Continuing to work after age 55 can certainly help you with your retirement finances. You can continue to have a regular income and more time to grow your retirement savings, and the number of retirement years you need to plan will also be shorter.
For some, working after retirement is a necessity, not an option. All the more so as two out of three members of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) aged 54 have retirement savings of less than RM50,000.
While some may need an income, others may want to continue working to feel energized and fulfilled. Those who wish to continue working beyond retirement age, however, will have to plan well in advance before quitting their jobs to find the path much easier to follow.
Here are some tips for getting a job during your retirement years:
(Re) define your value
Outside of your former employers, you need to be able to identify your value to potential clients or businesses so that you can market yourself appropriately.
To do this, you will first need to assess your background, skills and general knowledge in order to merge them with potential employment opportunities. Second, assess how your experience translates into marketable skills that meet their needs. Look for companies that require your specific skills.
Also, be sure to identify any companies or agencies outside of your industry that might be interested in hiring people with your experience and skills so you can contact them for project assignments after you retire.
Keep your skills up to date and up to date
There is a constant flow of new skills to learn and develop as new technologies emerge and evolve.
Whatever skills you have today are likely to be obsolete over the next five to ten years. If you are a computer consultant, the things you know and implement in your daily work will likely be out of date within five years.
No one likes working with a dinosaur. It is therefore imperative to look to the future and keep your skills sharp and current, and to stay active on professional networks to ensure your employability.
Identify future employers
Start contacting employers in your industry who are competitors and, if possible, identify hiring managers within those organizations while you are still working so that you can contact them for project assignments after you retire.
You can do this at trade shows or online professional networks like LinkedIn. Plus, it never hurts to keep your CV up to date.
Build and grow your career network
Maintain your existing network as this is extremely valuable to you as well as to any business you might join. While you are at it, it will also be useful for you to continue to develop your network of contacts so that you can take advantage of these links to uncover job leads.
The easiest way to ask for referrals is to simply ask your friends, family, and current acquaintances for the contact details of other people they think would be helpful to you. It’s no secret that the “friend of a friend” relationship is quite strong and generally successful when it comes to finding a job.
You can also join professional or trade organizations or participate in professional discussions to do this.
Line up possible work opportunities before your departure
Having more time to work and play may sound like fun, but figuring out how to do it in your retirement years isn’t a last-minute exercise.
The best thing you can do for yourself before you retire is to start building a network starting out. You can do this by first talking to your employer or human resources manager before you leave and make sure they understand that you will be available for project assignments or contract basis after you “retire”.
If you enjoy what you were doing before retirement, you might even consider working part-time for your former employer. Most employers hate losing valuable and experienced employees, so your former boss may jump at the opportunity to rehire you on a less intensive, more flexible schedule.
Develop your financial pool (investments)
You don’t want to run out of money during your golden years. Your money should survive you. The best way to ensure this is to continue to grow your money during your retirement years.
Many retirees are reluctant to invest due to their shorter time horizon and lower risk appetite, but there are low risk investments that they can still use as medium to long term investment vehicles that can be cashed out. at any time.
Mutual funds are well known to have lower risk due to their highly diversified portfolio holdings. One can also consider investing in bonds for long term stable potential gains.
In addition to expanding your savings pool, you can leverage your spending habits by using a cash back credit card that suits your lifestyle and needs.
Take care of your health
The saying that health is wealth is extremely true, especially during your retirement years.
Even without a critical illness, cumulative health expenses can take a significant chunk of your retirement funds. The EPF’s 2019 spending guide suggests that elderly couples should budget at least RM130 per month for health care costs. But with medical inflation estimated at 14% last year, those costs are increasing every year.
By taking the right steps while you’re still working, you have more time to prepare for health costs in retirement and align them with your retirement income stream later.
However, lower your expectations for wages and benefits if you land another job after retirement. People over the age of 50 who have retired from their previous jobs often struggle to find similar jobs and salaries.
By keeping an open mind, you allow yourself to embrace different possibilities and opportunities.
Finally, focus on growing your savings pool, as planning not to retire is not a viable retirement strategy. At some point in our lives we will all have to stop working.
This article was first published in 2015 and has been updated for its freshness, accuracy and completeness.
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