Feeling restless in retirement? Well, the gig economy might be your answer to those post-retirement jitters. Whether you want to make a little scratch on the side or just want to keep working on your terms, gig work could be a great option.
What is the Gig Economy in Retirement?
The “Gig Economy” consists of independent contractors, part-time workers, freelancers, and seasonal employees along with other forms of temporary work. Recently, options for gig work have been booming and the senior community has taken notice. According to a 2017 Prudential Financial survey, 31% of gig workers are baby boomers and 34% of those are retired. There are lots of different forms of gig work, but the most popular are:
- Short, independent contractors
- Seasonal workers
Why Be Part of Gig Work?
There are roughly 45 million seniors in the united states. This is about 15% of the total population and it is only going up. As the expected retired population rises, fewer people can afford to quit working and live off of Medicare and Social Security. And many simply don’t want to. This is where the gig economy comes in. Some of the most popular reasons for seniors to participate in gig work are:
- Lack of money for retirement
- Lack of government benefits
- To stay active
- Flexible work schedule
- Desire to keep learning
- Desire to keep working
Effects of Working in the Gig Economy in Retirement
Gig work comes with some serious benefits, but also has a few downsides. Due to some complications, some seniors may be apprehensive about getting a gig job in retirement. Here are some of the pros and cons to gig jobs in retirement:
One situation that comes into play when you are a gig worker in retirement is managing your taxes. Because you are not an official employee, you will be responsible for your own taxes from your wages at the end of the year.
You should set aside anywhere between 20-30% of your income to pay your taxes. This should be part of your factor for monthly earning. Also, keep in mind you will need to use a different tax form.
One reason seniors work past 65 is the need for health insurance. With lower retirement funds, higher Medicare premiums, and less money in monthly Social Security checks seniors may not have enough to cover medical bills. Though gig work doesn’t often come with health benefits, it can help mitigate the cost.
Flexibility is the leading reason anyone, including seniors, joins the gig economy. You can take or leave any work you like and make your own hours for work. Gigs allow you to enjoy a level of freedom and choice few rarely get in non-gig work.
Now that you know the basics, here are the most common gigs for people of all ages:
- Driving for Uber/Lyft.
- Become a host on AirB&B
- Professional consultant
- Online teaching
- Child sitting
- Pet sitting
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Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.