Retirement can have different meanings for different older adults. For some, retirement means long days of relaxation that are well-deserved after many years of hard work. However, other seniors think of retirement as slowing down rather than an abrupt stop to working, and even an opportunity to explore different careers. Some seniors retire from a career and move on to part-time work as a way to supplement their reduced retirement income. Whether you’re bored, looking to make a life change, or need some extra income, employment after retirement is a great option for many seniors.
For some seniors working after retirement is necessary for financial reasons. An older adult may want to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle and may need to supplement their retirement income. Additional unexpected expenses such as a spouse’s medical costs or the need to support a grandchild could necessitate additional income. It’s possible to find flexible sources of part-time supplemental income that combine many of the perks of retirement, such as travel and leisure, with working. The extra income can actually fuel this lifestyle.
Some retirees have a difficult time figuring out what they are supposed to do with all that free time now that they are no longer working. Adults are living longer lives and remain healthier in older age than previous generations. These people may reach their goal of retiring and then want to pick up some extra work to keep them engaged and to prevent boredom.
New career paths
Retirement can also enable a new career path for seniors. Someone in their 50s, for example, may feel reluctant to change careers because they’ve reached a certain position in their field or fear age discrimination and other barriers to a career change. But when you’re working part-time to supplement your income, a new career can be refreshingly approachable. For instance, someone who spent several years in a technical role may have always thought that they would excel in a sales position, meeting customers one-on-one. Changing focus later in your career may not be advisable, but in retirement, the risks are minimized.
Types of jobs for seniors
There are a lot of post-retirement jobs that seniors can excel at. Life experience and the ability to manage tasks can be very helpful working in a new career field. Here are some good second career choices for seniors:
- Customer service. Connecting with people can be a pleasant way to make some extra money.
- Retail. These jobs pay less but can have lower stress. Make sure that your employer is aware that you are retired and just seeking supplemental income or a productive place to spend time. If a sales manager is expecting you to meet ever-expanding sales quotas, for example, you could be adding a lot of unnecessary stress to your life.
- Consulting. Use your expertise from your previous career to mentor younger businesses.
- Not-for-profit administration. Either on a volunteer or paid basis, working for nonprofits can be rewarding in several ways.
- Real estate sales combine flexibility and socializing. If you’ve been a resident of your neighborhood for many years, you’re going to have a lot of information about the best places to live and schools and activities in your area. This knowledge can be valuable for real estate sales.
Several of these jobs may require some education or training. But resist the temptation to view that as an impassable barrier. Learning new things can be beneficial for fighting age-related cognitive problems, so working can improve your quality of life in many ways.