Why Working Longer Offers Great Benefits

3 Reasons Why Working Longer Offers Great Benefits

Updated on Aug 14 2018


Many people want to retire at age 62. The reality is that today people are living much longer and have not planned for a 30+ year retirement. If you can change your perspective, working longer provides many great benefits.

While you may be thinking you’re ready for retirement, you need to consider that working longer offers not only financial benefits, but also emotional and health benefits.

Ellie Berger, professor at Nipissing University, comments:

“Working in later life is becoming an increasing reality for many. Whether individuals are doing so by choice or necessity can make a huge difference in their quality of life as they age.”

As Berger points out, working longer increases not only your retirement fund, but also can improve your quality of life. When many people retire, they often get lonely and lose a productive routine. Over time, this can take a toll on emotional well-being. Here are a few key reasons you might consider prolonging your career:

1. Taking Pride in Your Work Gives You Purpose

Employers recognize that older employees bring more knowledge, wisdom and life experience to the workplace, according to a recent Forbes article. You add value and diversify the work force with your unique life skills. In this way, the generations complement each other in the work force as the Millennial and Generation X skillset is very different from that of their elders. In addition, purpose comes from contributing to others’ lives as well as achieving personal fulfillment.

2. Working Longer Gives You a Bigger Retirement Fund

Working past the normal retirement age is an easy way to increase your retirement income. Regular income in tandem with company benefits offered by your employer, such as healthcare insurance, 401k contributions and matching also help ease retirement costs to help set you up for future success.

3. Staying Engaged Keeps You Young

Some older workers want to keep working because it helps them stay engaged with other people. Since the landscape of several work environments have a majority younger workforce, older employees are interacting and keeping up with new diversified perspectives.

Many workplaces are also accommodating more flexible work schedules, allowing for older workers to work from home some days or even work fewer hours. If you are thinking about retirement, see if you can stay at your company in a role that accommodates a work schedule that works better for you and your needs; even if it’s part-time.

Be Proactive: Avoid Structural or Personal Barriers

Sometimes the catalyst for leaving a job is a barrier that may feel out of your control, such as ageism, health issues, lack of job opportunities, or caregiving demands. Berger notes that there are ways to “have much more successful outcomes in later life” by avoiding these “structural or personal barriers.” Professors Berger and colleague outlined these barriers in their research of what structural changes are needed to ensure that working in later life is productive, meaningful, and rewarding. For example, a leave of absence is an option for workers dealing with health or caregiving issues. Many employers and government programs offer paid benefits for this type of absence, so it’s worth doing some research to see if you qualify or can enroll in the program.

Sometimes a paradigm shift, makeover or being proactive in your workplace is all you need to eliminate ageism. A life coach or even HR might be a good option in this instance. Keep in mind that side from structural changes, you can also change spending habits today to ensure you have the choice to work longer by saving and having a proactive investment plan to cushion your finances. In this way, you can position yourself in the future to reap the benefits of having the choice to work, which is key to satisfaction and happiness.

Consider a 2nd Job to Increase Your Retirement Savings

If you decide to retire, a second job or hobby that pays is also a great option to keep your finances intact and accumulate more income. According to a study from the Families and Work Institute , many people are working past age 65 and many seniors are staying in or are returning to the workforce because they “want to earn more money to retire more comfortably,” or because they believe they “would be bored not working.” Here are some great part-time job ideas that many seniors have enjoyed:

  • Consulting
  • Child care
  • Non-profit or charity work
  • Higher education
  • Schools
  • Retail
  • Call centers
  • Government work
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Community experts or local historians

The additional income will help you not only build a bigger nest egg, but also provide some stimulating social interaction and new skills in the process.

Consult a financial planner today to help you get on track financially. A professional can help you assess how much money you’ll need to enjoy the retirement you choose.

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