I have a dirty little secret about my early retirement. I still work and I love having a retirement job. *Gasp*
Actually, it’s even worse than that…
I never (permanently) quit my old job and it has helped make my retirement amazing. Admittedly, I barely work at all but never fully quitting your job may sound like a strange retirement. Well, that’s because you haven’t thought of its secret upsides. Hint: Part-time jobs are amazing
Today I will start by showing you exactly why your job is the perfect retirement job that will make your retirement better:
- What a sweet retirement job looks like (mine)
- Why you are still retired if you have a retirement job.
- 6 reasons why your current job makes for the best retirement job.
My retirement job is amazing:
Before we start, I want to make people really jealous of my work week so that you understand what we are aiming for.
- Show up once a week to catch up with my team and other people who need my help through 1-on-1s.
- People who need me come to find me for a quick chat since my time is so limited. It actually makes for a hectic 8 hours but I love it.
- I happen to show up to work on days where people go out after work. It’s a coincidence, I swear.
- I’m in high tech so there is usually A LOT going on. If the week is too busy, I’ll come in for 2-days to be a team player.
Are you feeling a little jealousy? Good! You should work for fun too and make other people jealous too!
Are you still retired if you have a retirement job?
I want to address the pink elephant in the room right now. How the heck can I consider myself retired if I have a job?
Simple, retirement is all about re-tuning your life to be focused on your priorities. I don’t care what your priorities are but it’s important that you get to follow yours.
If you work in retirement you are doing it because you enjoy it and it helps you achieve your goals.
You are working optionally because you want to and it helps you, not because you have to:
“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?”Warren Buffet
You had dreams once
If you got a job after college, you likely forgot about the level-ten dreams and goals that you had when you were younger.
- You wanted to travel
- Start a band
- Spend time tinkering with electronics.
Then over the years, your goals became more reasonable. They became a level-two in awesomeness.
You started angling for promotions instead of fun goals, or that sweet trip that you planned to take to Thailand gets dropped down to a ‘reasonable’ 2-weeks away from work.
You’re retired if you can live your dreams
Succeeding at retirement means you don’t have limitations on your dreams.
You can once again dream like your younger self and having a good retirement job won’t stop that. It actually helps free your dreams up by either letting you live them sooner, or eliminating a lot of other life issues (like having even more money).
Maybe you don’t think you want a retirement job but I recommend you transform your current job into an amazing retirement job.
I admit, I won’t tell you how to make that job exist today, but I will show you why that magic job should be the one you already have, not some weird side hustle. It’s most likely the best job that you could possibly have.
6 reasons why your job is the best retirement job
Disclaimer: Obviously, if you hate your job or they treat you like garbage there, you shouldn’t go out of your way to keep it.
1 – You have developed skills that pay well
Can you analyze inventory with amazing accuracy or know your way around some design technique better than anyone in your industry?
You have a very unique set of skills. You are the Liam Neeson (from Taken) of your company.
And if you have some special skills that you’ve spent years developing, you should be paid well for them.
You will not make more money doing anything else. You are special.
(If you have no skills and your company doesn’t care if you stay or go, you should spend some time on honing your craft and kicking butt… Liam Neeson-style)
- If I worked as a Foodora delivery guy. I biking around might be fun but I would only be making $20/hr on a good day.
- In comparison, I have special skills that my company values at $70/hr.
- There’s no comparison: what gives more me-time?
1 hr in an office or 4 hrs delivering burritos
Does that hourly rate sound high? Well, it is!
My hourly income increased as I retired. My company was trying to incentivize me to work more due to my special skills which bring me to my next point.
2 – You have leverage at your current place!
- If you have skills you get paid a good amount of money for them.
- That means people care about you staying.
- If people care about you staying, they will bend over backward to keep you working and that’s leverage!
It’s a magic word that makes everything better. Leverage. Ahhhhh…just say it with me. ‘I have leverage on my employer.’ Doesn’t that make you feel amazing? It should.
You can use that leverage for more money but you know what I fought for even more than a pay rate increase?
Ditching the work I didn’t like to do.
- Do you hate doing financial reporting? You can stop!
- Or you just hate working with finance as a whole, you can quit that too.
- My biggest negotiations were around removing all the parts of my job that I didn’t enjoy.
Now, what’s left from my job?
Only the stuff I like to do and I am good at. If my company cares about using my skills and there is only so much of my time left, they will try to use those skills well. You are doing them a favor by staying focused on the good stuff.
“It is much easier to put existing resources to better use, than to develop resources where they do not exist.”George Soros
Even better! I also get to keep my…
3 – Perks! Free everything!
What is the most complicated and gigantic expense of your entire retirement? Probably your healthcare. Well, TADA! Most companies cover your health care!
My company (and the government of Canada) pays for my health care!
Working one day a week not only gives me a pretty sizable income for the time invested but also eliminates my biggest retirement expense! Hurrah! What’s not to like?
There are other valuable perks too! Computers, phones, gym discounts, or access to cool learning platforms.
And don’t forget free coffee!
Sounds great?! It gets better. Using your current job as your retirement job has one magic element that exists only at your office.
4 – Your work friends! Why miss out on the fun?
This might not be true for everyone but I hope some of you are filled with warm gooey love at hearing the best part of keeping your job is keeping your friends.
If you enjoy the company of your colleagues then keeping access to them is a huge benefit.
Making new friends takes time and you have a whole roster of them at your office to choose from. Maybe you watch the game at a bar together or have a really raucous Christmas party.
Whatever it is about these people that you enjoy, you can hold on to it.
Also a guilty pleasure: You will have a lot of free time to go and do amazing things. That means you will never be at a loss for stories to tell! No more awkward talks in the elevator or watercooler. Yay!
5 – Retirement safety and sanity saver
This one is quick.
Retiring is terrifying. Recessions, pandemics, health issues. So many things that can keep you up at night.
By keeping a hold on a job you will be safe from possible bad scenarios. After 1 year you won’t need the safety anymore but it makes that leap much easier.
Pandemic Update: Keeping my job through the Covid-19 pandemic gave me so much confidence. I actually found the recession to be loads of fun on a financial level, because once your job is optional it’s a somewhat recession-proof job since you don’t need the income.
6 – You liked your field once upon a time
Last but possibly most important – there’s a special place in your heart for what you do.
When you were fresh out of college you were excited about working in your field. Over the years you likely became jaded and grumpy but you did like it once.
“Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it … I have written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side—I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever.”Stephen King
If you cut out the crap, then there is a damn good chance that you will be able to rediscover your love of your work. Everyone wants to leave behind the bad parts of work in retirement, but having this retirement job can let you keep the good stuff too!
I love my job and the field I’m in largely because:
- I am not overworked anymore
- Don’t have financial worries
- When I do work I don’t have to do all the stuff I dislike.
Pandemic Update #2:
Because of my continued relationship with the working world, I have had some full-time offers float past me. Well, I accepted an 18-month temp job.
I wrote an article about it but in short:
-Its temporary nature should reduce possible stress.
-Covid during a Canadian winter will limit my fun drastically. So I might as well work.
TL;DR – Best retirement job = current one (modified)
- Retirement is about re-tuning your life to your priorities. You can still work if it helps make you happy.
- The best type of job is one where you get to show up when you want and do what you like… And that is possible with your existing job.
- The best retirement job is your job because it’s likely the best-paying, perkiest, social and loveable job you could have.
So did I convince you that keeping your job as a retirement job can make for an amazing post-retirement life? Next time, let’s go into the steps of making this happen, but for now, I want to hear from you: What is the one part of your current job you actually like?