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Fancy contracting after retirement? How to plan your post-retirement career

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Thursday 30th Jun, 2016

The era of retiring in your 50's for a life of leisure has long since passed. With rising life expectancy and greater financial constraints, there is now an increasing trend for individuals to work well into their retirement age.

A new online poll by Skipton Building Society of over 2,000 UK citizens has found that "more than half of those surveyed expect to continue working during what might have previously been viewed as a traditional retirement".

However, financial reasons haven’t been the only pull into working later in life, with many individuals viewing their career as a way to keep active and provide personal and professional fulfilment. The online poll found that "the average retiree gets bored of not working after only ten months and will then look for other ways in which to fill their time."

A survey carried out by Merrill Lynch showed that most retirees don't want to work the typical 9-5 work scheduled with just 5% preferring full-time employment, 35% opting for temporary employment and 33% wanting to rotate between work and leisure.

For those wanting to rotate between work and leisure, they may want to think about working as a contractor. This way they can pick and choose what contracts they take meaning they can work as little or as much as they like. Bearing this in mind, we have highlighted key points to consider when planning your post-retirement career.

How much money do you need to earn?

If your post-retirement career plan is financially driven, then you will likely have to seek contracts in the same or similar field as to your previous profession. Depending on your skillset, you may find that you can earn more than when you were working on a permanent basis. This would be particularly true if your skillset was within a sector that is currently experiencing a skills shortage such as engineering and technical, hospitality, health and social care and technology.

If you plan to seek a number of long term contracts, than choosing to work as a limited company contractor may be the ideal solution for you as it allows you to work in the most tax-efficient way, therefore supporting your financially driven, post-retirement work plan.

How much travelling do you want to do?

If, on the other hand, your plan is driven by a little bit of working and a lot of travel then you'll have to think carefully about how to develop a location based contracting career.

One option could be to choose a role that operates seasonally such as a university lecturer, so you'd have large chunks of the year free to travel. Another option could be to become a digital nomad, where you can work from any location online. With the creation of cloud based software it makes working in a virtual role more accessible for contractors. Some roles that lend themselves well to working in this way include web designers, writers and digital marketers.

Researching roles like this and finding out what skills you'd need to develop in order to be able to offer your skills on a virtual basis, could be your first step in planning your post-retirement career that is arranged around your desire to travel.

Just looking to reduce the amount of hours you work?

If you're not looking for a radical career change and you're happy with the profession that you're working in, but would simply like to take it down a notch, you have some options available to you. You could to speak to your current employer about the possibility of transitioning from your full-time role into a contract consultant role where you would be brought in to focus on specific projects. This can help you ease into your retirement rather than stopping work completely. The other option could again be to work on a consultant basis but with other industry contacts that you will have made during your career.

If you want more of an extreme change, into a completely new field, then networking and skill building are essential in getting you prepared for your post-retirement career.

Looking for a change - How can you start test-driving your future career now?

If you're wanting to change your career path completely following retirement but you're not sure what in, then it's good to be proactive and if possible try and test out different opportunities before you retire.

Remember, the further in advance you start planning, the easier it will be to transition into your new contracting career once your retire.

With the vast majority of individuals wanting to continue working well into their retirement years, contracting, with its many benefits, offers the perfect post-career solution. Find out how PayStream's umbrella or limited company service can make contracting easy for you if you decide that working as a contractor is the right fit for you.

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