You may have planned to sip margaritas on the beach during your retirement, but if the recent stock market tumble has taken a good chunk of your savings with it, you may need to explore other options. Part-time work can help you pick up a few extra paychecks to cover basic expenses or perks such as travel and entertainment while your retirement portfolio rebounds.
While the job market has had better days, a range of options -- with good pay, flexible hours and interesting and meaningful work -- are available to people 50 and older. Here, experts share some of the key areas where experienced workers can snag great jobs.
Uncle Sam needs you ... to take a job with the government. "Projections show that the federal government could potentially lose over a third of its work force to retirement over the next three to five years," says David Nathan, a spokesman for AARP. He notes that three federal agencies in particular -- the IRS, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Assistance office and the Peace Corps -- have been notably receptive to workers over the age of 50. Perks like job stability, good health care benefits and consistent raises make working for the government even more appealing. A dedicated Web site, www.usajobs.gov, can help people track down the best federal jobs in their area.
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Many people don't want to deal with the hassle of even small fix-it projects, and competent do-it-yourselfers can earn as much as $50 an hour doing odd jobs for people. "People want someone to help them plunge the toilet, fix the light bulb, do some painting," says Robin Ryan, a career counselor and author of "60 Seconds & You're Hired!" She adds, "If you're handy, you can spend a half-day just going through someone's checklist." Not sure which end of the hammer to use? You also may find jobs helping people run errands, organizing basements and garages or cleaning and caring for household pets.
Nonprofit organizations don't usually offer big paychecks, but they still provide big rewards, says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions. "We're finding that retirees are very interested in shifting over to the nonprofit world, where they can make a contribution after being in the corporate world," she says. Often, the lower pay means fewer people will apply for a job, which may give you a better shot at winning the position. Average pay for those working in the nonprofit sector is just less than $22 an hour.