Yahoo News is publishing first-person perspectives from Americans 65 or older who have returned to the workforce after retiring or who have picked up a second job to bolster their income. These personal stories come on the heels of an Associated Press poll that says 82 percent of workers 50 and older say it’s at least somewhat likely they will work during their retirement years. Forty-seven percent, meanwhile, said they’ll retire later than planned. Here’s one account.
FIRST PERSON | In 2005, when I was 59, my husband and I retired and moved from New Jersey to a beach and golf community south of Wilmington, North Carolina. The first couple of years were a mad whirl of picking out fixtures, flooring, cabinets, etc. and furnishing our new home. After the dust settled and we were finally finished with the building process, I found that I had some extra time on my hands. I decided to look for a part time job, and found a position as a marketing assistant for a large real estate firm. After a year or so as a marketing assistant, I decided to get my real estate broker’s license. I took the required courses and passed the North Carolina state test in 2008, at the age of 62, just in time for the economic meltdown and the ensuing real estate crash.
In 2011, we reluctantly decided to sell our home in North Carolina and return to New Jersey for family reasons. Again, we spent the first year or so back in NJ getting settled and furnishing our “new” home. In 2012, now 66, I decided again to look for part time work. New Jersey has a much higher cost of living than North Carolina, so it was a matter of economics as well as too much time on my hands. I found a position delivering a business-to-business newspaper one day a week. It takes about 6 or 7 hours each Wednesday, and is kind of fun. I get to talk with some interesting people in the offices I deliver to, and the job is relatively stress-free. If I can’t do it on a given day, my husband steps in and takes over for me. After about a year of delivering papers, I picked up another part time job. Now 67, I was hired by an accent furniture design firm. I work Tuesdays and Thursdays, doing customer service calls and some data entry. It’s fun to get dressed up and out of the house, learning new things and interacting with co-workers half my age.
How long do I intend to work? As long as my health, which is good, holds out and as long as I enjoy what I do. The key word here is “enjoy.” Both jobs are low pressure. If I want to take a day off to go into the city, or babysit for my grandkids, it’s not a problem. And the extra money means we can go out to dinner more often, or take a nice vacation without having a guilty conscience.