To some the phrase “Retirement Job” might sound like an oxymoron, but to a growing number of Americans who are financially strapped heading into retirement age, this is a reality of making the numbers work in retirement. If not by necessity, many more Americans in the baby boomer generation are also realizing the brain sustaining benefits of maintaining some type of work, even if it is pro-bono or charitable in nature.
While it would be nice to see every person over the age of 62 who would like to fully retire be financially capable, it can also be looked at as a benefit to the economy to have these workers still in the force given they often have a wealth of knowledge and experience in their industry.
So, whether you are someone looking to add a few bucks to the bank account, or just looking to keep your cognitive juices flowing, here are some ideas for great retirement jobs you might consider.
Consultant – Ok, so this one is a no-brainer, but still one of the best options for those still looking to make some cash. After 30-40 years spent in an industry, you’ve gained a ton of knowledge capital that many organizations would love to get there hands on. Those who have been pushed out due to age, or simply downsized and are now having difficulty finding a job know, this is sometimes because your full-time salary is just too much for a company to take on. But in today’s world where employers want the knowledge without the costs associated with full-time employment, many are employing contract consultants to meet the gap in these demands while still maintaining knowledgeable people. A great resource for marketing your services is on a website called Upwork.com, which is a company that allows freelance consultants to connect with business owners that have a specific need. Typically these businesses are small to medium sized organizations, which makes them great targets as clients that can benefit from someone with vast amounts of experience.
Substitute Teacher – Depending on the state and locality you live in, you don’t necessarily need a teaching related degree to be a substitute teacher. While some districts will require a bachelor degree from and accredited college, others are require only a high school diploma. The benefits of this job in retirement is that it’s got flexibility. Typically substitutes will be placed a list for a particular district, and called upon when a substitute is needed. So if you are looking to work that day, then you’ve got a job, and if not, then maybe you decide not to pick up the phone and keep snoozing. At the same time, some of these jobs often pay fairly decent hourly wages, so you can add a decent amount to your bottom line for the month.
Uber Driver – People all over the country, young and old, are making a full-time living driving for Uber, and even a larger number is supplementing their income by logging a few hours a week. There are many different numbers floating out there for the average hourly rate of an Uber driver which range anywhere from $5/hour during periods of low demand, to $50/hour during the best peak hours. The average for a medium sized metro area seemed to be right around $10/hour after netting out your expenses. For a more detailed look at hourly rates by city, check out this article by Ridester.com. That’s not a bad chunk of change, and it is one of the most flexible jobs you’ll find out there.
Handyman – For those of you who have spent a life as a tradesman, or are just generally a “handy” person, this is a retirement job that offers nice pay with decent flexibility. According to HomeAdvisor, the average hourly rate for a handyman working on his own is around $65/hour. In order to make this job work, you will have to engage some type of marketing strategy, but in todays world of social media and home service websites, that is becoming easier. You can utilize facebook to advertise your services, or one of our new favorites isNextDoor that allows you to connect with your local communities. While not as flexible as some jobs since you are beholden to the schedules of clients it does allow you to command a good hourly rate, and leverage those skills you built while in the workforce.
Start a business – Let’s say you’re not really looking for a retirement job as a means of making money, but you want to do something you’ve always dreamed of… then maybe starting a business is for you. Yes, this means a lot of work, but if it’s something you love then it should be more fun than it is work, as it should be since this is retirement. The reason this one is reserved for those not looking for definite positive cash flow, is because the nature of starting your own business comes with risk. There’s always the chance that you won’t find your intended customer, and things just won’t pan out. In fact, if you decide to head down this path, you’d be smart to budget in a loss for a year or two since the initial investment typically are larger than your income. Also, depending on your level of commitment, and the type of business, the flexibility it offers might not be quite what you a looking for in your post-work days. That said, if you are looking for a challenge during your retirement year, then this could be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.
This is just a small list of potential retirement jobs that could bring both income and satisfaction to your life, while at the same time leaving you the flexibility to do other things like travel, and spend time with your family.
If you have other ideas, or have already had success with a job during retirement, please leave a comment below and share your experience with our community.