April 3, 2024 | Allison Robertson

The Rise of Semi-Retirement


You Have Options

Leaving work completely is no longer the only choice, and for many there is a better choice than full-retirement.

From supplemental income to boredom relief, there are many reasons why people are now choosing semi-retirement over full-retirement.

elderly workers split image

Semi-Retirement Defined

Semi-retirement is a situation in which you’re still working but you’ve cut back on your hours and possibly transitioned to a less-stressful job.

Man and Woman Discussing And Sharing IdeasThe Coach Space, Pexels

Semi-Retirement Age

According to Aviva, more than 44% of 55–64-year-olds plan to move into semi-retirement before they reach 65.

Man discussing business strategy with young womanAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Semi-Retirement Statistics

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force made up of people aged 75 years and older is expected to grow by 96.5% by 2030.

Close-up Photo of Survey SpreadsheetLukas, Pexels

Senior Satisfaction

According to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey, senior workers are the group who most enjoy working.

Smiling senior ethnic workman in uniform in workshopNishant Aneja, Pexels

Job Satisfaction

Furthermore, two-thirds of workers ages 65 and older said they were extremely or very satisfied with their job overall, a higher percentage than their younger counterparts.

Man Using Table SawQuintin Gellar, Pexels

Why People Choose Semi-Retirement

Many people choose semi-retirement to allow them to draw on their pension savings while continuing to work part-time.

Female dressmaker in glasses mending bag for senior client in workshopAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Semi-retirement as a Transition

Semi-retirement is also a good way to transition from full-time work to full-time retirement, allowing for freedom but continuing with social engagement and structure.

Photo of Man Making an Acoustic GuitarAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Semi-Retirement to Reduce Stress

Some people choose semi-retirement as a way of reducing stress. Taking less hours, or switching to a more fulfilling job, even if it pays less, can be beneficial for many people during the transition process to full retirement.

Senior couple working in greenhouseGreta Hoffman, Pexels

Semi-Retirement Usage of Skills

Many people use semi-retirement as a way to continue using their skills without the pressure of having to perform strenuous work full-time.

This is particularly true for people who work in trades.

Elderly Man Sitting om an Office ChairRon Lach, Pexels

Semi-Retirement as a New Beginning

Some people use their retirement as an opportunity to start a business, sometimes called a passion project. Individuals can give up the drawn-out career they’ve spent decades doing and instead start something they’ve always wanted to do.

Serious Craftsman Working on WorkbenchAnna Shvets, Pexels

Semi-Retirement to Curb Boredom

There are many people who continue working after retirement simply because working is all they ever knew. Boredom creeps in and before they know it they’re looking for jobs to do. This is when semi-retirement can be a great option.

Aged white hair worker standing near workbenchAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Semi-Retirement as a Financial Need

Others choose semi-retirement because they simply have no choice, they need the money. Not everyone is equipped with a full savings account, or a good company-provided pension plan.

Man fastening seat belt in yellow taxiTim Samuel, Pexels

Semi-Retirement to Keep Benefits

Sometimes, people lose their comprehensive benefits packages upon retirement, or they become reduced. To avoid losing health insurance, some people will continue to work only as much and as long as they need to continue to receive the necessary insurance.

A senior Doctor in his office.Tima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

Social Security Benefits

According to Investopia, for a person with median earnings who worked steadily and retired at age 65, Social Security benefits replace about 37% of their past earnings as of 2022.

Sad senior Man Sitting on a SofaKampus Production, Pexels

Self-Employed Workers

Workers with Social Security as their only retirement income—such as self-employed individuals who did not have a company pension plan—often have no choice but to continue working into retirement.

Senior man is making a copper pan in workshop.Levent Simsek, Pexels

Delaying Social Security

Earning some money after retiring also allows many to delay taking Social Security to get a higher benefit later on, to reduce withdrawals from retirement accounts, and to continue to save for later on.

Happy senior businessman holding money in handAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Delaying Social Security: Tip

According to Investopedia, delaying your Social Security payments beyond age 65 will permanently increase your Social Security benefit. You'll reach the maximum benefit if you delay starting your payments until age 70.

Happy mature male employee holding documentsAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Jobs for the Semi-Retired

With a few exceptions, almost any type of job can be turned into a part-time position. The goal though is to choose something low-stress, less-hours, and one that will still keep you active and social.

Senior Man with Eyeglasses Sitting in office.SHVETS production, Pexels

Shifting to Part Time

Some people continue to do the same job they’ve always done, just with half the hours instead, which makes the transition to full-retirement so much easier.

Woman in Black Sweater and Eyeglasses Sitting on Chair in office.cottonbro studio, Pexels

Low-Stress Options

Low-stress options for seniors include jobs like being a greeter in a retail store, working for a nonprofit organization or a church, working in home health care, or driving a bus.

Man Wearing a Face Mask Driving a BusDaniel Cruz, Pexels

Become a Consultant

Another great option for semi-retirement is to become a consultant where you can use your years of experience and expertise to assist others.

This also avoids working for one particular employer, reducing stress and hours of work.

Man Standing in Front of a White BoardRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Seasonal Work

Instead of working all year, consider seasonal jobs like a golf course during the summer or a ski resort in the winter. A coaching position on a sports team is another common semi-retirement job that appeals to many.

Man Holding a Girls Foot Wearing a Karate Uniformcottonbro studio, Pexels

Beware of the Caveats

Semi-retirement may sound appealing to a lot of people, but there are some things to make note of too, that need to be factored into your choice.

Man in Black Sweater Sitting Beside Woman at office.cottonbro studio, Pexels

Income Tax

Working while receiving a retirement income can put you in a higher tax bracket. But according to Investopedia, tinkering with your work hours or 401(k) withdrawals are two ways to avoid that trap.

Senior Woman is Sitting at the Table.RDNE Stock project, Pexels

Social Security Reductions

Investopedia also explains that, “anyone who receives Social Security benefits before full retirement age, continues working, and earned more than $21,240 in 2023 will see their monthly benefits reduced by $1 for every $2 over the limit until they reach full retirement age.”

A Gray Haired Woman Wearing Red BlazerKarolina Grabowska, Pexels

Social Security Reductions Cont’d

During the year they reach full retirement age, their benefits would be reduced by $1 for every $3 over a limit of $56,520 in 2023.

However, that money would be credited back to them after they reach full retirement age.

An Elderly woman is holding a credit Card.Antoni Shkraba, Pexels

Healthcare Plans

Retirees who are eligible for Medicare while still working may also have the option of a company-provided healthcare plan. However, some insurance plans will pay less (or nothing) for services if the policyholder is eligible for Medicare.

An Elderly Man in Gray Suit Sitting on a Wooden ArmchairRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Insurance Providers

It is always best to check with your insurance provider about how Medicare eligibility affects your coverage and how it will deal with Medicare should you choose to enroll.

Senior man is waiting for information from office worker.Ron Lach, Pexels

Consider Your Health & Wellness

Before you choose the semi-retired life, consider your health and wellness. While an extra income may sound appealing, if its going to be too much for you it wont benefit you in the long run.

Elderly Woman in Brown Blazer Holding a Notebook while ThinkingPavel Danilyuk, Pexels

Sources: 1, 2


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