By Tom Sightings
There are many reasons to keep working after retirement. Of course, there’s the money. But beyond that, it’s something that gets you out of bed in the morning – a place to go, a schedule to keep and a routine to anchor your life. You may also want the social interaction you find at work, and perhaps the sense of accomplishment for a job well done.
Nearly three quarters of employed Americans plan to keep working after normal retirement age, according to a 2017 Gallup poll. But most people (63 percent) don’t want a full-time job. They don’t want the stress, and they sure don’t want to spend all day in a workplace with a poisonous atmosphere. And that’s one great aspect of a retirement job: You have the freedom to quit if you don’t like it, because you’re not dependent on the job to support your family.
Here are seven ideas for working in retirement:
- Seasonal work. Many retirees work in retail shops for the Christmas season. It can be hectic with the crowds who aren’t always nice. But there’s a festive atmosphere around the holidays, and the job is over in January. Seasonal work is not limited to Christmas. Some people work summer jobs, perhaps at a golf course or day camp, while others work during their local tourist season. Snowbird retirees can work in the north in the summer, in the south in the winter and take a few weeks off between each job.
- The gig economy. Working as an Uber or Lyft driver allows you to earn some extra money and perhaps enjoy some conversation with clients, but you don’t have to work that often. That’s the beauty of the gig economy. You can work as much, or as little, as you want. You set your own hours around your own needs and your own schedule.
- Make money from your hobby. Many people sell their crafts or artwork on Etsy. Consider a former high school art teacher who now has a pottery studio in her daughter’s old bedroom and sells her wares at local stores and regional craft shows, or a retiree who set up a woodworking shop in his basement and sells his products to friends and through local stores. These jobs aren’t likely to generate a lot of money, but they make some and double as a hobby.
- Turn a skill into a business. Some retirees are able to market their skills in new ways. One retired librarian started out volunteering as a tutor at a community college and now has a paying job there, three days a week. Those who know how to complete home repairs can find work hanging doors, painting rooms and doing standard fix-it jobs. An added bonus: You will meet lots of new people around town who appreciate the help.
- Be an entrepreneur. Opening your home to travelers via Airbnb or other vacation websites allows you to effectively run your own bed and breakfast. Depending on your interests, you could start a dog walking business, a home cleaning service or set yourself up as a home decorating consultant.
- Work in your community. There’s no more convenient commute than walking down to your corner supermarket to work as a checkout clerk for a few hours. This simple job gets you out of the house, allows you to earn enough to cover a few household expenses and gives you the opportunity to meet new neighbors. If you’re not yet eligible for Medicare, check out some companies such as Costco, Starbucks or UPS that under certain circumstances offer health insurance and other benefits to part-time employees.
- Be a consultant. Many retirees still have contacts from their former business or profession and enough expertise to be useful. Some people go back and work part-time at their old company. Other retirees find different opportunities to ply their trade, often in the nonprofit sector. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re helping people out and making a little extra money in the process.
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