Jobs For Retirees and Working in Retirement

Point of Interest: Jobs for Retirees

For many retirees, having a job during retirement is a great way to stay social, earn a little extra income without dipping into savings and keep a structured schedule throughout the week.

If the phrase ‘jobs for retirees’ sounds like an oxymoron, you might not be approaching your golden years. Plenty of people work during retirement. In fact, according to a 2018 study from AARP, 13% of people in retirement were looking for work or still working. 

Why is there still an appeal to work even after decades on the job? For some retirees, it’s a financial necessity. For others, it’s a structured and focused way to spend time. And for others still, it’s a way to earn money to use purely for fun without any financial stress on retirement investments.

Benefits of working in retirement

For many people, work is life. It’s how most Americans spend at least 40 hours a week for several decades. Retirement feels like a loss of not just a daily routine or a paycheck, but an identity. Co-workers are friends, and your job provides routine, income and a steady schedule. 

Retirement throws that off course, which works for some and doesn’t work for others. For the people that want to continue to work into retirement age, there are many jobs for retirees (and many perks to staying employed).

Continued income

First and foremost, continued income from working in retirement is probably the biggest perk. In 2017, Pew Research Center found that 30% of Baby Boomers and 35% of Gen X did not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. 

Without access to those plans, saving for retirement becomes much harder. This saving and investment challenge could be a reason that many retirees find themselves continuing to work, or looking for work into retirement. 

Meaning in work

Since people spend so much time at work, it becomes a deep source of meaning. Many people report feeling personally and emotionally fulfilled by their daily work. Retirement also offers people a chance to leave a field that perhaps paid well but wasn’t personally fulfilling. 

Just because someone is working in retirement doesn’t mean it’s meaningless work. For senior citizens, part-time jobs are a fantastic way for them to give back to their community. They can contribute valuable skills and experience to a cause, organization or industry that they feel passionate about. 

Socialization

Isolation in retirement is a real concern. When you’ve relied on work to provide social interaction for 30 or more years, and then leave that workplace, you can find yourself without a social network to lean on. 

Finding a part or full-time job can be a way to combat this isolation. Especially if you enter a new-to-you industry, working as a senior citizen is a way to meet new people, learn new skills and engage in a totally new social circle. 

Challenges of working in retirement

Physical hardship

As we age, our bodies change. For those with physically demanding jobs, working longer can be painful. Even for those with a physically easy job, it might be harder to endure a long commute or a challenging workplace. 

Time away from family

Working longer might also mean missing time with grandkids, or your partner. Your plans may have been to spend your later years in life surrounded by family, and even part-time work can put a damper on that. 

Best jobs for retirees

Library aide

Being a library aide may just be the ideal job for retirees. On the financial side, libraries are government-funded, which translates to stable employment and benefits. Libraries are community hubs that provide far more than just reading materials: libraries house social programming and events. It’s a great way to socialize while helping your community. 

Bookkeeper

A bookkeeping job is not physically demanding, helps keep the mind sharp, and is almost always in demand. As more people start side hustles or businesses, bookkeeping is a business with a steady flow of clients. 

Admin assistant

An administrative assistant is another job that’s easy on the body. As an admin assistant, you’re the first person people see or talk to, so you’d have the chance to socialize. You’d also be learning new skills, as software and technology changes and improves. 

Retail

If you like being on your feet and moving around — plus a store discount — a part-time retail job could be a great job for retirees. You’ll work set hours for set pay, and you’ll interact with both customers and co-workers all day. Some part-time retail jobs, like Starbucks, come with healthcare as well. 

Consultant

Maybe you loved the field you were in, but don’t want to do the day to day grind. Becoming a consultant allows you to leverage your expertise to help the next generation. You can set your own rates and work with companies or people that really speak to you. 

How to find a job when retired

The best place to start is with your existing network. Talk to people who are employed in the field you’re interested in working in. Reaching out to your warm leads or people you already know is a strong start.

LinkedIn is another place to spend some time. If you don’t already have a profile, set one up and fill in your work history, education, and any examples of work you’ve produced. You can upload files and photos, so you can share written or visual work you completed in your career. You can use the search function, as well as the groups, to find open positions. 

If you want something more informal, the gig economy might be the answer. You can drive for a rideshare app, hire yourself out as a Jack of all trades on TaskRabbit, or be a seasonal worker. 

If you’re based in New England, look into Operation A.B.L.E. This organization places workers 45 and older in jobs via a job board that specifically lists employers who are open to older workers. Along the same lines, RetirementJobs.com is another website to visit and spend some time perusing. With over 1 million members, the site is very active. There is also a reviews portion of the site, so you can read how an employer approaches and treats older workers before you apply.  

Next steps 

Kara Perez

Contributing Writer

Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Bravely focuses on bringing actionable, intersectional and accessible financial education to people via pop up events and online community. Additionally, Kara co hosts the award winning podcast The Fairer Cents, which has been named the top money podcast for women by Forbes and The Balance. Kara has been featured in Forbes, Glamour, ABC Nightline News, and US News and World Report as a financial expert. She lives in Austin TX.

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