Are you retiring, already retired or hoping to retire soon? Are you worried that the moment you retire, you will be bored or run out of money or both? This article looks at the employment opportunities for retired people and picks up the best retirement jobs.
DO YOU REALLY WANT A RETIREMENT CAREER?
Firstly, take a moment to consider why you are looking for a job after retirement. Do you really want to need to work after retiring? Perhaps it is the pressures and expectations of our modern society to be rich and always busy rather than a genuine desire for retirement income or a way to occupy your day.
Recent research has shown that three-quarters of German adults find it difficult to switch off and do nothing. They have even coined a term for it: ‘freizeitstresse’ or ‘free time stress’. This is guilt or stress when we are doing nothing with our free time. We might be stressed that we are ‘only’ reading a book, sitting out in the garden, having a nap or watching TV.
Even retirees are thought to suffer from this free time stress. They feel a subconscious social pressure to be active and ‘do stuff’. Is this the reason you are looking for retirement work? Do not rush headlong into the first retirement career you are offered. Consider the underlying motivations for your desire to work. You can keep busy and live a fulfilled life without taking on a job, or you can do absolutely nothing! It is your life and you have earned the right to do what you like with it.
Perhaps you want to supplement your retirement income. You are worried that it will run out. This is a perfectly valid concern. Many people head into retirement without enough funds. Analyze your financial situation with an adviser or check with one of the many retirement calculators online to see if you have enough money to sustain the lifestyle you have chosen in your later years.
Also be wary of jumping into work as a status symbol. Having a job often defines who we are, and thus our self-worth. People love boasting about how busy they are, how they haven’t slept for days in order to meet this or that deadline. It is a curse of modern society that we consider overwork and high work stress to be a badge of honor. Are you looking for a retirement career simply to avoid sitting at a dinner party and hearing those words “so what do you do?”
Now you have considered the reasons for working again, let us list out the best retirement careers out there.
WORK AT HOME
Finding a work-at-home occupation is probably of the most popular retiree jobs. Working from the comfort of your own home, without having to commute to the office each day, wear a suit, or deal with the same old office politics, gossip and plain pointless conversations; there are certainly many advantages to working from home.
Companies are seeking ways to reduce their overheads. With this come opportunities for part-time, stay-at-home work.
Some of the most popular jobs you can do at your kitchen table include writing, proofreading, editing and researching. If we just look at the category of writing, there is a unbelievable variety of related jobs such as ghost-writing, resume writing, technical writing, blogging, travel writing. I have even seen jobs advertised for people to simply cut and paste internet research findings into a word document.
You can find many opportunities like this at freelance websites such as elance.com, odesk.com and freelancer.com.
Other work-at-home jobs include data entry, crossword creation, recipe testing and writing, graphics design and computer programming. My friend’s retired mom is a medical coder. Her local hospital even supplied her with a computer to work with and an allowance for her broadband internet connection.
Admittedly, she was a trained medical coder at the same hospital for many years before retiring, but it is possible to receive online training and certification for this.
Some view gardening as hard work, while others see it as a glorious chance to work in the great outdoors and be one again with nature.
In modern families, often both parents work, so they have less time to maintain a garden. Isn’t it one of life’s ironies that people work so hard today to be able to afford a large house with a pretty garden and then don’t have time to enjoy either of them! Their loss – your gain. They are more likely to employ a part-time gardener to mow lawns, trim hedges, weed and water plants.
Gardening is physical work but there are so many useful gardening tools and gadgets for almost every task. This includes knee rests, light weight tools and longer handles so you can avoid back strain.
There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence to support that gardening improves your mental state and can even stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
How can you satisfy your shopping urges without having to spend any money? Even better, get paid to shop or eat out! A mystery shopper goes into a fast food restaurant or a store and pretends to order or buy something just as a regular customer. Meanwhile, without the staff noticing, they are quietly noting all the small details of their experience and service: the time it takes to order and receive the food, the cleanliness of the toilet, the response to queries or complaints, the appearance and attitude of the workers.
This is life of the mystery shopper and for many retirees, this is the dream career. In 2004, in the US alone, they estimate that a whopping $645 million dollars were paid out to mystery shoppers. You might be in a fast food restaurant in the morning, buying electronics in the afternoon and enjoying a swanky top class restaurant in the evening; all on someone else’s money!
I was once paid for spending a night in one of the world’s finest hotels. A third-party security company had hired me and dozens of others to secretly test the emergency fire procedure. We spent a very comfortable evening enjoying the hotel’s delights including an evening meal, swimming pool, spa and gym. At around 10am the next morning the fire alarm sounded. We were guided by the staff to the nearest emergency exit and simply had to complete a 45 minute interview about our experience. The easiest supplementary income I have ever earned.
When looking for mystery shopper opportunities you can do an online search but research each opportunity thoroughly as there are internet scams. Also, there is no guarantee you will be accepted first time round or by the first company to which you apply, so be patient and persistent.
NEW RETIREMENT CAREER
It is said that 80% of people finish up in the wrong job. So looking at a new career in your retirement is an opportunity to try something completely new. Po Bronson says his popular book “What Should I Do With My Life” says many retirees draw inspiration from his stories in order to find meaningful work for their retirement years.
These are just a few of the opportunities available to you to add to your retirement income. I hope you have enjoyed this brief guide to the best retirement jobs. All the best wishes for your new career!