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By 2031, nearly 25 percent of the U.S. workforce will be 55 and older, and about 7 percent of that group will be between 65 and 74 years old, according to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 55 percent of workers across all generations plan to work in retirement. A majority of them plan to work part time.
As older Americans decide to work longer, they’ll need to determine which jobs are available to them and where they can continue earning a living.
Why retirees keep working
Most workers who plan to work after retirement cite financial reasons, according to the Transamerica study. Many fear that Social Security will not be there for them in retirement.
Some retirees keep working for reasons other than supplementing their income. They may need the group health insurance benefits because they’re not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare. Others simply enjoy working because it keeps them active, gives them a sense of purpose and helps them stay socially connected.
Renee Ward, founder of Seniors4Hire.org, a career center for people 50 and older, says the pandemic opened up legitimate work-at-home job opportunities for older workers who, she notes, are more tech-savvy than they get credit for.
“It’s a myth that the senior crowd is not or cannot be taught to be technologically savvy,” she says. “This group is on Facebook, FaceTime, email, Zoom, dating sites and just about every platform out there.”
Part-time jobs for retirees
Before you begin your job search, decide on the work schedule you want, how much responsibility you’re willing to accept and how much money you want to make.
“Really define what you want to do,” Ward says. “Narrow your focus and be very targeted.”
Here are 15 part-time jobs for retirees. Many offer remote or work-from-home opportunities.
1. Teacher or tutor
Many organizations need class instructors. For enrichment classes that are not for credit, experience is often the key credential required. Try the local college or university, arts center or parks and recreation center.
Or start a teaching program based on your skills and interests. A retired law enforcement worker, for example, might find work teaching personal safety courses or driver’s education.
If you have the skills and experience, you can tutor students in math or English. Connect with your local school district to get started.
2. Consultant or freelancer
Many companies hire people with specific skills based on their projects’ needs. Organizations that are downsizing sometimes need freelancers to fill gaps in their staff.
Some retirees become freelance consultants for the companies they were employed at for years. Sites such as PeoplePerHour.com connect their clients with freelancers.
A simple savings calculator can help you gauge your potential earnings.
3. Customer service
Many older workers can find “help desk” jobs that require the kind of knowledge they acquired over decades of work. FlexJobs.com, for example, lists numerous companies that hire remote customer service representatives.
4. Do what you did before retirement, just less of it
Many professional positions allow for a phased retirement, in which you work fewer hours each year over several years.
Or maybe you can switch to a permanent, part-time job with your former employer. Someone who had a career in public relations, for example, might find a part-time job with a former client.
5. Researcher for universities, businesses
Information gathering is a skill that is useful in many fields such as medicine, science, politics and technology. For example, some researchers help scholars find and collect the data they need to complete academic projects.
Maybe you’ve worked as an investigative reporter, done research at a university or collected data for a political organization. You can use your ability to delve for information in a variety of industries.
6. Government jobs
Federal government agencies have seasonal and part-time work. Visit USAjobs.gov to start. Being a military veteran is a big plus when it comes to landing a federal job.
Governments offer a wide array of part-time opportunities, from clerical to grounds maintenance. You may find appropriate work in state, county and city governments.
7. Monetize skills and hobbies
Some people don’t want to do the same work they did before retiring. They are attracted to jobs that involve interacting with others or participating in a hobby they can enjoy.
Think about what you’re good at and try to find a way to make money at it. You may find work doing odd jobs for people like putting together bookshelves, hanging pictures or doing minor home repairs.
If you’re good with a sewing needle, you could alter clothes or fix torn hems. Maybe you love to cook. You could cater special events or sell your products seasonally.
8. Sell your expertise online
Maybe you’ve traveled the U.S. in an RV and know all the tips and tricks for great RVing. Or perhaps you’re an expert gardener who wants to share your knowledge. To create a source of income, you could establish a web presence around your area of expertise and sell ad space and related items.
9. Pet sitter or house sitter
Caring for other people’s pets while they’re on vacation or away on business can be a great gig for retirees who love critters.
Word of mouth is a good way to get started. Let your family and friends know that you’re available to pet-sit or house-sit. Post a flyer on a community bulletin board. Or explore working part time at a business that cares for animals.
If you speak a foreign language, you may be able to get a flexible, part-time job as a translator or interpreter. Customer service centers, courts and social service agencies often need people with these skills.
Translators work with the written word, whereas an interpreter translates what is being spoken. Being bilingual will give you an edge for many jobs.
11. Usher, ticket-taker or museum guide
Many performing arts centers and local theaters use part-time workers to show audience members to their seats, collect tickets or sell beverages and snacks.
If you have a background in art history, you might make a good museum guide.
The arts offer opportunities for entertaining, flexible part-time jobs for those who have the passion and the people skills.
12. Courier, light deliveries
Retirees can make extra money shopping for and delivering groceries, medicines, gift baskets and other items. Many people use services such as Instacart, DoorDash and Shipt.
Or maybe you know people who don’t drive and are willing to pay someone to grocery shop, run errands or take them to appointments.
13. Direct sales
Companies such as Mary Kay, Avon, Pampered Chef and Amway often recruit retirees because the work can be done from home and sales representatives can make their own schedule.
With a phone, computer, internet access and minimal startup costs, you could earn a few hundred bucks a month selling products online or by hosting parties.
Select a product you like and would use and make sure the company is reputable. Before you sign on, ask whether the company buys back unsold products that are in good condition, just in case you decide this is not for you.
14. Temp worker
One good way to find jobs is through temporary staffing companies known as temp agencies, which connect their clients with qualified temporary hires.
Temp agencies offer a variety of positions — office jobs, healthcare work, skilled labor positions and much more — and can be a good path to a permanent job, if that’s your goal.
Temp work also gives workers and businesses a chance to see if the arrangement is a good fit before making a commitment.
15. Medical billing/coding specialist
This is a job perfectly suited to working from home on a computer. Certified medical billing specialists need a high school diploma and a postsecondary certificate, in addition to computer, clerical and customer service skills.
These workers code patient diagnoses and request payment from insurance companies or other sources. They may also organize patient records and bills and set up payment plans for patients.