The key to finding satisfying work in retirement Nancy Collamer, a work and purpose blogger for Next Avenue, recently wrote about finding work after retirement. In her blog post, she wrote about how retirees looking for work should first determine why they want to work in their retirement. Here’s what she had to say: Why do you want to work part-time in retirement? I realize that might strike you as a strange question. After all, the obvious answer is: to supplement my retirement income. But beyond the paycheck, what do you hope to get out of working? It’s an important question to ponder. Because when you really understand what’s most important to you about working — both the financial rewards and intrinsic motivators like finding joy from helping others — it becomes far easier to zero in on satisfying options. While this is true for career changers of all ages, it’s an especially important consideration when planning a semi-retirement career. This may be the first time in your working life you get a chance to consider what you want to do as opposed to what you can or should do. A recent FlexJobs survey of nearly 1,000 people 50 and older found that 21 percent work because they need to, but 65 percent work because they both want and need to; another 13 percent work simply because they want to. This may be the first time in your working life you get a chance to consider what you want to do as opposed to what you can or should do. While 72 percent said they work to pay for basic necessities, other financial drivers included paying for: luxury items (42 percent); health-related issues (36 percent); retirement savings (35 percent); travel (26 percent); kids’ private school or college (19 percent); continuing education (18 percent) and other child-related costs (10 percent). Whatever your financial goals, I encourage you to write them down for future reference. Understanding how much income you need, as well as how much you want, will make it easier to evaluate the viability of work opportunities going forward. But now I want to get back to my earlier question. Beyond the financial rewards, what do you hope to gain by working in retirement? Work provides us with a wide range of social, emotional and personal benefits including intellectual stimulation, social connection and the opportunity to make a difference in the world. And the recognition, praise and accolades we get at work make us feel valued and needed as well.