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8 Best Job Ideas for Retirees & Seniors

By Kira Botkin

retired coupleWhile at work, many of us dream of having time off to fill our days vacationing, playing golf, and relaxing with loved ones. But when retirement comes, we may actually find that we miss the work!

There are myriad reasons to continue to work after retirement: it can help you stay physically and mentally healthy, and provides an additional source of income. You may wish to find a job in your field with more flexibility, fewer hours, and less stress, or you could get started in a new career field. Instead of fitting your life around your job, you can look for jobs that allow you to pursue your interests. This can be a dream come true for a retiree.

If you plan to work after retirement, take a look at some of the companies on AARP’s list of the 50 best employers for workers over 50. In addition, check out these ideas to find a job that suits your post-retirement needs.

Employment for Seniors

1. Work for Your Former Employer

If you enjoyed the work you did before retirement, consider working part-time for your former employer. Since employers hate to lose valuable employees, your old boss may jump at the chance to hire you back, even if you require a less intensive or more flexible schedule. This will allow you to renew contact with old coworkers and continue a job that you always enjoyed – but now according to your schedule.

2. Work as a Consultant

Retired individuals with advanced degrees or specialized experience can consider a career in consulting. Consultants can leverage their years of expertise, training, and connections and set their hours to avoid a full-time workload.

For example, retirees with experience in programming, website development, finance, and litigation are highly sought after. In fact, many companies can afford to pay consultants high fees because they don’t have to pay for their benefits. One drawback, however, is that you might find demand for your skills sporadic. This depends on where you live and how quickly you build your clientele.

When you begin working as a contractor or a consultant, think of ways to find more work once your current assignment ends. Taking on short-term or part-time jobs can expand your network of professional contacts, which may help you find work in the future. Another option for consultants is to sign up with a headhunter or job placement firm. Though these companies may take a cut of your earnings, they have access to a large database of companies that may need your services.

retired consultant

3. Start a Retail Business

Many retirees opt to open their own retail business. If you have a large collection of any kind, an attic full of dusty antiques, or boxes of books you no longer read, you may have the initial inventory needed for your own retail business.

The Internet makes it easy to start a new online business because of the relatively low overhead costs of selling and advertising online through sites like eBay and Craigslist. Additionally, you can sell items in a rented space at a brick-and-mortar store, or rent a booth at a flea market.

If you plan to start your own business, look to your local chamber of commerce and the Small Business Administration for resources. You can also start a website to advertise your services, and utilize social media to promote your business.

4. Seek Out Low-Stress, Part-Time Work

If you just want to stay active and in touch with other people, look for low-stress work with light responsibility. Here are some of the most popular part-time jobs for retirees:

  • Retail Positions. These jobs don’t pay high salaries, but they do offer flexible schedules. Plus, they exist everywhere.
  • Call Center Jobs. In a call center, employees spend most of their time sitting and talking on the phone, which can be great for seniors with low mobility. In fact, a number of companies allow customer service representatives to work from home.
  • Teaching Assistants and Tutors. Retirees who enjoy working with students might enjoy being a teaching assistant or a tutor. Universities sometimes hire teaching assistants for a small hourly wage or a flat fee. Tutors, on the other hand, can be self-employed or work with a larger organization.
  • Childcare Services. Childcare remains a constant need for busy families. You can babysit as needed for friends, family, and neighbors for extra income, or offer daily childcare services in your home.

5. Find a Part-Time Job with Perks

Since wages are generally low, finding a part-time job with health insurance benefits and perks can make the work more appealing. For example, if you work for a movie theater, playhouse, concert hall, or almost any other type of entertainment venue, you may receive free tickets to shows. Or if you work as an usher during theater or sporting events, the majority of your work will occur at the beginning of the show or the game, which means you can enjoy the entertainment for the remainder of your shift.

6. Work as a Temp

Temporary jobs can be an opportunity for you to alternate work with leisure. These jobs vary, but might include general labor or office jobs, including bookkeeping, customer service, and data processing positions. Assignment duration can range between one day and several weeks.

If you need a break, you can pass on one job and wait for the next to come along. Moreover, many temporary jobs don’t require a specific skill set, significant work experience, or an advanced degree. You can find a temporary job online using Craigslist.

7. Give Back

A number of retirees want jobs that allow them to give something back to the world. These jobs tend to pay very little and might include teaching, tutoring, or working at daycare centers.

Many retirees also enjoy volunteer positions, such as working with animal shelters or organizations. The Peace Corps accepts healthy older individuals, who are valued for their skills and life experience. Volunteers benefit from the enriching cultural experience of living and working overseas, and, as an additional incentive, the Peace Corps allows legally married couples to serve together.

If you like the idea of giving back, but want an income while you’re doing it, consider a job in the healthcare industry. You can become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) in as little as one year. Alternatively, you can get your foot in the door as a state tested nurse’s aide (STNA), which requires just a few months of classes.

nurse

8. Retrain for a Career

The Department of Labor’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) provides retraining and job opportunities for people 55 or older if they do not work and have had difficulty finding a job. Through SCSEP, you can learn new skills while working an SCSEP job at a nonprofit organization, such as a daycare center, hospital, library, and recreation center. They also offer seminars and classes, and partner with community colleges.

Participants earn minimum wage and must work about 20 hours a week. But once you complete the program, you receive job search assistance in order to obtain a higher-paying position.

Final Word

Working after retirement can provide a wonderful opportunity to work on your own terms. Many companies appreciate older workers’ experience and provide flexible, rewarding jobs. There are many ways to leverage your passion and experience into a rewarding post-retirement career – but don’t think you’re too old to learn any new tricks. Retirement can provide the opportunity to train for a new, exciting job or volunteer position with minimal time investment.

Do you have additional ideas for jobs after retirement? Are you currently a retiree working part-time?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Kira Botkin
Kira is a longtime blogger and serial entrepreneur who enjoys gardening, garage sales, and finding stray animals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, where football is a distinct season, and by day runs a research study for people with multiple sclerosis. She hopes that the MoneyCrashers team can help you achieve your goals and live a great life.

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  • Nan

    I did retail sales part time at a major department store in the mall for a few years, but I wouldn’t say it was low stress. Low pay, yes, but low stress, no. Soliciting customers to open charge accounts and having to meet a certain quota every week was very stressful for me. I loved helping folks find the merchandise they were looking for on the floor, but hated hounding them to open charge accounts at the registers. Was I selling clothing, or credit cards? I also witnessed supervisors who were used to getting away with being condescending towards their youngest employees, treated their more mature subordinates poorly as well. I even overheard gossip amongst the supervisors in the breakroom on a number of occasions. Not very professional, in my opinion. The schedules were very inconsistant and it was hard to plan appointments, family obligations around without always having to request time off weeks ahead of time. No wonder the turn-over is so high in retail. No thanks.

  • brad

    No thanks on the child care option, we raised our kids. That’s the last thing I would want to do, taking care of somebodies snotty nosed kid.

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