3 Ways Seniors Can Work In Retirement

About 19% of Americans aged 65 and older are now in the workforce, an increase of over 50% since 1996. By 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22% will be working with 75 and older experiencing the fasters growth rate.  

Although money concerns are often presented as the main reason for this, there are many other reasons why a senior would want to work during their retirement. Working keeps your mind sharp and your body active, it enables social interaction, and it can strengthen your sense of identity.

The workforce is changing, however, and there are now several ways that seniors can choose to work. In this article, we will cover three of the most popular options.

Get a Part-Time Job

Assuming you don’t need a full-time job, a part-time gig can provide the perfect balance between work and retirement. Certain jobs are perfectly suited to retirees, from customer service roles to substitute teachers and dog walkers. However, before pursuing anything, you just need to make sure you are physically fit enough to do the role — especially if it involves a lot of standing — and that it is something you’d enjoy.

Alternatively, you can choose to stay in your existing job for longer or, as many Americans are doing, choose to retire gradually. If this option appeals to you but you are not sure your employer will go for it, brush up on some arguments to convince them. Namely, point out that phasing you out of the company can save them money while retaining experienced talent and providing more time for your expertise to be passed on to the younger generation.

Freelance Jobs for Seniors

Freelancing used to be a niche job structure, but it is now set to overtake traditional employment within the next decade. This means more competition and more opportunities for flexible work. Freelancing is ideal for seniors who want to keep working but want to do it on their own terms. You can choose your own clients and projects, be in control of your own schedule, and easily work around vacations, hobbies, and any other perks of retirement.

As a retired senior, you have one huge advantage over other budding freelancers: If you choose to work within your former field, you have a competitive asset – experience. Your biggest challenge will be compiling this experience into a digital portfolio (eg. resume or LinkedIn Profile) that can impress online clients. Drag-and-drop web builders like Wix are designed to be easy to use, making them a good starting point. Alternatively, you can pay another freelancer to help you with this. 

Start a Business

If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own small business (or starting another), now is the perfect time. Thanks to the internet and e-commerce, this is now easier than ever to do, and it requires very little overhead or start-up costs. For example, you could start your own online store. The drop-shipping model is a great option if you are worried about an upfront investment. You select which items you would like to sell, from cosmetics to clothes to office supplies, and the stock is kept with the service provider. When you get an order, they ship the item straight to the consumer, meaning you don’t actually have to buy any inventory.

Similarly, retirement can be a wonderful opportunity for crafty and creative types to pursue their passions as a career. For instance, Etsy is the best platform for selling arts and crafts, allowing you to set up a shop and sell your creations within minutes.

If you are thinking about working as a senior, it’s important to be aware of all the options you have. It’s now easier than ever to find flexible work, which means you don’t have to sacrifice the joys of your retirement to make extra money. Those with basic tech skills can make a living from the comfort of their own home, while those who prefer face-to-face interaction would do great in a more traditional customer-facing role. Just make sure to lead with your passions, interests, and capabilities: your retirement is too precious to waste doing work you don’t enjoy.