15 Reasons Why Working After Retirement Age Can Make You Happier

Discover the surprising link between post-retirement work and a more fulfilling life.
Updated Dec. 28, 2023
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Some folks want to retire early, while others would like to work a little longer. 

Some may decide not to retire at all as there are plenty of reasons to keep working, either out of necessity or just because you want to keep going. 

Here are some reasons to continue working past retirement age and some unexpected benefits it can bring.

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You don’t want to outlive your money

Drobot Dean/Adobe holding money using mobile phone

It’s important to save enough for retirement so you'll have the cash to cover expenses when you stop working.

If you don’t feel like you've saved enough, work a little longer to build your savings and get ahead financially. That way, you'll feel more comfortable when you finally decide to call it quits.

You like being around people

insta_photos/Adobe conference call interview on laptop

Some people who retire feel isolated because they aren’t around co-workers or customers every day. You might want to work past retirement age simply to see other people every day.

If you don’t want to work, retire and get involved in community projects or volunteer work that will keep you from feeling isolated.

You’re worried about health insurance

bernardbodo/Adobe doctor examining a senior patient

Medicare coverage is important to many older Americans. In most cases, you become eligible for the insurance upon reaching 65 years old.

But in some situations, a workplace medical insurance plan might offer better coverage than you can get through Medicare. You might also want to continue to work if the health insurance plan through your employer also covers family members who aren’t eligible for Medicare.

Compare the costs and benefits of Medicare and your private insurance to see if continuing to work is better for you.

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Your spouse hasn’t retired

Digitalskillet1/Adobe working from his home office

Retirement can feel lonely if your spouse isn’t quite ready to join you.

Planning vacations or lunch dates with a spouse who's still working can be challenging. You might get bored at home alone while your spouse continues to work.

If your spouse isn’t ready to retire, maybe it’s time to reconsider your plans, too.

You’re worried about inflation

Whyframeshot/Adobe stressed asian senior old couple

Even if you have enough money to retire now, remember that prices will likely rise as your retirement years go by.

You might want to keep working until you save more to cover future price increases. Few things are more worrisome in retirement than watching your savings struggle to keep up with rising prices.

You don’t know what to do when you retire

Teksomolika/Adobe happy senior woman in glasses

Retirement can sound great in theory. After all, you have the freedom not to go to work anymore.

But the reality can become monotonous as the days roll on and you don’t have any plans for what to do.

Think about whether you can fill your time with activities or hobbies. If not, it’s OK to continue working, even if it’s just part of the time.

You want to hold off collecting Social Security

Юлия Завалишина/Adobe planning loan debt pension payment

You can start collecting Social Security as early as 62 years old. But your monthly benefit will be bigger if you wait.

In fact, your monthly benefit increases each year you hold off through age 70. After that, your benefit stays the same, so it makes sense to take it no later than 70.

You have too much debt

fizkes/Adobe worried about finance safety data

Job duties won’t follow you into retirement, but debt will.

Make an honest assessment of your debt obligations before you retire so you know exactly how much you owe. Factor in credit card debt, car loans, mortgages, or other loans.

You don’t want to pay down debt on a fixed income, so consider working longer to crush your debts before you stop working.

You can work flexible hours

Kawee/Adobe business working in office workplace

Perhaps you don’t want to retire but just want to work less than a full-time schedule. Check with your company to see if you can reduce your work schedule.

You can also consider looking for another job in your field that offers flexible hours. Working a part-time schedule can help you slowly transition to full-time retirement.

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You have good employee benefits

Annap/Adobe discuss financial results

Great employee benefits are a powerful perk that might keep you working longer.

In addition to health insurance, you might have a great match in your 401(k) plan that can help you save extra money before retiring. Perhaps you have additional benefits such as stock options or a generous amount of paid time off.

Such benefits can make it worth staying on and continuing to work.

You have a pension

Juliasudnitskaya/Adobe saving money concept

If you have access to a pension, you might want to keep working until you're fully vested.

Your monthly pension payouts might depend on how many years you've worked with your company. So, before you retire, make sure you understand how stopping work will impact your pension benefit.

You believe age is just a number

chokniti/Adobe stay for work at home

Even if you've reached retirement age, you might not feel like you’re ready to be a retiree. Age is just a number for many people.

So, if you have the energy and drive, you might want to continue to work. That's especially likely to be true if you feel like you're at a productive or creative peak now, regardless of how old you are.

Take advantage of your motivation and build your nest egg before retiring.

You want to change careers

Nola Viglietti/peopleimages.com/Adobe senior business man doing presentation

If you've worked in one field or industry your entire career, perhaps it’s time to try something else instead of retiring.

Perhaps you are at the perfect age to try something completely different, even if it means returning to school and getting a degree in another field.

There are plenty of other options available to you if you want to see what else you can do before you decide to retire.

You don’t have a solid financial retirement plan

Kirsten Davis/peopleimages.com/Adobe admin crisis and budget mistake

Before you think about retiring, it’s important to review your financial retirement plan on your own or with a financial advisor. It's likely foolish to retire without a solid financial plan in place.

You might find out that it makes more sense to continue working so you can build a better nest egg.

You like working

shurkin_son/Adobe enjoying author's writing style

Just because you’re old enough to retire doesn’t mean you have to retire.

Plenty of people enjoy their jobs and continue to work past retirement age. You may like being a part of your industry or working on a team.

So, don’t let your age force you to stop working. Keep working and grow your wealth. Enjoy your working years until you’re ready to retire.

Bottom line

Krakenimages.com/Adobe sitting on the table

There are plenty of reasons why you might decide to keep working past retirement age. Maybe you want to boost your bank account or simply enjoy working.

So, think about your different options as you get closer to retirement. There's no magic age when you must retire. You'll know when you are ready to begin your golden years.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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