Ideas about getting a job to supplement your income in retirement sound great in theory, but in practice, well, that might be another story.  In a superb article, providing “the lowdown on whether you can find a job when you’re at or past retirement age,” USA Today’s Rodney Brooks covers the issue. The piece is excerpted in a series of blogs:

“For you pre-retirees who didn’t save enough and are planning to work in retirement to help pay for your golden years, you may be in for a rude awakening. Oh, and you pre-retirees who have saved enough money but just want to continue to work because you want to be engaged, you, too, may be in for a rude awakening. The fact is, only a small percentage of people who plan to work in retirement are actually able to do it.

“’The portion of pre-retirees who say they expect to work in retirement is very high’, between 60% and 80%, says Sara Rix, strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute in Washington. But the reality is that the proportion of people who actually work in retirement is much lower.  In 2012, only 18.2% of people 65 and older were working. While that’s up significantly from 10.8% in 1985, Rix says it’s a lot lower than the number who expected to work.

“Laurie McCann, senior attorney with AARP Foundation Litigation, says older workers who were laid off during the Great Recession thought they would have no problem getting a new job, because they were very skilled. ‘When they finally get around to looking for another job, age discrimination rears its ugly head, and severance is running out’, she says.

“Older workers face far longer periods of unemployment, McCann says. ‘Many fall into the category of discouraged workers. Some just give up. For those who do find re-employment, it’s often for far less money than they were making’.

“The other huge issue for retires wanting and hoping to continue working is health. A recent study of Boomers by MetLife Market Institute found that health issues were the reason 17% of older Boomers retired, Rix says.

“But despite age discrimination and health care issues, financial planners and life coaches say there are things you should consider doing that will make your transition to a working retirement easier. The next blog will begin outlining some of those steps covered in the article, beginning with . . .

 Start planning long before you retire.