According to a recent Gallup poll the average retirement age of Americans has risen from 59 in 2004, to 62 in 2014. In that same period of time, for Americans who are not retired, the age they expect to retire has grown to 66 years old. These numbers combined with people struggling to put enough money into their retirement savings is leading to an increased demand for jobs for workers over 50.
This reality isn’t always a financial decision either. Many older workers are deciding a traditional retirement just isn’t for them. People are realizing the benefits that working later into life can bring, both mentally and physically.
As a result, it’s not uncommon for people to change jobs, start a new career, or start a business over the age of 50. Employers and other organizations are responding accordingly by catering in some cases to this age group. Even though it may seem most companies are gunning for younger talent, there’s also an appreciation for the experience of older workers. The AARP has been a leading advocate for workers in this demographic for years. Other companies like RetirementJobs.com are also popping up with a focus on jobs for people over 50.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s time to put your resume together and start thinking about the next step. Maybe you want a job that fulfills a passion, or you still need to grow retirement savings. Regardless of the reason, let’s take a look at a few jobs worth looking at in your 50’s. We chose these jobs because they have a relatively low long term educational requirement. They also have a good median salary, and offer a decent work-life balance.
Related: Why You Should Never Retire
Real Estate Agent
This is an especially good job for workers over 50. It offers the ability to make great money with very little in the way of education. The median pay for real estate brokers and sales agents in 2018 was $50,300 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Each state varies in the requirements necessary to get a license. It’s typical for it to take anywhere from 3-6 months.
The process will include some formal classes, along with licensing exams. Check with your states real estate commission to get the specifics in your area. There are also some costs for taking the licensing courses, and associated application fees, but nothing compared to more formalized college type costs.
There is an incredible demand for information in the age of the internet. Companies of all types have realized providing information through a blog or other online medium is a key marketing tool.
They may not, however, have this writing talent in-house. Instead, it’s common to outsource that work to freelance writers across the globe. If you have a level of expertise in a certain discipline, you may find success in offering your services to companies within that industry. According to Payscale.com, the average hourly rate for a freelance writer is $23.44, with the high end being $53.32. That’s not too shabby considering the level of flexibility you have when working as a freelancer.
Related: Best Careers to Start at 40
As baby boomers are getting older, the need for patient advocates is only going to increase. This a good job for workers over 50 because you likely have parents or older relatives you’ve seen in need of medical advocacy.
There are patient advocates of all kinds. Some do require experience in certain fields such as insurance or specific medical conditions. But others are more general in function, and come without the need for specialized education. All you need is the desire to help people get through the system.
If your goal is to earn money, and do something to help others at the same time, being a patient advocate can be a rewarding experience. The average pay of $15.84 according to Payscale.com isn’t as lucrative, but sometimes the “helping others” part is more important in the grand scheme.
There’s never a bad time to become a teacher. Transferring your knowledge to up and coming leaders can be extremely fulfilling. This one does come with the requirement of a four-year bachelor degree in most states, but it does not necessarily need to be in education. To teach in a public school can also have more stringent requirements mandated by your state. But teaching in charter or private schools can often have fewer requirements.
Another option is to substitute teach, which may not earn as much money, but comes with more flexibility. Again, you likely will need a bachelors degree, and a certification, but requiring far less effort than that of a full-time teacher.
If you’re over 50, there’s a good chance you’ve worked in a particular job or industry for a long time. Becoming and independent consultant, or working for a company that needs your expertise can be quite lucrative. This job can also offer a good amount of flexibility depending on the company. Many consultants these days can do much of their jobs remotely, while traveling to a client site less frequently for direct interactions.
Many companies are willing to pay a premium to consultants to avoid the cost of bringing on full-time resources.
Related: Starting a Business After 50
Older workers are becoming a more sought-after asset in the workforce today. Not all companies are as age friendly as others, but with a little effort you can find one that works for you.
With millennials taking over larger pieces of that workforce, changes like working remotely and better work-life balance are increasing. Ironically, these are just the types of changes many 50-somethings are also looking for when swapping jobs.
So if you find yourself in this position, don’t sweat it like you may have in the past. The trend of people in their 50’s starting new jobs and careers is on the up-tick, and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.