Why Seniors Should Continue to Work in Their Golden Years

Startling research suggests that the majority of middle-class seniors don’t have enough money to maintain their retirement, which is reducing buying power and quality of life while increasing stress and anxiety. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that 28 percent of seniors admit to being worse off during retirement than before. While nobody plans to work in their elder years, it can actually be beneficial for more reasons than money alone. Keeping busy also boosts mental and cognitive health, promotes physical activity, increases confidence, prevents isolation, and provides a purpose. Considering many seniors admit to being bored, picking up a part-time gig could be the best way to bring to bring gold back to the golden years. Here’s how to get started.

Looking for Work

It can be intimidating to look for work later in life, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, considering the popularity of seniors in the workforce, there are several channels you can consider. For example, seasonal work that’s conducive of holidays or weather-related tasks, gig-economy jobs (from ride sharing to writing) that allow you to set your own schedule, making money from a hobby (think woodworking or jewelry making), and using a previous skill to start a business — even from a consultant standpoint. On a more specific level, here are some jobs to consider:

  • Realty

It’s never too late to obtain your real estate license, especially if you previously thrived in a sales environment. It’s also a great way to ensure you’re out and meeting others. If you live alone, becoming a real estate agent is a great way to avoid social isolation. Most real estate agents are self-employed, which means you’ll set your own hours.

  • Dog Walking

Studies indicate that animals can have a positive effect on seniors, including stress reduction, decreased blood pressure, and increased physical activity. Starting a dog walking business could be a great way to keep all of these benefits in check on a regular basis while making some extra cash at the same time.

  • Teaching

Whether you were a previous teacher or have a skill that warrants instruction, teaching is a popular job for retired seniors. In fact, statistics indicate that jobs will increase by 7 to 8 percent by 2026. Substitute teaching is a good way to get your foot in the door while not committing to a full-time schedule.

  • Writing

You need not be a millennial with a blog to make money at writing. Start by looking for work in areas that you have an expertise, whether that’s cooking or finances. If you don’t want to commit to a full-time job, there’s the option to take on freelance work on a per-project basis. Taking your level of experience into account, establish a goal of how much money you’d like to bring in per week/month so you can determine your rate. Most writers have both an hourly and per-word rate in mind.

  • Financial Services

If you have a finance background, you could become an advisor to help companies track their growth, or work as an accountant or auditor. Some retirees choose to only work during the busy tax season.

Whether you start your own business, work as a freelancer, or are considered a part- or full-time employee, set up a time to talk with your tax professional or financial advisor. Make sure you’re setting aside funds for taxes (if applicable) and properly managing your extra income. Don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labor, too, as working at any age can be overwhelming.

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