3 Reasons to Come Out of Retirement This Year — And 2 Reasons Not to

We think of retirement as a one-time event, but it doesn’t play out that way for everyone. Sometimes all that free time isn’t as exciting as we’d imagined it would be. Other times, financial constraints force a return to the workforce.

Regardless of the reason, coming out of retirement is a big decision, and it’s helpful to weigh all the pros and cons before deciding. I’ve outlined some of the key points to consider below.

Serious person staring off into the distance.

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3 reasons to come out of retirement this year

Here are three reasons you may want to return to the workforce in 2024:

1. It’ll provide you with a steady source of income

This is undoubtedly the most persuasive argument for those struggling to cover their retirement expenses. A job provides a regular paycheck you can use to supplement your Social Security benefits and personal savings. Hopefully it’ll be enough to help you maintain your financial security, or even put a little more away for your future.

2. It gives you a chance to interact with others

Jobs certainly aren’t the only way to socialize with others, but if your retirement hasn’t afforded you the social opportunities you expected, a return to the workforce could be welcome. You don’t have to go back full time if you’re not interested in that. Plenty of employers have positions for part-time employees that could give you the interaction you need.

3. It gives you a sense of purpose

Some seniors struggle with feeling as though they lack purpose and meaning after leaving their careers behind. Returning to the workforce can feel rewarding and provide a sense of much-needed structure to these individuals.

2 reasons not to return to the workforce in 2024

Here are two reasons you may prefer to stay retired:

1. Working leaves less time for things you enjoy

For many, retirement is a time to enjoy activities they weren’t able to do when they were busy with their careers and raising families. Going back to work means you’ll have to give up your free time again, and this may not sit well with all retirees.

2. Health issues could make working impossible

Those struggling with chronic illnesses may not be well enough to maintain a steady job. And those who have to care for injured or ill family members may not have the freedom to work, even if they want to. If either of these apply to you, it’s important to be realistic about how much time you could actually devote to a job to decide if coming out of retirement is right for you.

Putting it all together

Hopefully, the above information helps you make your choice. If you decide to return to the workforce, keep in mind that you don’t have to go back to full-time work, or to your previous field. You’re free to work part-time in a field that interests you if you prefer.

Think about why you’re going back and how much money you need from your job and use this to guide your decision. Those who are unable to head to a job each day due to health or caretaking constraints may prefer to look for remote work if they can find some in their field.

If you’d rather not return to work, explore other avenues to meet your needs. Consider social clubs or volunteering to help you interact with others and find a sense of meaning outside of your career. And if you need money, see if you qualify for government benefits, like supplemental security income (SSI) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to cover your essential expenses.

Even if you decide to go back to work, it doesn’t have to be forever. You can reevaluate your decision every year or two and return to retirement if you feel you’re ready once again.

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