Many people who waited eagerly for the day they could stop working and enjoy a leisurely retirement find that the reality doesn’t match their dreams.
“Some people are not prepared financially or mentally to retire,” says Michael Bivona, a retired CPA and author of the book “Retiring? Beware!! Don’t Run Out of Money and Don’t Become Bored”.
He suggests a part-time job provides a possible solution for both deficiencies – giving a boost to your bank account and a mission to your daily living that another round of golf just isn’t supplying.
“I don’t think many people realize that they may live 30 to 40 years after leaving the workforce,” Bivona says. “The amount of money required to sustain a comfortable lifestyle is staggering.”
Meanwhile, boredom becomes an insidious enemy, even for retirees with a beloved pastime they hoped to make the centerpiece of their existence. Playing tennis or lying on the beach is relaxing and pleasurable when done once a week or a couple of times a month. But the novelty wears off quickly when it becomes a person’s primary occupation, Bivona says.
He suggests a few part-time job possibilities that could work out nicely for retirees, whether their needs are financial or they just want a place to go every day to mingle with co-workers:
• Cruise ship employment. This is an ideal way to combine a part-time job with pleasure, Bivona says. The ships provide room and board and the use of their facilities when the workers are not plying their trade. Possible jobs onboard cruise ships include golf instructors, scuba diving/water sports instructors, bridge instructors, arts and crafts instructors, caricature artists, dance instructors and photographers.
“The opportunities on cruise ships are endless,” Bivona says. “Where else can retirees spend time teaching what they enjoy while traveling around the world, eating wonderful food and earning extra pocket money? I have a friend who has been a dance host on ships for six years, and plans on continuing for as long as his legs hold out.”
• Librarian. Part-time work at the local library could be a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys being around both books and other people who appreciate them. The duties include answering customers’ questions, shelving books, helping patrons check out books, tracking overdue materials and cataloging and keeping an eye out for lost and damaged items.
• Bookkeeper. If you have the right experience with bookkeeping and computer applications, then this can be a good possibility. Usually, the opportunities are with small businesses and entail a full sweep of financial record keeping. Duties may include establishing and maintaining inventory database systems, tracing accounts receivable and accounts payable, maintaining checking and savings accounts, producing financial reports and following up on delinquent accounts.
• Virtual assistant. This is a job you can do from your home. The main purpose of a virtual assistant is to assist busy business executives who do not have in-house staff to attend to various administrative functions. These positions have become available due to small companies trying to keep permanent overhead costs down. Training programs are available at community colleges, many of which offer online certifications. The duties of an assistant include making travel arrangements, sending out letters and providing other support services, which are easily handled remotely via email and telephone.
“If you look around, there are a multitude of opportunities out there,” Bivona says. “I recommend first trying to find something you have a passion for. But if you aren’t successful with that, widen the search because there are plenty of other possibilities that will put extra money in your pocketbook.”
About Michael Bivona: Michael Bivona, a certified public accountant, retired from the accounting profession and the computer-enhancement industry. He is an award-winning author and has written “Dancing Around the World with Mike and Barbara Bivona;” “Was That Me? Turning Points in my Life;” “Retired? What’s Next?”; “Business Infrastructure in a Computer Environment;” and “Retiring? Beware!! Don’t Run Out of Money and Don’t Become Bored.” In 2007 he was the recipient of the prestigious Long Island University Distinguished Alumni Award. He has two children and lives with his wife, Barbara, on Long Island, New York, and in Delray Beach, Florida.
“ ‘Holistic’ usually has the medical connotation of overall physical well-being, but I’d like to co-opt the term to highlight the importance of an individual’s economic welfare, which so often requires professional attention and a comprehensive financial strategy,” says Cassidy, co-president of Senior Planning Advisors.
“Healthy eating, stress-relieving vacations and many other activities that keep one engaged in a fulfilling lifestyle – all of these things can add up, and it’s not greedy to want these things.”
Having a well-balanced, holistic financial plan is equally important, especially as individuals approach retirement, Cassidy says. Such a blueprint should cover guaranteed income planning, wealth management, tax minimization strategies, long-term care planning and legacy planning.
“You’ll want a model that integrates all of those criteria, but a truly holistic approach is resource-laden and hard work,” he says. “Most financial professionals are narrowly focused and aren’t interested in harmonizing the big-picture perspective. That’s why it’s worth cross-checking the qualifications of a professional who is planning your financial destiny.”
Cassidy reviews some criteria you’ll want to consider in selecting a financial advisor.
• RIA. This became an important acronym in 1940 with the Investment Advisers Act. An RIA is, in part, defined as a “person or firm that, for compensation, is engaged in the act of providing advice, making recommendations, issuing reports or furnishing analyses on securities, either directly or through publications.” In other words, a person or firm with the RIA designation is always guided by the best interest of the client, and not the advisor or firm itself.
• Veiled salesperson. “There is a huge debate going on in our industry regarding the standards that guide our practice,” he says. “Unfortunately, the bar is fairly low if you want to be a financial professional.” Currently, most financial advisors are not fiduciaries, obligated to do what is in the best interest of the client. However, there is a push to raise the bar. You’ll want an advisor who actually cares about your financial well-being, who is more than simply transactional and only selling products.
• Education. Unfortunately, most middle-income Americans who are 50 or older never have been educated on the essential components of a holistic financial plan associated with retirement.
“We offer a course titled ‘Retirement Elevated,’ held at the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School and Eastern Michigan University, which educates seniors on the essential aspects of retirement,” Cassidy says. “Having an advisor you can trust and being better educated yourself can make the difference between working through retirement and enjoying years that are truly golden.”
• Time. For some folks in any industry, customer service can be as shallow as a smiling face and a “Thanks, have a nice day!” Real customer service, on the other hand, involves putting in the time, utilizing professional resources and being honest about a client’s well-being.
“We’re all clients of someone, and I know how I’d like to be treated,” Cassidy says. “Putting in the time and effort is important. We put in at least 30 hours designing and implementing a holistic retirement plan.”
About Kirk Cassidy: Kirk Cassidy is president of Senior Planning Advisors and Strategic Investment Advisors and is among the prestigious financial advisors who have attained the level of “Top of the Table” for the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). This positions Cassidy into the top one quarter to one percent of all Financial Advisors in the country. These individuals are committed to providing exemplary client services while displaying the highest standards of ethics and professional knowledge. He holds a series 65 securities license and an insurance license in Michigan and other states.