Wanting to work past the traditional retirement age is not something uncommon. In fact, 20% of Americans over 65 years old still have their jobs (or a job), according to the latest data. Be it for personal or financial reasons, many seniors decide to continue being a part of the country’s workforce. If this is also your case, the good news is that there are plenty of jobs for seniors. And, it seems that the number of positions available is growing by the day. Below are just some of the options you could mull over.
Stay Where You Are – Consider Phased Retirement
Many employers try to keep their employees for as long as possible. The cost of replacing an employee is found to be 213% of their annual salary. Not to mention the productivity loss companies with high employee turnover rates experience, among many others. So, chances are you can keep your current job if you enjoy your role and the benefits of the position you hold, even well after 65.
However, there are also employers that encourage retirement when their employees are close to the traditional retirement age or much sooner. Since there is no regulation that requires you to retire at a specific age, it is illegal if your employer is trying to force you out. This is considered age discrimination and you should seek help to claim your rights.
Now, if you decide to retain your current job but wish for a more flexible schedule at work (i.e. change or reduce the hours you work), you can talk about phased retirement with your current employer. It is a great option that will allow you to keep an income and perhaps the benefits (i.e. medical) from your job and enjoy increased leisure at the same time. You could even have another talk about your responsibilities too.
Phased retirement is a win-win for both you and the employer. You get to keep money coming in and do all the things you have planned to do with your free time as a retiree, and your employer has a highly valuable professional working for them. According to reports released by the Census Bureau, the increasing number of baby boomers opting to retire at or before the age of 65 will have a detrimental effect on the economy of the US due to extremely high labor shortages. So, more and more employers are now offering phased retirement. If yours doesn’t yet, you could help them design a program that meets your requirements.
Do What You Love
If you want to begin a new chapter in your life, finding a job or an activity that you actually enjoy is a great way to start. Many retirees are making compromises on salary and benefits to engage in a heart-fulfilling job. Although financial compensation is a significant post-retirement consideration, you could decide to:
Start Your Own Business
It could be everything from running a bed and breakfast to offering coaching sessions based on your skills and work expertise. Becoming an entrepreneur comes easy for most seniors. Makes sense. After a long career, you probably have both the confidence and know-how to launch your own business, share your hard-earned knowledge, and work at a pace you feel comfortable with.
To come up with some ideas about what your business could be about, think about jobs related to your childhood dreams or your hobbies; jobs that allow you to do what you like to do; jobs that give you flexibility so that you can work on your own terms.
If you wish to work online, your options are literally endless to create a side income (from selling products and hand-made items through Amazon, eBay, and Etsy to blogging, freelance writing, and doing online tasks – i.e. Mechanical Turk).
Note: Before you get down to it, make sure you are realistic about your financial needs and prospects, and understand the demands and dynamics of running your own business.
If you feel intrigued by the idea of becoming your own boss, check out these links for more information (1) Business.gov, (2) FirstGov for the Self-Employed, and (3) usajobs.gov.
Combine Fun & Work
Traveling is on almost every retiree’s wish list. You may be able to fulfill your pursuit to visit new places and make some money while doing so (or, at least, cover your travel expenses!). The travel industry has numerous job opportunities for you:
- Become a Dance Partner – If you are good at dancing, there are cruise ship jobs that will give you the opportunity to dance the night away as a dance partner to other passengers. In exchange, you get cruises, room, and board for free! If dancing is not your cup of tea, you can consider a job in the gift shop instead while you could also work as a photographer too.
- Organize a Trip – Many travel operators, such as All Abroad Travel, YMT Vacations, and Grand Circle Cruise Line are willing to cover your travel costs if you plan a trip for a group of people you know (usually friends and family members) and function as a trip leader/guide. You can also work as a tour guide (check Transitions Abroad).
- Be a Traveling Nurse – If you are a licensed nurse, you can travel to various places around the US for free. Sites like org offer assignments that last between 8 and 26 weeks and give you the opportunity to take your nursing skills on the road (and pay you for it – food and housing often covered too). Compensation is based on your expertise and skills and can earn you up to $10,000 per month.
- Teach English – If you are qualified to teach English and are interested in doing so abroad, then websites like com can help you get started.
- Work at Amazing Places – Cool works has job listings for working in dreamy locations, such as the Mountains of Park City, the Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, and the Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center in California. Depending on the employer you choose to work with, you may have free housing and meals, besides your salary for the hired job.
- Work in Campgrounds – You can work in campgrounds, restaurants, retail shops, amusement parks, fulfillment centers, lodges, shooting ranges, and more. Workamper has lots of interesting information about ways to get a job as a campground host, among many others.
Need some inspiration? Here are some examples to help kickstart a job in retirement that you absolutely adore:
What You Love
|What You Could Do|
|Kids||Work as a crossing guard, school bus driver or consider grand nannying (if you have kids that need help with their kids’ care).|
|Fishing||Salesperson in a tackle shop or fishing guide.|
|Cooking||Food blogger, personal chef or have a shop (online or virtual) to sell your best dishes.|
|Law Enforcement||Answer 911 calls (you will need to take a training program first).|
|Meeting/Helping People||Front desk in a hotel, set up courses (based on your expertise), provide coaching/counseling sessions, customer service rep (telecommuting positions), alter clothes, help people with tasks around the house (i.e. unstop their sinks).|
|Food||Part-time worker at retailers such as Whole Foods or food blogger.|
|Shopping||Open your own online or physical store, become a shopping blogger or shop for bargains and sell the items on eBay at a profit.|
|Researching||Volunteer at the local university to help scholars do the data collection or find the studies they need to complete research projects. This can as well lead to a part-time job.|
|Contributing to The Community||Hotel concierge or join causes *.|
|Working With Numbers||Tax preparer (no need to be an accountant) – you can consider H&R Block for open jobs.|
* Programs you could consider for this are: Senior Corps, Experience Corps, Volunteers in Parks Program, National Park Service, Senior Corps Foster Grandparent Program, Encore, and Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
Turning a New Page
It is never too late to chase career dreams that were not feasible at a younger age. In fact, almost 3 of every 5 working retirees said that they saw retirement as a great opportunity to make a career change. According to NCES (National Center for Educational Statistics), more than 3 million adult over 35 have enrolled in post-secondary institutions in 2016, half a million of which is men and women over 50, so they could go after an entirely different job role than what they used to have. Websites such as Experience Works will provide you with lots of opportunities to learn a new job skill and broaden your horizons.
List of Companies That Recruit Seniors
Below is an indicative list of the companies that hire and support workers over 50 years of age. However, there are many more corporations looking for senior candidates to fill open positions so do expand your search and see what you can find!
- Rover – Besides pet sitters and dog walkers, the company is also in need of customer Experience Specialists, Marketplace analyst, Accountant, and more.
- American Airlines
- Northeast Utilities
- United Services Automobile Association
- Eastman Kodak
- United Airlines
- Smithfield Foods
Sites to check out: Retired Brains (job board where you can either post your resume for free or search for a job), WorkForce50, Seniors for Hire, Senior Job Bank, and AARP.
Finding a job or maintaining your current position if you are close to retirement age is easy. You just need to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully before making a decision. Questions like “What is really motivating you to find a retirement job?”, “How much flexibility and amount of responsibility do you need or desire?”, “Would you prefer to be your own boss?”, and “What activity do you find truly fulfilling?” will help you determine the best job path to take.
Happy job hunting!