No slowing down for retired master of make-up

pension security

Raili Hulkkonen is a familiar name from Finnish fashion magazines. The credits often state: “Make-up by Raili Hulkkonen”. Make-up artist Hulkkonen is now into her sixth year of retirement on a self-employed person’s pension. She is, however, as busy as ever.

“I have always been a very work-oriented person. When there is a demand it’s very hard to turn down work. I love working. It is my way of life, I’m afraid,” Hulkkonen says with a laugh.

Working all over the country

Today, Raili Hulkkonen is headed to Turku. She will be helping customers select the perfect pair of glasses at an opticians. She spends many days on the road, travelling all over the country. Her autumn schedule has included Rauma, Kajaani, Seinäjoki, Lappeenranta, Kuopio and Vaasa among others.

“I give advice concerning glasses over two or three weeks in the autumn and spring. I wish to help people all over Finland. The work is meaningful and offers new experiences,” says Hulkkonen.

Two-week vacation

Of course Hulkkonen also still does make-up, such as her nine-year stretch of work with the Finnish version of Strictly Come Dancing. Hulkkonen’s Puuterihuone studio in Helsinki is popular with private customers from all over the country and she does a lot of photoshoots together with artists. Giving lectures also keeps the pensioner-entrepreneur busy.

“Almost every day is a working day. Last year, I had two weeks of summer vacation and five days in the autumn,” she says with some surprise.

Real retirement awaits

Raili Hulkkonen just turned 69. She is full of energy, but on the other hand:

“When it’s time to retire for real I want to be in good shape. That is why I need to take my work load down a notch. And I definitely want to quit while I’m still in demand!

“There hasn’t been a difference between my career and retirement. I think it’s worth working while you’re retired, if it’s at all possible. It is very invigorating. It’s dangerous to just sit back and relax; it can bring many painful things to the surface.”

Look into things

In addition to the pleasure her work brings, Raili Hulkkonen has another reason to keep working. The contributions she paid into her self-employed persons’ pension were too small.

“I recommend looking into financial and pension matters carefully. I haven’t always been so good at that. I hope other people will be smarter. Then you can enjoy your money and do all sorts of things when you retire,” Hulkkonen says.

Rules for working while retired

Working as either a self-employed person or employee does not affect the amount of old-age pension. Of course the more you earn, the more you pay taxes. In other forms of pension, such as part-time pension, there are limits within which total earnings need to remain.

If you are interested in working during retirement, you can find the rules for doing so on Varma’s website, for example.

  • Information on working during retirement
  • Information on the link between self-employed person’s social security and YEL insurance

Text: Riitta Gullman

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