Vol. 7, Issue 6November 2015


Part-Time Retirement

Retirement does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. If you are not ready to quit working entirely – because you either don’t want to or can’t afford to – working part-time for your company might be an option. And it is an option that is growing in acceptance among employers, who don’t want to lose their experienced workers completely. If you are interested in this approach, The American Grandparents Association has some tips for making the part-time plan work.

Start with research. If you enjoy your current job, check into whether there is a formal option for a phased retirement, in which you cut back your hours. If there is no formal plan, prepare to make your case with management. First, outline your importance to the company – the skills you bring, the experience you have. Then come up with an approach that would allow you to work reduced hours while still bringing that value. The idea is to make your plan beneficial to both you and to your company.

Stay flexible. For example, if your company is unwilling to keep you on part-time, perhaps you could work on individual projects. This consultant approach could allow the company to take advantage of your skills and experience without committing to a long-term part-time deal. It also could give you more flexibility to work less if you decide that’s what you want.

Think about the money. Obviously your salary will be lower if you work part-time. But don’t forget to consider the impact in areas like benefits and your Social Security payment.

Stay current. Since your value to your company depends in large part on your skills, keep them up-to-date. This is especially important if you’re planning to phase out over a long term – say, several years.

Learn to let go. The flip side of working less is developing activities and interests for when you are not working. Don’t neglect that part of the equation. Make the most of the time you are not working so that when you retire full-time, you have plenty of things to keep your life full and meaningful.

Photo: © Andreypopov |