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10 Great Part-Time Gigs for Retirees
Brandi Smith, Marketing Director
There is a plethora of reasons why people work after they retire. Some do it for financial reasons like generating funds for a better lifestyle — think traveling, participating in social activities or delaying their withdrawal from government pension benefits. It’s not always about the money, however. Many retirees work to have the opportunity for social interaction, ability to add structure to their day and for the satisfaction of a job well done. Studies have actually shown that continuing to work after retirement boosts one’s mental, physical, social and financial fitness.
The question is, what type of work is ideal for a retiree? We have ten great gig ideas that could fit many skill sets and areas of interest.
You’ve had the opportunity to build a wealth of experience during your career. Why not mentor a young entrepreneur and help them take their business to new heights faster than they could have ever imagined with your expertise and guidance? You can join organizations like MicroMentor.org, which is a free, easy to use social network that helps entrepreneurs looking to turn their passion into a business to connect with mentors that can help them solve problems and build their business together.
Tap into your expertise and skill set to launch a part-time gig as a consultant and land some short-term projects. Tap into your professional network, past employers and contact former colleagues and clients for help in identifying potential opportunities. To generate leads outside of your network, get involved with an association in your industry, an alumni group, a local Rotary Club or a regional small-business association. You can also join freelance sites like UpWork.com, Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, Airtasker.com and Guru.com. If you have more than 25 years of experience, checkout PatinaSolutions.com.
According to Indeed.com, the most frequent searches for part-time jobs by people 62 and older were for driving jobs, including professional driver, van driver and rideshare driver like Lyft or Uber. There is a less intrusive driving gig now — a ShipperBee driver — which offers far more benefits than these other driving gigs. You can set your hours and work only when you want to. You have complete flexibility when it comes to earning extra cash.
Personal assistant gigs can be in-person or handled virtually. If you sign on to be a personal assistant, you may be asked to handle a variety of tasks like organizing bills, papers and appointment calendars; accompanying someone to doctor appointments; paying bills; handling laundry duties; running errands; carting around children; walking the dog; tracking and filing medical bills and insurance payments; making meals; shopping for groceries. The list of to-dos will depend on your client’s needs. In essence, you’re a one-stop shop. You can advertise your services in community newspapers, on a neighborhood listserv, on bulletin boards in apartment buildings, in retirement or adult community residences and in local grocery stores. You can also leverage the freelance websites mentioned above: UpWork.com, Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, Airtasker.com and Guru.com.
If you’re an animal lover, you can help out family, friends and neighbors while they’re at work or out of town. You could also start your own pet sitting business or work for a company that provides animal care. If you want to get outdoors every day for a little exercise and fresh air, try offering a dog walking service. Summer vacations, spring breaks and holidays are peak demand times that you can tap into. For either if these gigs, you can sign up at Rover or Wag to find customers or rely on word-of-mouth service and advertising your services at a local pet store.
If you have a knack for fixing things, have your own tools and good customer service skills, this self-employed fix-it-up service can be an ideal route for you. It may be filled with a smorgasbord of odd jobs ranging from tightening loose door handles to repairing running toilets, but can also be a toss-up of wood working, plumbing, electrical and even painting projects. There are more structured opportunities in this arena with building owners who hire part-time workers to perform basic maintenance. This is one job, even on a part-time basis, that requires a certain level of fitness and stamina however, but one that also enables you to set your own hours and maintain a level of flexibility.
Selling for a direct-sales firm like Avon, Arbonne, Tupperware or Mary Kay can be profitable, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so. You can market products straight from your home office — all you need are a computer, internet access and a telephone. You’ll set your own schedule and typically sell the company’s products through home or office parties and online sales. Keep in mind that there can be some start-up costs, like a “starter” kit of training materials and products, however. Your earnings are usually commission-based. Legitimate direct-sales companies allow you to “sell back” unsold products that are in good condition if you decide this type of work isn’t for you. Contact the Direct Selling Association for information on specific direct-sales companies, and do your due diligence to avoid organizations that have been scrutinized for illegal practices or pyramid schemes.
If you’re a fan of music, theatre and the arts, why not get paid to help out at events at performing arts centers, concert venues and theatres? Not only do you earn some extra money, but you’ll be able to watch the show while you work and get perks like free or discounted tickets to other events. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you may also be able to work with companies that organize and staff large conferences, professional association meetings, seminar, and other business events.
Retailers are always hiring, particularly around the holidays. If you don’t want to commit to a long-term position, a holiday season retail job might be ideal for you. While you may not be able to select your work hours, it’s short term and you might benefit from their employee perks and benefits. Plus, you’ll fuel your bank account to cover holiday gatherings, hostess gifts and presents for your grandkids.
If you’re interested in working with children, consider a job as a substitute teacher or aide. In many school districts, you don’t need a degree in education to get hired and once you are, you’ll be able to choose to accept an assignment based on your availability. In addition to teacher positions, there are many other school job options which include food service and cafeteria positions, bus drivers and monitors, and administrative jobs.
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