Whether it’s to spend more time with the grandkids, cut down on stress or slowly phase into retirement, more and more folks in their 50s and 60s choose to pursue part-time jobs with the goal of semiretiring.
For those who are retiring, it’s also a way to supplement their income in retirement and remain socially engaged.
“There’s this palpable fear in the eyes of people in their 50s of outliving their money,” said Kerry Hannon, AARP’s job expert and author of “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … And Pays the Bills” and Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness.”
Hannon says that working in retirement is part of their retirement plan nowadays. “It’s fantastic, because . . . it allows you to stave off dipping into those retirement accounts earlier than you need to, you can probably continue to contribute to Social Security and, depending on where you’re working, you may still have health benefits before you reach the Medicare age.”
In addition, “Studies have shown that people who continue to work are mentally sharper and they’re healthier because they have the social interaction.”
So, what are some of the options for those who wish to get a part-time job?
All Kinds Of Jobs
It appears that there is a smorgasbord of jobs. From seasonal work to jobs for night owls to small businesses that want to hire experienced workers, one can find what he likes if he just looks. One key advantage of working part-time is the flexibility that such a situation brings.
Hannon’s favorite is “jobs that ride the age wave.” People in their 50s and 60s can cater to and provide services to those in their 70s. She says that new opportunities are constantly being created.
One can be a patient advocate, helping people to navigate medical systems or coordinating and even going to medical appointments. Community colleges and nonprofit organizations now offer training and certification programs for this purpose. A franchise called SeniorsHelpingSeniors.com provides senior care and home care services nationwide.
Someone who has expertise and a lifetime experience in one particular field can of course either continue on a part-time basis within their company or start a consulting business as an independent contractor. Other options are mentoring, tutoring or offering lectures in that field.
Job placement agencies are available to talk to retirees about consulting options with corporations in various fields, especially in accounting, human resources or marketing.
AARP’s website makes available a plethora of resources for retirees looking for a career change or transition. It also has a unique program called Life Reimagined that specifically addresses those needs. In addition, AARP provides a list of the best employers for workers over 50. Health systems and universities consistently rank high on this list.
Another option is small businesses and nonprofits. Many can’t afford to hire someone on a full-time basis and pay benefits, but they need someone with experience who can work 20 to 30 hours a week.
Many websites cater specifically to retirees’ working needs, says Virginia Berger, a baby boomer retirement coach in San Diego. Examples include Encore.org, Retiredbrains.com and Workforce50.com.
“There are lots of things around travel,” she notes. BePaidToTravel.com provides the opportunity to train and then work as a tour guide or a tour director. Another example, states Berger, is national parks, which provide seasonal opportunities such as working at a campground or in a gift shop.
Work camping is a fun lifestyle for people who have an RV and would like to combine travel with part-time or full-time work.
Other possibilities include transforming one’s hobby into a part-time business, starting a writing career about one’s field of expertise or volunteering to give back to the community. Child care services, dog-sitting, retail jobs and call center positions are all good options for seniors.
But the transition sometimes happens in steps. “In the beginning, perhaps, they will stick to something close to what they’ve been doing,” said Berger, who herself went from full-time to part-time teaching before pursuing the completely different field of coaching.
New brain research points to the elasticity of our brains and their ability to create new brain cells all the time, even in retirement, noted Berger. “The benefits that older workers bring because of the way they think … we see the big picture, so we’re much better at looking in towards long-term goals for a company vs. short-term goals.”
BY MARIE BEERENS, FOR INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY