/ Asked by William
I am nearing early retirement at 60 yrs old and I'm ready to collect my retirement check but not ready to stop working. I presently work in Post Production with skills in Video Tape Editing and Motion Graphics at a university. I've learned my skills drilling reservist which at 60 that retirement check kicks in. Thinking about applying for the government but I hear tell that I can't collect a military retiree paycheck and work for the government at the same time. How realistic will it be to take early retirement from my civilian job at 60yrs old and do freelancing as a colorist?
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Depending upon what source you use, there are estimates that 10-17 million Americans are self-employed/independent workers, many of whom are retired/retiring Baby Boomers.  I would urge you to take an honest look at you finances and speak with a financial specialist if you are able to determine what you would need to take home in a part-time role to give you at least the same standard of living that you have now with your retirement check as the main point of your income.  If you are not ready to hang your shingle out solo just yet, you may want to look into taking on a few contract roles with a sourcing company to get yourself started and see if freelancing is something that you really want to do as a part of your next phase in life.  Congratulations on your retirement and enjoy this next stage of your life!   
Answered by Bryan, Hiring Expert at IBM Corporation, on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I should probably first point that a hero of mine is an individual by the name of  Hélio Gracie.  If you ever have a chance, do a quick internet search on him.  Essentially, he helped to revolutionize a type of martial art and his family name has been recognized worldwide for bringing the knowledge of that martial art to the world.  What was so impressive about him to me though is that he was training, teaching and fighting well into his nineties.   You are probably asking why I am bringing him up as part of your question.  Here is the answer....It comes down to you. 

Are you the type of person that is willing and able to take a risk that might mean more flexibility and time in your personal life?  Have you done a personal assessment of your skills and the market demand for contractors and freelancers with similar skills?  Do you have the ability to live on your retirement and savings for 6 months, a year or longer if you have some downtime between projects?   Do you have a strong network in the industry?  These are just some of the questions that you should spend some time thinking about before making a decision. 
 
If you are passionate about what you do, can find a way to separate yourself through your skills and are not afraid of taking calculated risks, then you will find a way to be successful as a freelancer for many years to come.  

Answered by Sharon, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, November 3, 2014
The answer to this question is really up to you. You have to evaluate whether you can live off your retirement income alone until income from freelancing begins. Will you need to adjust your lifestyle to do this? Are you willing to adjust your lifestyle? Freelancing typically takes up to a year or so until you see an income stream. I would encourage you to look at elance.com, flexjobs.com, and fiverr.com to get started. Good luck. It's really a leap of faith.
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