Options for work in retirement
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
3/21/12 at 4:34 AM
stories to help
you with your
2011 tax forms.
Retirement often means quitting a regular job and working part time to make ends meet. It might mean staying at your same job but putting in fewer hours, says the Bankrate.com website.
Retirement is impossible for those who "got out of the market" in their 401(k) allocations as the Great Recession began but failed to get back in before the market rallied in 2009.
Consult or freelance: Many consulting companies need people on a "project basis." Go online or write whoever heads the unit you want to join. Companies that downsized often look for freelancers to fill staff gaps.
Do the same job less: Often it's possible to "take your best clients with you" when you leave a major company. Many professional jobs allow "phased transitions" from full time to part time. Check with your human resources department on this.
Research for businesses or universities: Use your experience with research to get a part-time job at a local university or library assisting their archivists in answering questions from the student body or the public. Let departments related to your area of expertise know you're available on the cheap.
Government: Age discrimination is less likely in government jobs. Government agencies have seasonal and part-time work. Visit USAJobs.gov at tulsaworld.com/USAJobs
Think seasonal: Retailers need part-time workers during the holiday season.
Show team spirit: Many sports teams hire workers seasonally or part time. These kinds of jobs can run the gamut from ushering spectators to their seats to running the front office. Such jobs are rarely advertised, and you must be willing to start at the bottom of the ladder. Call your local ball club.
Customer service: Many older workers excel at customer service. Retirees can often work from home as customer service agents and still be able to travel and enjoy retirement. Many older workers find "help desk" jobs that require the kind of knowledge they have amassed over their lifetimes of work
Monetize your skills: Look at what you're good at and try to find a way to make money from it. If you're handy around the house, you can find work helping people unstop their sinks, put together their bookshelves or hang pictures. If you're good with a needle, you could alter clothes or fix torn hems. Tell your friends and family, post fliers and connect with places that might need your skills.
Teach or tutor: Many organizations need class instructors for enrichment (noncredit) classes. Often the only credential you need is experience. Try local colleges or universities, art centers or parks and recreation centers. Become an English tutor.
Do I have to pay taxes on Social Security?
Many people might not realize their 2011 Social Security benefits might be taxable, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has a helpful fact sheet at tulsaworld.com/IRS7SStaxabletips
All Social Security recipients should receive "Form SSA-1099" from the Social Security Administration that shows the total amount of their benefits.
Use the following to help you determine if your benefits are taxable.
Amount: How much - if any - of your Social Security benefits are taxable depends on your total income and marital status.
SS only: Generally, if Social Security benefits were your only income for 2011, your benefits are not taxable and you probably do not need to file a federal income tax return.
Other income: If you received income from other sources, your benefits will not be taxed unless your modified adjusted gross income is more than the base amount for your filing status. The 2011 base amounts are $32,000 for married couples filing jointly or $25,000 for the filing statuses "single," "head of household," "qualifying widow/widower with a dependent child," or "married individuals filing separately" who did not live with their spouses during the year - $0 for "married persons filing separately" who lived together.
Forms 1040A or 1040: Your taxable benefits and modified adjusted gross income are figured on a worksheet in the Form 1040A or Form 1040 instruction booklet. Your tax software program will also figure this for you.
Quick estimate: Do the following quick computation to determine whether some of your benefits are taxable or not. Add one-half of your total Social Security benefits to all your other income. Compare this total to the base amount for your filing status. If the total is more than your base amount, some of your benefits may be taxable.
Publication 915: For more information on the taxability of Social Security benefits, see IRS "Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits" at tulsaworld.com/IRSPub915 or by calling 800-829-3676.
Tulsa World consumer writer Phil Mulkins wants to know which topics interest you. Call 918-699-8888, email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Tulsa World Consumer, PO Box 1770, Tulsa, OK 74102-1770.