of decline in health. Enjoy spending time with your co-workers. “With A Little Help From My Friends,” you may be protecting yourself from physical and cognitive health issues.
  • Social Network
    For many of us, our social network is based around our jobs. If you have no idea how or with whom you’ll spend your time after you leave the workforce, stay with your job until you figure it out.

Increasing Your Nest Egg

You don't want to have “Nothin’ Shakin’” in your bank account after retirement. Continuing to work will boost your financial security and help you achieve:

  • Increased Savings
    The most common retirement fear is not having enough money saved for a comfortable retirement. Working later in life not only provides extra income but it also reduces the amount of time your savings need to last. This means that when you do retire, you can take out larger payments.
  • Higher Social Security Payments
    Don’t jump into withdrawing Social Security the minute you’re eligible. For each year you delay retirement, you’ll receive an 8% increase in your Social Security payments up until the age of 70.
  • Secured Healthcare Coverage
    Your employer-provided health insurance may be cheaper and provide more comprehensive coverage than what you’ll get through Medicare. Plus, your employer may have special incentives for older workers. When you do retire, you can enroll in Medicare past the age of 65 without the risk of additional fees.

Starting Something New

George Harrison sang that “All Things Must Pass.” Continuing to work doesn’t have to mean staying at your current job. Turning 65 is the perfect time to:

  • Start Your Own Business
    Dust off that old business idea. With your savings to back you up, you can dedicate more time to helping your idea grow.
  • Work Part Time
    Have the best of both worlds. A part-time job gives you freedom and flexibility without the demands of a 9-5.
  • Take Up Side Projects
    Many small organizations are desperate for extra hands. Whether you help an animal shelter on the weekends or participate in an acting gig after work, mix and match your interests until you’re sufficiently busy.

Passing Along Your Knowledge

You have a wealth of knowledge about “What Goes On” in your field. Make good use of your skills by:

  • Consulting
    You could consult at your current job, or you take your job on the road and spread your knowledge around your industry. With consulting, you get to experience a variety of different environments while staying connected to the working world.
  • Mentoring Young People
    A study done at Johns Hopkins University found that mentoring youths can delay or reverse declining brain function. You get to strengthen your brain while helping the next generation succeed.

Prolonging Retirement Isn’t a “Bad Boy”

Turning 65 doesn’t have to be “The End.” Say “Hello, Goodbye” to new opportunities and old limitations. Stay busy, earn some extra cash, and reap the health benefits. If you do it right, retirement should just keep “Getting Better.”

Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.

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