Ready to kick back now that you’re retired? You may think you’re ready, but is your brain and your budget?
Retiring for decades has been the utopian time when your plans go no further than getting out the fishing pole or putting all your recipes in order. But times have changed. For many newly released from the 9-to-5 grind, a brand-new job is just around the corner.
Why Keep Working?
The two big reasons many retirees and seniors keep working are money and health. Here’s a look at why.
Less than 20% of Americans over 50 say they have been successful in retirement planning. The Retirement Conference Survey in 2012 reported that half of all workers in this country have less than $25,000 in savings. It’s not just about having enough to travel and enjoy hobbies. For many it is about paying the mortgage or rent, getting the right healthcare, and putting food on the table.
While a life settlement may help bridge some of your expenses, a job after retirement can contribute significantly to your financial and mental peace of mind.
When it comes to health, working can keep your body and your mind in optimal condition. According to a study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, people who keep working–whether at temporary jobs, full time, part time, self-employed or working for someone else–develop fewer diseases and have fewer disabilities than their fully retired counterparts. They had a lower rate of high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and lung disease.
In addition, the same study showed that those that kept working in some fashion scored over 30% higher on a scale of mental health. They had fewer psychiatric problems than those who fully retired.
Now that you know the benefits, what type of work do you want to do?
Find Your True Passion, Finally
The buzz phrase, “find your true passion”, is honored mostly in the breech during prime working years. It is hard to match your desires and inherent abilities to what’s available, especially when you have to factor in family needs. You can’t live just anywhere and the job must provide for the basics plus the kids’ college tuition, vacations, and other big ticket items.
At retirement you have more flexibility. You have more time and, in some cases, fewer financial pressures. If one thing doesn’t fulfill your desires, you can try something else.
You also have more life experience, giving you expanded skills, wider judgment, and a better handle on your core yearnings. Plus, the pressure of encroaching time helps focus your mind wonderfully.
A person over 60 wakes up each day determined to look forward to his job because he understands very well that life is short — and is getting shorter. If he doesn’t like the job he first finds, he has the motivation to find one that matches his desires.
Here are 10 suggestions, broken down into six categories, for interesting work you may not have considered.
Work at Home
#1. Sell Online.
Internet marketing is the lifeblood of the internet. Online retail sales top $200 billion each year in the U.S. and it’s growing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ride on the coattails of these sales by learning affiliate marketing, which lets you make a commission on promoting other company’s products.
Or perfect an idea, like a new mousetrap. The internet is made for innovation. Then sell it yourself. There are many services that handle the store setup and pay processing for you. Or, you can put up a your own simple site with a PayPal button.
This type of marketing can be learned online with time and patience. There are paid courses, but you can also learn for free by doing research.
#2. Become a Writer.
This is on many people’s bucket list. Is there a zombie apocalypse book inside you? How about 10 Ways to Clean Your Garage? How to books as well as fiction of all types are huge. Publishing your own e-books is easy using platforms like Kindle, B&N Nook, or Apple iBooks.
You can also set up your own blog and monetize it. This can be by offering affiliate products related to your area of interest and the topic of the blog. For example, if your hobby is exotic aquarium fish, you can write posts promoting fish food, aquarium cleaners, and filtering devices, and sell these types of products with a link to your website. You can also put third-party ads and banners on your site, making a few cents each time someone clicks on them.
#3. Walk Dogs. And Cats.
People love their pets and are willing to spend money to keep them healthy and happy. The market for dog walking and pet sitting is growing. Americans spend over $3 billion on pet services each year, according to the American pet Products Association. You will need to get liability insurance and certification for pet walking and sitting to be competitive.
#4. Be a Tour Guide.
You know what’s interesting in your town. People will pay you to take them around, show them the best “unknown” sites, good restaurants and historic places. You can put together your own walking tours or join a tour company. If you decide to relocate and retire in a tourist destination, there are even more tour guide opportunities.
Popular tours include sites of historic interest, ghost tours, best restaurants and gourmet shops, scenic walks, and great shopping destinations for good deals.
Use Your Family Skills
#5. Tutor Just About Anyone.
You can do this online using video with Skype or Google Hangouts or in person. If you know a language, help people vacationing in a foreign country learn enough to communicate. If you’ve taught subjects in school, tutor students who need extra help.
If you’re a green-thumb gardener, teach those with no such talent how to select plants, plant a garden and take care of them. The choices are limitless. You can work for yourself or sign up with one of the many tutoring companies online or in your town.
#6. Help Seniors, or Anyone, Move.
If you’ve been through a number of moves yourself, you are in a good position to charge for your experience and knowledge. Officially called a Senior Move Manager, the job involves organizing belongings, arranging for garage sales, donating goods, packing and unpacking, planning the best use of your client’s new space, and helping to decorate it. Contact the National Association of Senior Move Managers for more information.
If you are an expert packer and unpacker, you can also offer to work with local moving companies who offer this service to customers.
Use Your Mind
#7. Do Research for Businesses or Schools.
If you enjoy libraries, love history, and or a whiz with databases, consider working for a university, a company that needs statistics or a lawyer that wants records searched. Scholars need to find studies or collect data and will pay for help.
A related job is Digital Repository Librarian. You work online from home collecting and preparing metadata for college libraries and other online systems. You may also be taught how to digitize print materials for the library systems. This job requires a bachelor’s degree. Contact the library at your local university or alma mater to find out more.
#8. Be an Online Juror.
There are many companies like eJury and OnlineVerdict that will pay $10 to $100 a case to get your opinion. It this litigious society, lawyers are willing to pay for pre-trial run-throughs of their cases. The time it takes varies from 20 minutes to over an hour.
Do What You Did Before
#9. Be a Consultant.
If you like what you did in your earlier job, keep doing it in the role of consultant. You can work for consulting companies in your field or simply contact companies through your network. Let them know your expertise and how you can help them.
Opt to Work in the Public Sector
#10. Work for the Government.
Find a government job at the local, state, or federal level that corresponds to your area of expertise and apply. The government has to worry about budgets too, so there is a wide range of part time jobs at every level. A good resource is USA Jobs, operated by the federal Office of Personnel Management.
#11. Be an SEO or Social Media Specialist.
Learn how to help online marketers optimize their ad campaigns, websites, and social media. Become an SEO (short for search engine optimization) specialist, a social media maven or an expert with Pay-Per-Click (usually called PPC) ads.
This requires online training, much of it freely available. Once you master how it is done, you can use the knowledge for your own internet marketing efforts. Plus, for a fee, you can help other marketers make the best of their websites and ads.
This is just a small list of they types of jobs that are out there waiting for you. Figure out what resonates with you as there are many opportunites to leverage your passion and experience. This is your time. Why not use it to make some money, and stay healthy, alert, and happy in the process?
What other unique job ideas do you have to add to the list for seniors to do in retirement?