Retirement pro tip: Try it part-time first

We’ve heard the word ‘semi-retirement’ tossed around, but we’re never exactly sure what it means. Is it synonymous with early retirement? Is a semi-retired person a retiree-in-training? A provisional retiree, if you will? The definition seems to change with the situation. Enter Dave Bernard, one of our favorite writers on the subject, with a new catch phrase.  In his post, “The Joy of Part-Time Retirement,” Dave shares his rules for working during retirement on your own terms – if, when, where and how you want to work. (Cue Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”)

There are also financial considerations (and rules – hello, Social Security!) to take into account before you plunge into the gig economy or part-time workaday world.

For many of us, “part-time retirement” seems like the way to go. But, it’s still retirement, requiring comprehensive, intergrated planning to be successful. Whether you’re working from the beach for three hours each morning or taking small consulting jobs for favorite nonprofits, your life will have changed. It’s important to get your financial ducks in a row, as well as understanding how this new phase will affect your health and nutrition, social life, self identity and personal relationships.

Some questions to ask:

  • Can I ease into a part-time situation where I work now?
  • Am I ready to transition to a smaller paycheck and/or on-again-off-again employment?
  • How will I balance my days for work and play?
  • Am I managing my stress level, in general, enough to take on a new lifestyle right now?
  • What will my spouse or partner think about my new schedule? Will he/she resent me for working part-time when he/she is still working a full day?
  • If I leave my current co-workers and friends for parts-ime work elsewhere, do I have a plan to stay in touch?

If you’re thinking about transitioning into part-time retirement, start by taking our complimentary Fit-To-Retire readiness assessment. It will show you how prepared and enthusiastic you are – in each of five critical categories – about retirement….even if it’s only part-time.


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