Traditionally, people have thought of retirement as a time when we could kick back and relax as a reward for a lifetime of hard work and penny-pinching. But as government funding of pensions dwindle worldwide and retirement savings are at an all-time low during our tough economic times, it can be disappointing to consider the implausibility of achieving such a retirement for ourselves.
A vast majority of seniors have retirement funds lower than $25,000 according to Forbes, which could optimistically be stretched out to just two years. This crisis is currently affecting Australia particularly, in which the senior population is expected to boom and government funding is predicted to dry up within the next two decades, forcing individuals to flock to private providers such as Suncorp Superannuation Australia.
There’s no sugar-coating the fact that many of us with insufficient or no savings will likely have to work throughout our golden years. However, there is some silver lining to this arrangement. As long as seniors can find jobs that meet a few criteria, retirement can still be a time of relaxation and low-stress. Here are a few aspects of working for seniors in the workforce to consider if they want to enjoy their elder years regardless of their employment:
1. Seek out jobs that offer quality benefits
Even low-wage jobs might be worthwhile pursuing if it comes with good benefits. In particular, the costs of health insurance can be astronomical when becoming a senior citizen. Many elders avoid finding coverage at all due to the enormity of this expense, but if your work covers it, you may save more than a paycheck or two worth of coverage monthly. Many working seniors stay in the workplace for this singular purpose.
The AARP release annual lists acknowledging employers who provide the best experiences for workers over fifty and the most recent can be found here. Universities and health-related institutions run prominently throughout the list, which is something to keep in mind when qualified positions open in these fields.
2. Find a job that suits your seniority
While it can be difficult to acknowledge that old age can limit our physical prowess and mental acuity, it’s best to seek out a job that is accommodating to those with less-than-peak fitness. Beware of any jobs that require heavy lifting or moving, especially if the position comes with weak or no health coverage.
Instead, customize your résumé to emphasize your skills as an organizer, or as a communicative expert. While not every senior needs to make these accommodations, some jobs are much more favorable for those concerned about workplace injuries. A few good positions for those with these limitations are:
- Administrative assistants
- Secretarial positions
- Call support specialists
3. Look for part-time or “flexible schedule” jobs
Even part-time jobs can come with plentiful benefits, and it’s worth hunting the “help-wanted” section for these positions. While keeping a job might be necessary for those in retirement, it’s also important to recognize that a full working schedule can often be overwhelming for elderly individuals. Focusing instead on carefully managing a monthly budget and relying on the limited resources provided in a part-time position is preferable to endangering one’s health through overexertion.
Considering that seniors usually deal with less fiscal responsibilities than parents and young adults, this may be sufficient in living a lifestyle without accommodating for a strict budget. More to the point, a part-time job means having a part-time retirement. While one may not have the funds to cut ties from the workplace for good, why not have a part-time job that provides one a part-time retirement? Finding a job with a flexible schedule can also be desirable if an elder suffers from any conditions that periodically affect their work performance, and it can help in making accommodations for plans with the family − or spontaneous getaways.