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It's not all about the money: Top non-monetary reasons to keep working after retirement

Jan 5, 2012, 8:15 a.m.

Even though the percentage of people who seek out new job opportunities after reaching full retirement age is high, working after retirement isn't always an issue of money. Sure, there are plenty of people out there who'd rather be vacationing on a beach someplace but simply can't afford to do so. But for an increasing number of retirees, there are plenty of non-monetary reasons for not exiting the workforce.

The need for mental stimulation. Let's face it, not every available post-retirement job is going to be a mental challenge. But that doesn't mean it's not mentally or intellectually stimulating on some level. Even the most rudimentary of tasks can keep a mind from becoming idle, which can be a literal lifesaver for many.

Feeling of usefulness. It's no secret that taking on a part time job after reaching full retirement age is something many people do just to maintain that satisfying feeling of usefulness and productivity. There's great pride that comes from working after retirement that has nothing to do with earning money.

The need to stay active. If you spent the better part of the last 30 years on your feet at your place of employment, the sudden shift into retirement can play havoc on your body and can lead many people to gain weight and fall out of shape. For many, working after reaching full retirement age is something they do to stay fit and active.

Health insurance needs. Working after retirement is an excellent way of continuing to take advantage of health benefits, especially if you're able to find an employer who offers a good benefits package. Some retirees who have spouses in poor health continue to work after they reach retirement age so that they can better provide medical care for them.

Social interaction. Sometimes, retirement can ruin your social life. Especially if your circle of friends have always been people that you interact with on the job. For many retirees, the alternative of staying home makes them feel as if they're missing out on all the fun. If this sounds like you, you might consider sticking around after you hit retirement age, if for nothing more than the fringe benefits of keeping up with your circle of workplace pals.

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