The Neyland Report
Earning - Thriving - Giving Back




Conventional wisdom tells us that once you retire from your long-term job or career, your work life is over. Not so fast. More retirees are going back to work than ever before, some by choice and others by necessity. Whatever your reasons, just be aware that your skills and experience are intact, and often in demand after you retire. Retirees are going back to work in record numbers. Call it “reverse retirement,” if you will.

If you want to know how many retirees are still (or back) in the workforce, the numbers tell the story. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 1/3 of American workers who retire eventually go back to work. Further, way back in 1985 about 10.8 percent of workers were over the age of 65. Today, that number has almost doubled, to 19.6 percent. As if that were not enough to convince you, the Labor Department also reports that by the year 2024, fully 55 percent of American workers between the age of 65 to 74 will be in the workforce.

There are some predictable reasons for these increases. First, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are living longer, healthier lives. Advances in medical science coupled with a greater focus on physical fitness and more information on healthy eating, have enabled people to not only live longer, but to thrive. Additionally, the culture has changed. While 65 was once considered “over the hill,” those 76 million plus baby boomers respectfully disagree.

Perhaps just as important is the fact that after you reach full retirement age, Social Security laws do not put a limit on what you can earn in addition to Social Security. Be aware, however, that your social security income may be taxable if you earn beyond a certain limit while collecting your benefits. For full information on those limits, check out the social security website.

Here are a few quick tips on how to re-enter the workforce after retirement:

  • Have a Linkedin account: Workers are using Linked In more than ever to find jobs, and for employers to find employees. Your experience will speak for itself on this site, but everyone already in or re-entering the workforce needs a Linkedin account. Spend time learning how to navigate the site, and look for appropriate contacts.
  • Technological proficiency matters: If you are not a skilled computer user, become one. You may need to take a class at your local community college, but learn basic skills, such as common office software, focused web searching, and social media use. All of these skills are commonly used in most industries and job types.
  • Get your body ready: You do not have to be a bodybuilder, but you do need to have the proper energy level and strength to handle full or part-time employment. Join a gym or wellness facility, such as Strength Science Studios, and discipline yourself to attend regularly and work out with a skilled fitness trainer.
  • Use your contacts: Chances are you developed some strong contacts over the years, personally and professionally. Think through who those people are and what they do, and do not be afraid to ask for their assistance in finding and preparing for the job you want.
  • Do not make age an issue: Be prepared to work for a boss who is probably considerably younger than you. Avoid statements such as, “I’ve been doing this since before you were born.” Such statements tend to either intimidate younger workers or just irritate them. Be willing to learn contemporary standards, skills and job methods from younger people, and be judicious about how often you make suggestions based on your experience. Your experience matters, but choose the right time and words to express it.

Related Articles