No matter what they tell themselves, most people have a hard time letting go when it comes time to retire. Honestly, there are only so many vacations, fishing trips, or children to visit before most people get a little loopy. Also, no matter how much you may love you spouse, two people aren’t meant to spend 20 hours a day together in a house staring at a television.
It is also difficult for many people to break their old habits. If you just spent the last 35 years of your life doing the same thing, with the same people, then it is extremely hard to stop just because you tell yourself that you are now in the “retirement” stage of your life. Most people in this situation make the decision to continue working, at least part time.
Just Like the Old Job, but Different.
The number one working option for retirees is simply doing whatever it was they did before they retired on a smaller scale. My wife’s grandfather was a carpenter/painter before he retired. After he retired, he and his younger (also retired) brother opened a woodworking shop. Now most of the time they just took turns building furniture for their respective grandchildren, but every once in a while they were able to complete a paying project for someone in the neighborhood.
The internet has made it possible for virtually anyone with a modicum of skill to connect with someone else in the world who wants to pay them for the application of that skill. Whether it is writing, coding, data transcription, or something more tangible, people need qualified individuals to complete a variety of short term tasks. The benefit of freelancing is that retirees can fit projects in around their normal daily schedule or previously scheduled nap time.
Learn Something New
Continuing Education is an important part of growing old, because studies show that remaining physically and mentally stimulated can delay the onset of dementia and other mentally debilitating afflictions. Beyond that, many individuals find a rewarding second career in something they were always interested in but never had the time to pursue. Again, the ultimate goal here is not to generate enough income to live, but to remain productively occupied while earning enough money to subsidize an existing retirement plan.