Contrary to what you might think, retirement is not when you do nothing at all and get away just fine. With increasing lifespans, decreasing pension benefits, rising health insurance costs, and the general volatility of the financial markets, most of us cannot just stop working and feel financially and emotionally secure. This doesn’t mean you head back to your former workplace or look for an equivalent profile, but you should certainly look to make some cash on the side – in other words, look for a part-time job.
Consulting is a popular part-time work option for retirees with subject matter expertise and industry know-how. Tutoring is another option that could be rewarding, both financially and personally. Bookkeeping and tax preparation is a solid part-time vocation for retirees with the right background.
Not all part-time work opportunities are the same or the right fit for all. Some would suit younger workers, such as college students, better. Keep reading to learn more about the best part-time work opportunities for retirees.
Why Work During Retirement?
There are just too many reasons why you shouldn’t be spending life aimlessly in retirement. For starters, retirement life is not what it used to be. People now live much longer than before. Therefore, doing no work at all – starting from your 60s and up until to your late 80s and 90s – is not just outright boring but also quite expensive.
Baby Boomers Are Underprepared for Retirement
Most baby boomers are not prepared for retirement. And the ones who did manage to do their homework didn’t devise plans taking decades of retired life into perspective. It’s not that they did not expect to live very long; it’s just that most people don’t make retirement plans for decades.
According to a 2018 study, almost a third of baby boomers did not save enough money for a secure and comfortable retirement period. And a majority of that ‘third’ had nothing saved at all. Also, more than 50% of that cohort were/are not contributing to retirement plans sponsored by their employers.
The median retirement savings of those who’ve been responsible enough was approximately $210,000 in 2014. Following a safe withdrawal rate of 3% to 4%, the yearly income of the $210,000 would be around $8,400 – which is $700 monthly. It’s safe to say that $700 is not a lot of money. If you’re not sure how much you’ll need during retirement, that would be 55 to 80% of your pre-retirement income annually.
Rising Medical Expenses
Retirees usually work because they like to make some extra cash on the side. But then several others have no choice but to work, thanks to the rising health insurance premiums. The costs attached to prescription drugs, copays, etc. add to the overall costs too. Also, health insurance programs such as Medicare do not cover basic vision, dental, long-term care, over-the-counter drugs, etc.
For retirees, long-term care is perhaps the largest unknown variable. For those not in the know, long-term care includes external help with routine activities such as dressing and eating. Certain insurance policies might cover long-term care expenses, but the premiums attached to them can be quite pricey.
The Less Tangible Benefits
Working during retirement also offers certain retiree-specific benefits, such as a sense of structure and purpose, social interaction, and intellectual stimulation. It’s hard to convince yourself to hop out of bed if you’re going to spend the entire day watching TV by yourself or with your partner. And if that sounds okay to you, you need to consider the health issues you could develop by leading such a sedentary life.
The Best Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
There are different part-time work opportunities for retirees based on their skill set, professional background, and preference. These jobs let you choose to work from home, head outside, or simply marry the two. The following are arguably the best part-time or temporary job positions for retirees.
Consulting is a great vocation to pursue after retirement, particularly if you loved what you did for a living and would now want to do the same thing but spend lesser time doing so. By harnessing your network, expertise, and experience, you can work part-time or short-term for different companies in your field and even your former employer.
Ascertaining how much to charge for consulting services can be a tad tricky initially since there are multiple variables at play. One method to set your hourly rate is dividing your last bagged compensation by the number of hours worked. When computing, also factor in your retirement and health benefits and paid leave emoluments.
If you don’t want to work for some large corporation and would rather like to offer your services to a non-profit, you may do so. There are non-profits in different shapes and sizes working for specific purposes, such as fighting poverty, saving the environment, or supporting the arts. These organizations frequently need professionals with strong financial, managerial, development, or IT experience offering full-time or part-time services.
Reach out to a non-profit firm if their mission aligns with your interests. You may not make as much money as you would do offering consulting services to a big corporation, but you’ll certainly feel more satisfied and, as a consequence, more motivated at work.
If you are a retired teacher, you can easily find part-time work as a tutor. There’s significant demand for tutors who can help with test preparation or help college kids do better in their SATs. Some tutors work with home-school students, while others could focus on corporate training programs or adult learners.
You could work as a part-time tutor traditionally or go online. Online tutoring is a bit more convenient and presents many more opportunities since you’re not restricted to a particular geography. As far as pay goes, you can make between $10 to $25 an hour for general tutoring services. If you specialize in certain subjects such as science, math, or foreign languages, you could make more.
To set the ball rolling, you just need to find the right students and connect with them. You may apply to different online tutoring service providers such as Tutor or Kaplan, or venture out on your own. Let your former school colleagues and friends know you offer tutor services. Your teacher friends and guidance counselors may even refer students to you directly. Place an ad on Craigslist or in the newspaper too.
The retail industry has job positions to fill now and then. And during end-of-season sales, the sector’s requirements for part-time employees or contractual workers who could lend a helping hand to manage the increased workload are high. Generally, retail businesses are more interested in hiring senior folks for cashier or sales jobs since older people are usually more reliable and also less temperamental.
As a retiree, you can find temporary or part-time positions in a food, clothing, or hobby store within your neighborhood. Ideally, look for a position in a store where you do most of your shopping. If the manager of the store knows you purely thanks to your frequent shopping at the store, your chances of being hired for a part-time position at the store are higher.
As far as pay goes, you’ll usually make $13 an hour on average, with added perks such as employee discounts on in-store products. If you miss being among people, a job in the retail sector would fit the bill.
Though not technically “retail,” retail banking also seeks retirees for their teller and customer service job openings. The pay is usually in the $10 to $15 range per hour. Supervisor jobs could get you $20 or more an hour.
Tax preparation is an ideal part-time vocation for retired accountants. Even if you were not an accountant but have a knack for figures and do not find tax forms intimidating, you can be a tax preparer.
Tax preparers typically work for big and established tax preparation franchises who hire individuals for seasonal administrative and tax positions every year. You can also venture out on your own, seeking clients from local businesses, neighbors, and friends. The work is at peak between January and April when the financial year is closing toward its end.
If you are a former accountant or have a good working knowledge about taxes, you could earn upwards of $30 an hour. You need not be a CPA (certified public accountant), attorney, or have worked for a tax preparation company before doing tax forms in a professional capacity. However, you should have registered with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and must have also cleared the IRS competency test.
If you’d like to brush up your skills, you could opt for a tax preparation program offered by different financial companies. After course completion, you could look for a tax preparer job in the same company or any other organization with the right openings.
Kindly note, starting in 2011, tax preparers (full-time or part-time) must have a PTIN (preparer tax identification number), for which they must pay a $50 annual fee. This fee is in addition to the one-time registration fee and also fees directly payable to the contractor.
Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
Dog walking is for retirees who are dog owners themselves or are at least comfortable with dogs. Friends, family, and neighbors could need someone reliable to take care of their dogs when they are away. You could just be the right person for the job.
If you are more comfortable with cats or love animals in general, look for pet sitting opportunities where you can take care of a pet while your clients or the pet’s owners are out on a vacation or business trip. While you’re at it, offer house sitting services to the same clients. You can even combine housesitting with caretaking of the elderly if there are no pets in the house.
There are apps such as Wag and Rover that can help you find related job openings. You can also work for companies that offer animal care. And if you think you are particularly good at the job, you could launch your very own pet sitting venture.
Not to mention, you’ll derive a great sense of satisfaction offering such services since it always feels great to help out people or animals who cannot help themselves.
If you like working with kids and do not want to keep up with a rigid schedule, a substitute teacher job would be ideal. The best part is that you don’t need a degree in a specific discipline to be considered for the post. A bachelor’s degree in any stream would be good enough. Also, certain states are okay with hiring someone as a substitute teacher, even if they only have an associate degree.
Once hired, you can afford to accept a teaching assignment depending on your availability. Also, if you want to work in a school in a non-teaching capacity, there are several jobs you could apply for – including cafeteria and food service positions, bus drivers, and administrative jobs.
Bookkeeping and tax preparation do go hand in hand, but the two aren’t the same. To offer services as a bookkeeper, you should be fairly comfortable with various accounting programs like QuickBooks. Solid knowledge of Microsoft Excel is also needed. Since bookkeeping is not something everyone can do or learn to do in their spare time (just like tax preparation), the pay scale is usually larger than pretty much any other job for retirees.
Also, the job isn’t difficult and can be easily juggled with other activities. And thanks to the Internet and the different tools, you could work from home or even take care of a client’s books of accounts while holidaying. You can offer bookkeeping services to individuals and businesses alike, charging them by the service or hour. Not to mention, you’ll need a PTIN, just like you need one to work as a tax preparer.
If you like tinkering with things or cannot live without your tools, consider working as a part-time or on-call handyman. Stop limiting your “tinkering” skills to your house and start making up to $50 or even more an hour, putting your repairing skills at work. If you do not like working as an on-call handyman, you can choose to do only projects. You may even opt to work only during the weekends.
As a handyman, you can offer a variety of services, including:
- Sanding and staining fresh kitchen cabinet molding
- Sealing a leaky toilet with a new gasket
- Rewiring circuit breakers
- Unclogging drains
You should be able to take down anything in the house and put it back together. You should know things in and around the house that your neighbors, friends, and even local shop owners may have little knowledge about.
If you don’t want to work for someone else again and have this great business idea on the back burner for some time, retirement is the perfect time to realize the dream. If you think you are too old to start a new business, then take inspiration from owners of various small businesses who are mostly older adults.
When Colonel Harland Sanders first franchised a Kentucky Fried Chicken store, he was already 62. Look at the kind of legacy he left behind.
If you have the expertise, vision, and money, nothing is stopping you from becoming a successful entrepreneur. From food and beverage enterprises, such as coffee shops to service businesses, such as accounting and legal services, there are multiple work lines you could venture into.
Before you invest money into a new business, talk to a financial advisor. Learn how much you could invest in your business and the amount of your savings you should leave untouched. Service businesses with zero inventory – especially virtual businesses – usually require no or little capital.
The jobs mentioned above or work options aren’t the only ones available to retirees. There are no bounds to the kind of jobs you could do. If you have professional experience in some other field or are skilled in another vocation, you could take them up too.
- Nurse: If you worked as a nurse, you could work as a part-time nurse. Retired nurses are always in demand, especially in the home health care sector. Based on the particular nursing job and your years of education, you could make anywhere between $20 and $60 an hour.
- Driving: If your driving record is clean, you could do well driving shuttle buses or cars part-time. For driving small vehicles, you can make $10 to $15 an hour on average. For driving minibusses, you’ll earn slightly more.
- Writing: If you are a retired professional writer, you could start your blog or do freelance writing. You can even work as a writing coach. According to a report, almost half of the new-grad population lack writing proficiency. You could help these youngsters write better. You may connect with corporate clients to reach out to young professionals or work directly with students before stepping out into the job market.
Finding a Job as a Retiree
Once you’ve ascertained what job you would like to take up part-time, the next step is to find that “desired” job. There are a few ways you can go about searching for the right part-time job.
Search the Job Boards
You may start by pursuing traditional job sites. But if you want something that caters specifically to retirees, check out Retired Brains and Retirement Jobs. There are also job boards specializing in seasonal, part-time, and flexible job offerings. For instance, Cool Works is a solid website to find seasonal employment opportunities at places such as ski resorts, national parks, fishing lodges, etc.
If you’re looking for more flexible jobs that let you work as per your schedule or remotely, check out Flex Jobs. However, to gain complete access to the listings on the site, you may have to pay a monthly fee. If you want to look for online job opportunities primarily, modify your search preferences on the site accordingly.
Craigslist doesn’t require any introduction. It’s a popular platform to search for freelance, part-time, short-term, and flexible jobs.
Going online is not the only and not necessarily the best way to find a part-time job. The local library, community arts center, schools, etc. could be having part-time positions to fill too. These work opportunities usually do not show up on the Internet, even if you fine-tune your search.
Low-tech search techniques usually work best when searching for a local job. Therefore, talk to people around you – including your friends, former colleagues, and neighbors – letting them know that you’re looking for a part-time job. Check the local newspaper for job listings. If small business networking associations host meetings in your region, attend them.
Volunteer Your Services
Volunteering is also a great way to make yourself known or visible to potential employers/clients. It’s not rare to see unpaid volunteering leading to a part-time, paid position during retirement. If you can prove to an organization that you possess the right attitude and skills, you’ll be on their radar and most likely to get a job whenever a relevant paid position comes up.
Network both online and in-person to increase your chances of landing a job. Besides connecting with friends and former colleagues, also sign up on networking websites. Though professional networking sites such as LinkedIn are usually the sites where you should be spending the chunk of your time connecting with people, you can also use less professional networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.
If you’re already on these platforms, get a bit more active. Send messages to people who you think could help you fetch the right leads. However, make sure you do not spam people or contact people you don’t know. Most networking sites would anyway direct your messages to the recipient’s spam folder if those were heading to a stranger. Therefore, do not try too hard.
Two Important Things to Do Before You Re-enter the Job Market
The decades of experience and extensive industry know-how you possess would give you a solid advantage over other less experienced applicants. However, that doesn’t mean you should go in unprepared or can afford to be rusty. Make sure you look into a couple of key things before you even start putting in your applications.
Update Your Resume
Before you start applying for jobs again, make sure you have an updated resume handy. Here is our more extensive article about CV Advice for Over 50s: 10 Actionable Tips. You might have decades of experience to boot, but do not let that turn your resume into a booklet. A professional resume should ideally be a single page, with a major focus on your professional experience. Including information from your last decade of work is recommended.
Skip the obvious and generic parts. Most resume templates have the “objective” section that’s usually filled with clichéd or generic statements. As a former professional, you might have come across such resumes when hiring people for your company. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake. Skip and replace it with a section to highlight your skills. Since page real estate is limited, make sure you use the space efficiently.
Most importantly, highlight your achievements. Do not simply state the positions you held in the past and for how long. Instead, pick up a few key achievements and describe in absolute terms how those benefited your former employer.
Get to Know Different Technologies
The world has never been as digital as it is now. Jobs are now posted and found online more than ever before. Therefore, if you think you are not in touch with technology or its different tools as you should have been, get accustomed to them. If required, sign up for classes at a continuing education center in your region to get an overview of things.
If you’d like to know the technology trends that you should know about in 2020, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNoeqow9RZM
Working part-time during retirement is not just a great way to earn some extra money or supplement your pension income. Still, it’s also the perfect antidote to boredom or isolation and a way to stay active during retirement.
And don’t feel indebted or grateful to an employer or be under the notion that companies are doing you a favor by offering you a job after you’ve passed your prime. The reality is businesses are constantly scrambling to fill up spaces in their organizations, and you are only helping them by offering your service.
Most businesses do not prepare or even consider the possibility of workforce shortages in the future. As a result, when reality hits, they get badly hurt. By offering your services, you are only helping these hobbled companies return to smooth sailing again.
Long story short, if you have the desire and energy to earn money and would like to be busy during retirement, start working again, but part-time.
- HowStuffWorks: 10 Best Jobs for Retirees
- Forbes: Best Post-Retirement Paychecks
- AARP: 5 Great Seasonal Jobs for Retirees
- The Balance Careers: The 10 Best Part-Time Jobs for Seniors
- Money Crashers: 18 Best Post-Retirement Job Opportunities for Seniors & Retirees
- Stanford Center on Longevity: Seeing Our Way to Financial Security in The Age of Increased Longevity
- RetirementCrossing: Bookkeeping Jobs Are Ideal After Retirement
- Money Talks News: 7 Tips to Find a Job in Retirement