The first wave of the Baby Boomer generation is entering retirement. But you don’t have to call it quits completely just because you’re leaving a full-time job. If you’re like many senior citizens, you’d like to stay active, plus pulling down a paycheck to supplement your other retirement income can’t hurt.
Employers seem to be getting on board. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers age 55 and older was 13.1% in 2000 and 19.5% in 2010. By 2020, it is projected to be 25.2%.
What sort of jobs can you find in retirement? Consider these dozen popular choices.
1. Tutors. Teach others what you know. For example, if you’re expert at playing a musical instrument or you can easily explain “the new math,” there is a need for your services. One area that is especially in demand is helping students sharpen their skills or prepare for college or graduate school entrance exams.
2. Freelance writers. While staff writers are losing jobs in droves, companies are often looking to outsource some of this work. The writing can range from marketing proposals and advertisements to newsletters with focused content. Again, if you have an area of expertise, it can help.
3. Patient advocates. A patient advocate can work on someone’s behalf in several ways, including coordinating care or appointments with physicians, filling out insurance forms, and trying to obtain better rates on procedures that aren’t covered by insurance. Some advocates work for individuals or families, while others may be employed at a hospital, nursing home, non-profit, or insurance company.
4. Home health aides. There’s also a need for people who can provide basic personal care and household help to a patient. This includes helping a shut-in take medications, get around the house, and do routine household tasks. You might also transport the patient to the doctor and other appointments.
5. Fixer-uppers. If you’re handy around the house, you can turn that skill into cash by doing home repairs and other projects for hire. Word of mouth about you can spread quickly in a neighborhood. Similarly, you might become known as a painter.
6. Librarians and library assistants. Almost one out of four librarians works on a part-time basis. Public and university libraries generally require a master’s degree in library science, but many primary school libraries don’t. And they may require flexibility of hours that younger stay-at-homes can’t provide.
7. Museum docents. If you have knowledge of a specific type of art or culture, you can put it to good use—and get paid at the same time—by giving museum tours. The exact requirements will differ from place to place, but showing your enthusiasm and interest is vital. Caveat: Remember that you’ll be on your feet and walking (and talking) most of the time.
8. Bookkeepers. Many small businesses could use someone to “keep the books” part-time instead of utilizing a full-time employee. This might cover everything from supervising accounts receivable and accounts payable to handling payroll, purchasing, and inventory. You don’t have to be a CPA in most cases, but having the proper credentials will help.
9. Researchers. Consider working at a local college as a researcher. Archivists may rely on part-timers to delve through records to answer questions. Also, professors or scholars sometimes need researchers to collect data or find studies related to their academic projects. Let department heads know that you’re available.
10. Government workers. Age discrimination is less likely in government jobs than in the private sector. Also, government agencies have seasonal and part-time work. If you search diligently, you may find a job appropriate for your situation, whether at the federal, state, county, or municipal level.
11. Retailers. Those stores in the mall or downtown frequently need help during the holidays or other busy seasons. You don’t have to settle for a fast food outlet; aim for a job where you have an interest, be it pocketbooks, sporting goods, or electronics. Often, you’ll be entitled to a discount!
12. Customer service representatives. Some firms will hire retirees to work from home as customer service reps. This gives you more flexibility to enjoy your retirement. Many older workers can find desk jobs that utilize the knowledge they have accumulated over the years.
Finally, you can go into business for yourself by selling items online. That’s more ambitious and may not be your optimal choice if you want to spend more time golfing or traveling. Just be aware that you have choices.