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Should Retirement Include a Small Bit of Work, on Your Terms?

I assumed my elderly co-workers had made poor financial decisions, which compelled them to work deep into their golden years.

A college student who worked as a seasonal employee for a tax preparation company was surprised to learn that most of his co-workers were older people, mainly older than 60 and one older than 70. As a young person, he thought they were working because they were desperate for an income, says the Napa Valley Register in the article “Consider a Retirement Job.” As he got to know his fellow workers, he learned that he was very wrong.

Most of them had retired from bigger and far better jobs. They took the seasonal tax work just to stay active and earn a little extra cash. The young man never thought much beyond that, until he began his own career as a financial planner and learned just how valuable a retirement job could be.

Retirees with a side job have more success in retirement, and it’s not just because they have some extra spending money. They have regular interactions with people of all generations, and they have a structure to their days that makes most senior’s lives more productive and fulfilling.

When we think of retirement jobs, most people think of a big-box store greeter. That’s not a bad deal, but it’s far from the only option to retirees. Some people decide to drive for a company like Uber or Lyft, which gives them a great deal of control over their schedules.

Did you know that there are driving services that don’t require you to drive people? You can drive as a courier, run errands or bring people food from restaurants, like DoorDash and Grubhub or, if you are fit enough for heavy bags, from grocery stores, like Peapod.

Other service jobs include house sitting or pet sitting. Online vacation rentals have led to an increase in home maintenance and housekeeping services needed.

Another option is to continue in your present job, but do it less, and on your own terms. For a teacher, that might mean substitute teaching. For professionals, becoming a consultant, often for the same people you worked with in the past, but on your terms, is also a part time option.

Retirement is when many people turn to their hobbies and make them into businesses. That could be crafts, painting, photography or woodworking. If you’ve always wanted to pursue a creative life, this is the time.

There are many different opportunities for retirement jobs. The important thing is to find something you love to do, that brings in some money and that works with your retirement lifestyle. Do what you love, and don’t settle for anything less.

Reference: Napa Valley Register (June 2, 2019) “Consider a Retirement Job.”

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