Many of us want to retire and enjoy the relaxation that comes with that retirement. For others, they want to stay active and keep working, and for some it's a necessity to earn extra money. Whether you want to work or have to work, there are many options available to help you find jobs, extra income or even second careers. (For more, check out The New Retirement Age.)
TUTORIAL: Retirement Planning: Introduction
Retirees have many job skills to offer an employer, but many also have the expertise to start their own business, to finally follow that dream they've put off or create an entirely new work path. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Think Like You're 20
If you're looking for extra income, want to interact with people or just need to get out of the house, then act like a kid. One of the best pieces of advice I've seen given to retirees looking for extra income, is to think like a college student. Most young adults today work two, three and sometimes four part-time jobs while juggling classes. These jobs are usually minimum wage, require only a few hours a week and give you many opportunities to try different occupations. These part-time jobs also give you the option of working as many or as few hours as you want. They also don't require the same time commitment as a full-time job, and give you flexibility to do other things, like take a college class. (We'll show you how to choose between Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. For more, see Which Retirement Plan Is Best?)
Be a Consultant
You've probably worked at several occupations over the course of your working career. Use that accumulated knowledge to your advantage. One of the first places you might look for opportunities is the company you retired from, they now have an opening. You might suggest to them that you'd like to return to the company as a consultant on a contract or part-time basis. You are already familiar with the company, its product and its operations so you'd be a perfect consultant.
Consider working for a "start-up" company. Many young entrepreneurs just starting their companies are in need of your vast business experience. While many couldn't hire you full-time, they can use you as a consultant on an "as-needed" or freelance basis. The opportunities to use your work experience are varied. You just have to take a few minutes to consider all the ways where you could find a niche and market those skills.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, temporary employment accounted for 3.1 million jobs in 2008, and that number is expected to rise. Traditionally, when the economy sees a resurgence, corporations hire temporary workers first, and then create permanent jobs when their confidence in the economy rises.
This is also a great place for retirees to find jobs. Temporary agencies receive requests for hundreds of different occupations. Many agencies specialize according to employment field, so you may have to research them to find a good fit with what you are looking for. This could be your best opportunity to "re-enter" the job market after retirement. It is flexible, you can choose the type of job you want and decide if you want it to continue to be only temporary or if you'd like additional hours.
Health, Child Care and Social Services
These are "booming" fields and always in need of good, caring workers. If you're a retired nurse or health care worker, chances are your skills are still needed. Consider returning to work on a part-time basis or if money is not an issue, as a volunteer.
Child care workers are in huge demand, and most retirees have children and grandchildren that have provided you with years of experience. Opportunities can be found at YMCAs, child care facilities, churches and after-school programs that provide care for working parents. (For related reading, see Introduction To Supply And Demand.)
Fun, Hobby Jobs
Remember when you were working and your mind would wander to the golf course, the ski hills or the campground? Remember how you wanted to just run out of the door and hit the links? Consider making your hobby a retirement job.
Teach kids to play golf at a community golf club. Do you like to fish? Ask at the marina if they have any part-time jobs like a harbormaster, fuel attendant or boating safety instructor. If you have a RV, consider being a campground host for a summer.
Perhaps you like basketball, hockey, football or tennis. Is there a sports center or arena near you? They have jobs like a ticket taker, event planner or host for incoming sports celebrities. These can be perfect jobs for retirees that are looking for part-time income, and a chance to watch their favorite teams.
The Bottom Line
Whether you need to work to supplement your retirement income, just want to have fun or you are enthusiastic about a second career, the opportunities are there. Many times it just takes a dash of imagination, a positive attitude and sometimes just asking for an opportunity to get the job you are seeking.
You have a wealth of life skills to offer the workplace. Many leading corporations are seeking older workers for their knowledge and their work ethic. So, have fun and enjoy another career. (For related reading on retirement, see Managing Income During Retirement.)