8 Signs That It’s Time for You to Unretire

Older worker
Chaay_Tee / Shutterstock.com

After spending decades in the workplace, retirement may sound attractive. But many people develop second thoughts soon after leaving their jobs.

Just because someone is 65 or older doesn’t mean they’re ready to stop working. Some people miss their workplace colleagues and the sense of purpose that came from holding a job.

“If you’re an energetic person who wants to feel alive, you’re not going to feel happy sitting back and watching TV in retirement,” said Liliane Choney, executive director of ReVisions Resources, a nonprofit organization that helps seniors live independently.

If you’re motivated and in good health, returning to work is often the right thing to do. Here are some signs that it is time to unretire.

1. You’re having trouble making ends meet

Older man looking at documents, with surprised expression,
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com

Many people have trouble saving enough money to finance their retirement. Typically, Social Security benefits don’t provide enough income to maintain your lifestyle in retirement. Also, if you had children late in life, you may even face college expenses after leaving work.

One solution is to work a few years longer. That way, you can boost your income and gain more time to save money. Each year spent on the job means one less year you’ll need to rely on savings during retirement.

2. You’re becoming too sedentary

goodluz / Shutterstock.com

One benefit of going back to work is that it may improve your health. According to the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, many published studies suggest a connection between job satisfaction and good health.

Idle people are more prone to illness. Some retirees are able to replace work activities with pastimes that keep them active, but not everyone is good at making the transition.

A study of individuals age 50 and older by the Harvard School of Public Health found that those who had stopped working were 40% more likely to have heart attacks or strokes than those who continued their careers.

3. You can’t adjust to your new life

A man scratches his head while trying to think
Cameron Whitman / Shutterstock.com

Adjusting to life without a work schedule can be difficult. Some people pursue hobbies in retirement or fill their time with travel. But not everyone enjoys such activities.

If you’re bored and unhappy without a work schedule, you might be better off rejoining the workforce. For some, the right solution is going back to work part time, says economist Eric Tyson. This helps people gradually adjust to life in retirement.

4. You’ve lost social connections

work stress
pathdoc / Shutterstock.com

Losing relationships with work colleagues can leave you feeling lost and lonely.

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that loneliness and feelings of isolation can trigger physiological changes that increase the risk of premature death in older persons by 14%.

Isolation can disrupt sleep, raise blood pressure and increase stress. If you miss work colleagues and have trouble making new friends, going back to work could make you happier.

5. You love being in the workplace

pikselstock / Shutterstock.com

If you were lucky enough to enjoy what you did for a living, it’s understandable that you’d want to return to the workplace. Some people don’t realize how much they like working until they stop, says Tyson.

After retirement, you may find yourself longing for old work activities — even the ones you didn’t appreciate before retiring.

6. You’re ready to start over in the workplace

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Returning to work after retirement is a challenge. Once you’re out of the workplace, it can be hard to get back in, so you need to be highly motivated.

You may face age discrimination. Among older workers surveyed by AARP, not getting hired is the most common type of age discrimination they have experienced.

If you have been retired a year or longer, be prepared to address the “employment gap” on your resume. This may cause potential employers to question your dedication or willingness to remain on the job for a reasonable period of time.

“If you tell people, ‘I wanted to retire, but then I realized I missed working,’ employers are open to that,” says Tyson.

7. You have a great idea for a new business

older worker
michaeljung / Shutterstock.com

If you have decades of valuable experience working for others, now may be the time to put it to use for yourself by starting a business.

If you have a genuinely good idea for a business, age should be no barrier. Your business plan should explain why your idea is a good one, how the business will operate and what your anticipated expenses and earnings will be. Just be cautious.

“You have to really be mindful of whether you have the experience to do it and how realistic [the idea] is,” Choney says.

8. It’s time to pursue your passion

seniors
pikselstock / Shutterstock.com

Young adults raising families are reluctant to abandon the security of steady jobs to pursue risky careers, even if that is where their passions lie.

Once you have a secure retirement income from Social Security benefits, investments and/or a pension, you gain the freedom to take a chance on a passion-driven career — such as chef, artist or performer.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There

Yes, I’ve been shopping on Amazon since the 1990s. These are among my most beloved buys.

8 Products That Make It Easier to Get Fit
8 Products That Make It Easier to Get Fit

Amazon reviewers give high marks to these tools that can help you get in shape without a gym.

How Baby Boomers Are Earning an Extra $573 a Month
How Baby Boomers Are Earning an Extra $573 a Month

In the gig economy, baby boomers are out-hustling their younger competition. You can cash in, too.

7 Surprising Benefits of Staying Fit in Retirement
7 Surprising Benefits of Staying Fit in Retirement

Improving your overall physical health is just one reason to stay active after 50.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.