June 17, 2024
I'm a Financial Advisor: Here Are 4 Money Moves To Make If You Decide To Unretire

The retirement landscape has shifted quite significantly since the pandemic and one of the changes that has occurred includes Americans “unretiring.”

And if you’re considering taking this step, you’re not alone having second thoughts. A whopping 20% of Americans have returned to work due to the rise of cost of living, according to a May 28 Indeed Flex survey. Meanwhile, one-third of retirees are considering between one and three shifts of temporary work per week, according to the survey.

Yet, if unretiring is something you’re considering, there are several factors to consider, and money moves to be as successful as possible.

“There are many reasons to rejoin the workforce after retiring, including needing additional income and/or experiencing financial setbacks, finding purpose in working, being able to fill up your days or having access to a community,” said Steve Sexton, CEO of Sexton Advisory Group. “That said, it’s important to consider the financial costs of returning to work after retiring.”

Here are some steps you should take to set yourself up financially if you decide to rejoin the workforce after retiring.

Social Security and Medicare

According to Sexton, for example, if you’ve already started collecting Social Security benefits, it is imperative to understand how returning to work impacts your monthly benefit payments.

“If you haven’t reached full retirement age and you’ve already started collecting Social Security benefits, your benefits may be withheld or you may be asked to pay back benefits you’ve received,” said Sexton. “If you’re already at full retirement age and choose to return to work, your benefits won’t be affected. If you’re below the full retirement age and you’re considering going back to work, the earnings test can help you determine how your benefits will be impacted.

In addition, Sexton said that if you’re on Medicare, it’s also critical to consider whether going back to work will impact your healthcare coverage — especially if your plan premiums are being deducted from your social security benefits check.

“Know that if you’ve applied for Medicare Part B and choose to keep this coverage upon returning to work, you’ll be billed for future premiums,” he noted.

If your plan is to rebuild your financial reserves and hopefully retire again, Sexton recommended prioritizing positions that offer a 401(k) retirement benefit with employee matching, which can accelerate your path to financial security in retirement.

Reassess your Financial Situation

An important step is to reassess if you have enough savings to sustain yourself until you receive income from your new job, according to some experts.

“It’s also important to review your health insurance coverage and any retirement benefits that may be impacted by returning to work,” said Michael Collins, CFA, CEO and founder, WinCap Financial.

Next, he said, create a budget for your new lifestyle taking into account potential changes in expenses such as commuting costs, work-related expenses and possibly higher taxes.

“This will help you estimate how much income you will need from your new job and how much you can contribute towards savings or other financial goals,” he added.

Are There Any Tax Implications?

Another factor to consider when rejoining the workforce after retiring is that there may be some tax implications to consider.

“Depending on your age, income level and type of retirement account withdrawals you may receive, there could be tax consequences,” said Collins.

For example, if you are over the age of 70.5 and have a traditional IRA or 401(k), you may be required to start taking minimum distributions which could impact your overall tax liability, he said, noting that it’s also important to keep in mind that any additional income from working could push you into a higher tax bracket.

“Consult with a tax professional before making any decisions to understand how returning to work may affect your taxes,” added Collins.

Planning for Eventually Retiring Again

Finally, you should also plan for retiring — again. In turn, experts said there are a few steps to take to be prepared.

First, set new retirement goals.

“Determine your new retirement goals, including your desired retirement age, lifestyle and financial needs,” said Tyler Meyer, CFP, founder of Retire To Abundance. “This will help you create a new retirement plan that aligns with your current situation and future aspirations.”

In addition, you should ensure that you have a robust emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or periods of unemployment, said Meyer.

“This fund will provide financial stability and peace of mind as you transition back into the workforce and eventually retire again,” he added.

He also recommended consulting a financial advisor who can help you navigate the complexities of unretiring and planning for a second retirement.

“They can provide personalized advice on managing your income, investments, taxes and retirement accounts to ensure you’re making the most of your financial opportunities,” added Meyer.

Finally, he also suggested maintaining a flexible investment strategy to reflect your new financial situation and risk tolerance.

“A diversified portfolio that balances growth and income can help you achieve your retirement goals while managing risk,” he said.

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