“When you retire, think and act as if you were still working”. This is the common scenario with people who are retired.
Having a sense of purpose could add years to your life, according to a study published in 2014 in Psychological Science. Researchers from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and the University of Rochester in New York, tracked the physical and mental health of more than 7,000 American adults ages 20 to 75 for 14 years, and found that those who felt they had a purpose or direction in life outlived those who did not.
Once you retire and your children has settled, it's easy to feel as though you have nothing left to accomplish. But older adults can still have career goals and direction, just in a different way, says E. Christine Moll, PhD, a professor in the department of counseling and human services at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and member of the American Counseling Association.
According to psychologists, jobs provide mental health benefits including:
- Feelings of contribution and being appreciated
- The satisfaction of solving problems and learning new things
- Relationships with fellow workers
- Daily routines eliminating mental decisions about “what to do next”
The key to a positive retirement is to ensure these benefits don’t get lost, but are simply experienced in a different way.
While at work, many of us dream of having time off to fill our days vacationing, playing golf, and relaxing with loved ones. But when retirement comes, we may actually find that we miss the work!
There are myriad reasons to continue to work after retirement: it can help you stay physically and mentally healthy, and provides an additional source of income. You may wish to find a job in your field with more flexibility, fewer hours, and less stress, or you could get started in a new career field. Instead of fitting your life around your job, you can look for jobs that allow you to pursue your interests. This can be a dream come true for a retiree.
If you plan to work after retirement, check out these ideas that suits your post-retirement needs.
1. Work as a Consultant
Retired individuals with advanced degrees or specialized experience can consider a career in consulting. Consultants can leverage their years of expertise, training, and connections and set their hours to avoid a full-time workload.
For example, retirees with experience in programming, website development, finance, and litigation are highly sought after. In fact, many companies can afford to pay consultants high fees because they don’t have to pay for their benefits.
When you begin working as a contractor or a consultant, think of ways to find more work once your current assignment ends. Taking on short-term or part-time jobs can expand your network of professional contacts, which may help you find work in the future. Another option for consultants is to sign up with a headhunter or job placement firm. Though these companies may take a cut of your earnings, they have access to a large database of companies that may need your services.
2. Work for Your Former Employer
If you enjoyed the work you did before retirement, consider working part-time for your former employer. Since employers hate to lose valuable employees, your old boss may jump at the chance to hire you back, even if you require a less intensive or more flexible schedule. This will allow you to renew contact with old coworkers and continue a job that you always enjoyed – but now according to your schedule.
3. Start a Retail Business
Many retirees opt to open their own retail business. If you have a large collection of any kind, an attic full of dusty antiques, or boxes of books you no longer read, you may have the initial inventory needed for your own retail business.
The Internet makes it easy to start a new online business because of the relatively low overhead costs of selling and advertising online through sites like eBay and Craigslist. Additionally, you can sell items in a rented space at a brick-and-mortar store, or rent a booth at a flea market.
If you plan to start your own business, look to your local chamber of commerce and the Small Business Administration for resources. You can also start a website to advertise your services, and utilize social media to promote your business.
4. Seek Out Low-Stress, Part-Time Work
If you just want to stay active and in touch with other people, look for low-stress work with light responsibility. Here are some of the most popular part-time jobs for retirees:
- Retail Positions. These jobs don’t pay high salaries, but they do offer flexible schedules. Plus, they exist everywhere.
- Call Center Jobs. In a call center, employees spend most of their time sitting and talking on the phone, which can be great for seniors with low mobility. In fact, a number of companies allow customer service representatives to work from home.
- Teaching Assistants and Tutors. Retirees who enjoy working with students might enjoy being a teaching assistant or a tutor. Educational institutes sometimes hire teaching assistants for a small hourly wage or a flat fee. Tutors, on the other hand, can be self-employed or work with a larger organization.
- Childcare Services. Childcare remains a constant need for busy families. You can babysit as needed for friends, family, and neighbors for extra income, or offer daily childcare services in your home.
5. Find a Part-Time Job with Perks
Since wages are generally low, finding a part-time job with health insurance benefits and perks can make the work more appealing. For example, if you work for a movie theater, playhouse, concert hall, or almost any other type of entertainment venue, you may receive free tickets to shows. Or if you work as an usher during theater or sporting events, the majority of your work will occur at the beginning of the show or the game, which means you can enjoy the entertainment for the remainder of your shift.
6. Work as a Temp
Temporary jobs can be an opportunity for you to alternate work with leisure. These jobs vary, but might include general labor or office jobs, including bookkeeping, customer service, and data processing positions. Assignment duration can range between one day and several weeks.
If you need a break, you can pass on one job and wait for the next to come along. Moreover, many temporary jobs don’t require a specific skill set, significant work experience, or an advanced degree. You can find a temporary job online using Craigslist.
7. Give Back
A number of retirees want jobs that allow them to give something back to the world. These jobs tend to pay very little and might include teaching, tutoring, or working at daycare centers.Many retirees also enjoy volunteer positions, such as working with animal shelters or organizations.
If you like the idea of giving back, but want an income while you’re doing it, consider a job in the healthcare industry.