Work & Career
The 15 Best Jobs for Retirees
Nearly one-third of retirees keep working after they bid farewell to their first career. If you’re looking to keep earning, try one of these golden years-friendly careers on for size.
Calling all former CPAs and bookkeepers—you can make some serious money working seasonally as a tax preparer. Some of the big online preparers hire retirees to provide live help to their clients; TurboTax says about one-third of their experts are over 65. If you’re good with finance, you’ll want to check out the secrets to retiring early from people who figured out how.
If you always dreamed of starting your own business, your retirement from your old career could be the perfect opportunity for you to launch that bait-and-tackle shop or party planning service. In fact, 42 percent of working retirees are small business owners, according to the Center for a Secure Retirement.
If you’ve already developed the research skills to build your own family tree, you can put your mastery to use helping others explore their ancestry. With all the online tools available, this can be work you manage from home that can easily fit around your schedule.
Animal lovers can cash in on their passion by starting a side gig pet sitting (in your home or theirs) or dog walking. Set yourself up on websites like Rover.com and Wag! to drum up business in your area. Or you could try one of these 15 simple ways to make more money in your retirement.
Love to play ball? Consider signing up to coach or referee in your favorite sport. You’ll be able to get some exercise, explore your love of the game—and make yourself a little extra cash on the side. Just take care that you don’t do any of the 9 things that could sabotage your retirement.
Tour guide or docent
If you live in or near a popular tourist destination, you could find a job as a guide or museum docent. Look for positions in a topic—history, art, music—that you’re passionate about. You could find pay and satisfaction in explaining sculpture at an art museum or leading walking tours around historic neighborhoods.
Those skills you built through decades of experience can be passed down to a new generation through teaching. Whether you opt to join college faculty, serve as an aide or assistant in an elementary class, or instruct an adult-learning class, you’ll be able to share your expertise.
This job has some pretty special perks: After you spend a little time handing out programs and helping straighten out seat assignments, you will be able to stick around and catch the entire show—and get paid to do it! It may help you bridge any income gaps—here’s how much you really need to retire.
That expertise and contacts you’ve built over the decades could help you create a freelance consulting business. Whether you go back to your old employer to freelance on a key project or work with new clients who could benefit from your skill set, you may find yourself even more in demand than you were in your career.
Many retirees provide child care for one very special set of little ones—their own grandchildren. But if you adore kids, working at a daycare center or summer camp might be in the cards—or you could serve a select group of little ones as a nanny or at your own in-home childcare.
Sites like Etsy and Handmade on Amazon give you an opportunity to sell items you’ve crafted as part of your hobbies. Also, you can find specialty markets for particular passions—check out stock sites like Shutterstock for photography. You can look out for craft fairs or boutiques in your area for other possible markets for your crafts.
Real estate agent
You’ll need to go back to school and ace a licensing exam to score a second career as a real estate agent. But the field allows for a little more flexibility in your work schedule, making it an ideal choice for retirement.
Giving back is a big incentive for many seniors who choose to keep working. In fact, a recent study by Encore.org and Penn Schoen Berland found that 80 percent of people in second careers say their new roles allow them as many or even more opportunities to contribute to society than their primary career. If you’re a person who wants to get involved in social causes like the environment, healthcare, education, or other key issues, nonprofit work could be for you. Retirement is a time to reassess and redirect: See what others wish they’d done differently in retirement.
There’s plenty of work for people who don’t mind dealing with traffic. You could opt to drive for one of the newer services, like Uber or Lyft, or get hired at a car service or delivery service. Depending on how you decide to hit the road, this could be the ultimate in flexible work schedule.
Writing could be another way to share your expertise and your passions, whether you opt to pen a book, write articles for websites, or even start your own blog. But if taking on a new job isn’t for you, just be sure to avoid these 15 mistakes that’ll ruin your retirement.