Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Self-employment could serve as a transition into retirement for those who wish to phase into retirement but whose jobs may not allow them to do that, according to a report from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies.

In a survey of self-employed people, factors often cited by those wishing to phase into retirement commonly were mentioned as top reasons for becoming self-employed. Those included being one’s own boss, working a more flexible schedule and choice of work location. Further, the self-employed were more likely to consider themselves very successful in maintaining a work-life balance than salaried wrkers.

In the federal government, the phased retirement program was intended to help employees fulfill those desires while remaining federal employees and passing along their expertise; however, the program remains little-used five years after its introduction.

Factors such as having lost a job and being unable to find another, tax reasons and even the opportunity to make more money were much less common reasons for becoming self-employed.

The survey also suggests that self-employment may be a better fit than salaried employment for those who want to continue working longer or not retire at all, as increasing numbers of workers say they intend. Of self-employed persons, 29 percent said they don’t plan to retire until age 70 or older or not at all compared with just 25 and 14 percent, respectively, among salaried workers.

Also: Among those who plan to continue to work after age 65, 54 percent of the self-employed said one reason was that they enjoy what they do while of salaried employees only 34 percent cited that as a reason.