There are many reasons to consider working after retirement. For one, you’ll have an opportunity to achieve greater financial stability. Depending on how much you make, you may be able to postpone your Social Security benefits. And the longer you wait, the bigger your SS checks will be. But perhaps more importantly, working — whether you continue to do what you know or dip your toes into something new — can help you maintain overall wellness.
Something else to consider is that work in the digital age is much easier to come by than jobs just a few decades ago. This is due in part to the influx of remote work opportunities. And you do not have to be 100 percent computer savvy to find opportunities that fit your experience.
Is Remote Work a Possibility?
You might know remote working better by its previously dominant name: telecommuting. This is essentially the idea of being able to work from home or on the go. To work remotely, you have to be able to handle yourself without supervision. In other words, you need to know how to set a schedule and stick to it. You will also need equipment, which usually includes a computer and internet connection and lots of notebooks and pens to keep yourself organized.
Remote jobs are available in pretty much all sectors: customer service, sales and marketing, and accounting, just to name a few. A few minutes scrolling through established on-demand job boards such as Upwork, most of which have downloadable apps to help you in your journey, will reveal a world of opportunities. Here are a few examples of jobs you can work remotely:
- Writing jobs are considered the most coveted of work-at-home gigs. This is because you get to capitalize on both your experience and creativity to share something new and unique with the world. Think about your professional background. Did you work in retail? Healthcare? Human resources? Regardless of which industry you spent your working years, there is always a demand for things like employee manuals, blog posts, informational articles, and newsletters. Similarly, you could start your own blog or begin writing ebooks to earn a passive income.
- Customer Support. If you are good with people and don’t mind getting down to the nitty-gritty of a problem, you would probably make a great customer service representative, which often are work-from-home jobs.
- You do not have to be a licensed teacher to work as an online teacher/tutor. There are many companies that routinely contract people with different degrees and experience levels to teach English as a Second Language or to tutor students in everything from math to chemistry and engineering.
Learning a New Skill
If you don’t want to jump back into a career that you disliked, or are simply looking to try something new, there are also many ways that you can lengthen your resume throughout your senior years. Online companies, such as Udemy and Coursera, can help you learn a new skill. Just a few of these are:
- A web developer, or coder, creates websites, forms, or apps. Vanderbilt University offers a 24-week course in coding, and many other universities have similar classes available.
- If you have ever wondered how websites drive traffic, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the answers. There are many moving parts that come into play when Google and other search engines decide which website pops up when someone searches for a specific term. Moz gives a great description of SEO and offers more insight on everything from social metrics to writing SEO-friendly content.
- Graphic Design. Creative types might like to explore graphic design. Like drawing, graphic design involves using artistic skills to capture attention. The basic principles of both are similar and include using space, color, and texture to visually achieve a goal.
Old School Opportunities
Digital and remote jobs aren’t the only opportunities available to seniors. When you are more of a people person, the following jobs can get you out of the house:
- Photography is something that you might have to learn, but it’s also one of the most fun and flexible jobs out there. Even if you’ve never stood behind the lens before, there are lots of entry-level cameras that you can pick up pretty easily. You can shoot portraits, landscapes, or even real estate. If you like to travel, you might even find your niche taking photos and selling prints of your adventures.
- Museum Guide. A large number of museum guides are docents, or volunteers. While you won’t receive a regular paycheck, most usually earn tips. If you are passionate about a museum’s exhibits, you can spend your days talking to individuals and groups about something you genuinely love. It’s a great way to share your love of history, science, or art with the next generation
- Childcare workers are the front lines of caring for today’s youngest people. A childcare worker nurtures, protects, and teaches preschool-aged children. Known for an abundance of part-time positions, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that all you need is a high school diploma and on-the-job training. One of the most rewarding careers on the list, this can benefit you by allowing you to experience all of the joys of childhood, which is something many of us long for once our children and grandchildren are grown and have moved away.
- Working in the retail sector is an excellent way to earn a part-time income and spend time around others. Whether it’s seasonal or ongoing, the retail space typically has a wealth of opportunities for people who have flexibility in their schedules.
There is no reason that you have to sit stagnant during your retirement. But there are many reasons to work, from enhancing your income to putting your talents to good use on your own terms. Whether you want to work from home, learn a new skill, or get out into the world, there are plenty of jobs out there — all you have to do is look.