‘Great Resignation’ Creates Job Openings for Retirees

There may also be financial considerations. If a retiree is collecting Social Security and has not reached full retirement age and also earns income from work, his or her retirement benefit may be reduced for that year. And if the employee is taking disbursements from a qualified retirement plan, earnings may bump him into a higher tax bracket. So, it’s important for any retiree receiving retirement benefits to consult a tax professional to determine the impact of taking a job on her overall financial situation.

Winning retirees back

It’s not a given that retirees who resume working will go back to where they worked last. In the Resume Builder survey, of the retirees who said they would consider going back to work, just 41 percent said they would go back to their former position, while 59 percent would look elsewhere.

Employers and retirees should have frank conversations about the value they bring and the role that needs to be filled, Botts says. Retirees may be looking for remote work options, as well as the ability to make a difference in the organization, she adds. One of the opportunities O’Connell is considering is in the oil and gas industry. While he says he doesn’t have experience in that area, his logistics and operational skills are transferrable. “And with that comes the notion of coaching more junior managers,” he says. “Oil and gas, finance, the real estate sector, insurance sector. It’s interesting, the number of sectors that are reaching out [to me],” he adds.

And if the retiree has been away from the workforce for a longer period of time, it may worthwhile to ask whether potential employers support programs to help returnees get up to speed and comfortable with changes in technology and other organizational aspects, Cohen says. Such programs can help build confidence, upskill employees and give new hires an opportunity to meet other people in the organization.

The state of the labor market and the “Great Resignation” — as the current exodus of employees leaving jobs has been called — offer new opportunities for retirees who may want to get back to work. As these experienced professionals decide to update their résumés and LinkedIn profiles, they may also be an important solution for companies struggling to find the right talent.

Gwen Moran is a contributing writer for AARP who specializes in business and finance. Her work has appeared in many leading business publications and websites, including Entrepreneur, Kiplinger.com, Newsweek.com, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article published on Jan. 13, 2022, misidentified Laurel McDowell as ManpowerGroup franchise owner. McDowell was a market manager for that business.


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