Today's retirement is not like your grandparents' golden years — not by a long shot. Grandpa and Grandma, and maybe even your parents, might have stopped working at 65 on the dot and settled down to a quiet life of gardening and grandchildren, all funded by a plump company pension. But retirement in 2018 ... and beyond ... looks different.
Whether it's a matter of economic necessity, intellectual interest or emotional health, more and more modern retirees are choosing to continue working part-time after leaving their former full-time careers. AARP has found that six specific types of part-time employment seem to suit retirees, as they're flexible regarding skills and schedules.
Part-time consulting is a great way to leverage your hard-won institutional knowledge and expertise after retirement. Firms may be looking to fill their full-time rank-and-file with lower-paid new college graduates, but there's a lot to be said for decades of experience. If you're offering your skill set on a part-time, independent basis, your former employer, or a competitor in the same field, might be quite willing to avail themselves of your services.
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Start by reaching out to former colleagues and co-workers for leads and ideas, AARP suggests. Other sources include industry associations, alumni groups, Rotary Clubs or local small-business associations. Online help can be had at PatinaSolutions.com for retirees with at least 25 years' experience, or HourlyNerd.com for people with MBAs or graduate degrees, according to AARP.
Some work is available only on a seasonal basis, which might suit you just fine. Christmastime retail positions are the obvious ultimate seasonal job; your local mall or department store is likely employing a lot of retiree salespeople right now. UPS and FedEx, as well as many restaurants, also look for extra help this time of year. Come January a slew of tax-prep positions will become available at firms like H&R Block. If you want to work for yourself, AARP recommends enrolling as an agent with the IRS. AARP will also train you if you work with its AARP Foundation Tax-Aide effort, where volunteers help lower-income seniors do their taxes.
Dream of working within arm's reach of your couch and coffee maker? AARP advises simply contacting the place you want to work and asking if it hires remote employees. Barring that, you can turn to websites such as Upwork.com, which features online positions; Freelancer.com for project-based work; and VirtualVocations.com for telecommuting jobs.
Retirees who speak another language can avail themselves of growing home-based opportunities; graphic designers can find assignments designing websites, logos, business cards and the like; while writers have their pick of a wide range of writing and editing jobs. Crafty? Make jewelry, paint landscapes or sew a quilt and sell your handcrafted wares via an online marketplace such as Etsy.
Short-term jobs popular with retirees include administrative assistant, attorney, bookkeeper, marketing communications specialist, project manager, receptionist and sales rep, according to AARP. Accountant, however, is the part-time job most requested by clients of staffing firm FlexProfessionals, according to co-founder Gwenn Rosener, AARP reports. Accounting or business degrees and a CPA certification are welcome but not always required. Employers range from start-ups and small businesses to churches and local nonprofits.
Dog walker, pet sitter, Uber or Lyft driver, tour guide and personal assistant. These are just some of the part-time hourly gigs that many retirees are partaking in. Working on an hourly basis — where you want, when you want — frees you from punching a time clock and seems a natural fit for a stage of life that's all about making the most of your time. AARP suggests advertising your "services in community newspapers, on neighborhood listservs, on bulletin boards in apartment buildings, in retirement or adult community residences, and in local grocery stores."
Avon calling! Working for a direct-sales firm such as the iconic cosmetics company or the competing Mary Kay can make you a lot of money. There are often start-up costs, but on the plus side, you can market your wares from your home office and make sales online or through home or office parties; old-school door-to-door sales (hairbrush or encyclopedia set, anyone?) are largely a thing of the past. You'll typically be earning commission instead of a salary.
For more information on direct-sales work and companies operating in the field, AARP advises contacting the Direct Selling Association, consulting Federal Trade Commission website business.ftc.gov and checking with your local chamber of commerce, the Better Business Bureau or your state attorney general's office regarding any possible past complaints about an employer you're considering.