Working in retirement

In a world where the average 65-year-old can expect to live well into his or her 80s, what were once known as the post-work years have become the springboard for new journeys—each different from the other.

Understand potential “startup costs”

  • Perhaps retirement is your chance to transform an interest or a passion into part-time work. However, that transition can come with a price tag, and it’s best to be prepared for it in advance. 

Rethink when you take Social Security

  • If your new paycheck allows you to delay taking Social Security, you should consider it. Postponing Social Security payments can significantly boost your available retirement income when you most need it. Each year you delay, your total benefits could increase by as much as 8 percent per year until age 70, when you earn the maximum. For example, a man who expects to take home $1,955 per month at age 62 can increase that to $2,607 by waiting until age 66 (his full retirement age) and to $3,441 if he delays until 70.

Consider capital costs

  • It may be harder to get a small-business loan after you’ve retired because you’ll likely have fewer working years to repay the money. Consider both public and private sources of capital; new, innovative forms of raising capital, such as crowdfunding sites, can also prove useful—particularly if you’re planning to start a nonprofit enterprise or a venture related to the arts.
  • If you expect to be at least age 59½ when you launch your new venture, you can tap IRA funds, minus applicable taxes on the withdrawals, for startup capital. (Earlier withdrawals would be subject to ordinary income taxes and possibly additional federal taxes.) However, your startup budget shouldn’t depend on funds you’ve set aside for your baseline retirement income needs.

Relocate with an eye toward your work life

  • If working in retirement is a priority for you, remember that location can have a major impact on expenses and quality of life. There are states that offer low unemployment, high job growth potential, a lower cost of living and a favorable tax environment—but they may not always be the best place to pursue the type of postretirement career you’re considering.
  • Many retirement locales heralded for having no state income tax generally have higher sales and property taxes, and there may be municipal taxes to consider as well. If your local taxes are high but you want to stay in the same area, consider moving to the next town over or relocating just across a state border as one option.
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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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