Many of us spent a lifetime in one or two careers and became quite good at what we did. The stress was sometimes a bit much, the pay was not always the best (we all wanted MORE) and the hours were long with little vacation time or escape. Weekends went too fast and despite all that, it was good for the most part. Now, in retirement we have all this time we always wanted yet we are not always sure what to do.
Researchers have found that there is a sweet spot in retirement that comes from taking a part time job. Early retirement has been found to be a risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease. Gary Small, a geriatric psychologist and Director of the UCLA Longevity Center agrees that “part time work offers mental stimulation without the fatigue and stress of full-time work.” 25 hours a week may have the most benefit.”
Working in retirement isn’t about the money, hopefully. Working now is about occupying time in fun fulfilling ways and keeping the mind engaged and challenged. It helps to keep you emotionally balanced and guards against the depression we find in isolation. It really helps!
- Most of us have a “bucket list” that includes things we would like to do. When you take a part time job in retirement, you are in control more than you were in your earlier career. Your experience and work ethic is sought after and you aren’t looking for benefits. But there are benefits in that you can let your employer know when you need that day off or when you are taking your vacation.
- Think of jobs you always found intriguing but could never do before because it wouldn’t pay the bills. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a Host/Hostess greeting guests at an upscale restaurant? Cashiering at a retail outlet might work. There are many jobs that seem fun but wouldn’t pay the mortgage. But we don’t need that now so we can go for the fun.
- Think outside the box. What about tutoring a student who is struggling with math or English or science or music. You have incredible knowledge and experience and sharing that with a struggling student is quite meaningful. The pay is usually on the low side. The experience is, as they say, “Priceless.”
- Volunteer! Not every part time job needs to come with money. Volunteering is one of the best part time jobs around! IF you have ever been hospitalized, you might remember that volunteer who stopped in your room to chat or to just hand you today’s newspaper, or the person who wheeled you out to your car on your way home. Schools, churches, non-profits, hospitals … they are all looking for volunteers. Become one.
- No shame! Sometimes it seems like others live a glamorous retirement with cruises and travel and motor coaches. But the reality is that over 60% of retired seniors plan to seek part time work. Sometimes out of necessity to supplement retirement income but more often than not, to fill time.
In our changing world, part time work is becoming more and more common and the number of employers looking to hire part-timers is rapidly growing as they attempt to avoid paying benefits to employees. That is difficult news for up and comers, but it is great news for seniors. It gives us more and more options. And since we can’t change the world, we can take advantage of the way the world is now. Enjoy your life. Fill 25 hours a week with something meaningful to stay healthy … volunteer or get a part time job. And for the record, LifeFone has several mobile apps that can help keep you safe while you are out in the jungle.