If you pay attention to financial and social economic trends (embarrassed to say that I do), you’ll already be aware that people are retiring at a later age all the time. Partly this is due to the fact that we are living longer and therefore need more money to make it from age 65 to death. I think the real reason is that the traditional concept of retirement, sitting around and doing nothing all day long, is inherently flawed.
One day we all will retire. Retirement is the time when we kick back and enjoy the things in life that maybe we have overlooked earlier in life because of work responsibilities. But as it happens, some people get bored with retirement. They want something to occupy their days other than sleeping or relaxing by the pool.
Retirement is looked on favorably by most workers. After retiring from work, people take up new hobbies, expand the time that they spend on existing hobbies, relax, spend time with family, and travel. While these things sound exciting to us when we have no time to do them, after a while we may wonder if our lives are still as meaningful as they were when we were working. Activity and challenge are essential ingredients for human happiness.
Finding another job after retirement seems crazy, but can give us purpose. Retirement can last as long as twenty or thirty years. That’s a long time to fish and play bocce ball. The appeal may be that we work for enjoyment and not because we rely on the paycheck for our livelihood. After all retirement planning is about more than money.
Here are five jobs that are perfect for those golden-agers looking for some excitement and social interaction:
Why let all of that business knowledge go to waste? One of the fastest growing trends is to contract yourself out as a consultant to the company that you retired from. The best thing about this job is that you can work as much or as little as you choose. Companies often pay a lot more for your services because they avoid the long term commitments on insurance and other benefits they have to pay full time employees.
2. Work as a temporary employee.
Temporary employees, or “temps” are in high demand. Companies that need a worker for short periods don’t want to hire a full time employee that they will have to lay off in less than six months. Temps need to have a variety of skills and work many different schedules. This is perfect for a retired person who doesn’t want a regular job but occasional work. Especially for someone that likes to meet new challenges and new people.
3. Seasonal jobs.
Stores and retailers are always on the lookout for more help around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the summer. These are also the times when regular employees want to take their vacation. Retired workers, as many companies have been finding out, are hard workers who have excellent customer service skills. With the stress of raising a family and worrying about paying the mortgage have passed, retired workers are often more relaxed and make high quality customer service representatives.
4. Teach the young people.
Those who can, teach. Many professors in college and teachers in middle and high schools can be retired businesspeople or other professionals. The knowledge that they have gained in their working career is invaluable as lecturers. There is no better way to learn than to be mentored by someone who has been “in the trenches” in your field, and guiding a young and dedicated learner can be very rewarding for the mentor.
5. Work for non-profit organizations.
Follow the lead of Bill Gates and give back and make a little extra money at the same time. Working as an administrator at a non-profit organization that you believe is helping the community adds a purpose to your retirement. Within these companies you can change policy and petition the state and federal agencies for more money to support your programs. With the number of people required to fight global warming, the demand for people with skills and the ability to get things done in social service and volunteer organizations has never been greater.
Watch as Bill Gates talks about how he’ll spend his retirement and how strange it will be to not be working at Microsoft for the first time since he was 17!
If you don’t want to work in a formal sense, at least find a hobby or pastime to get involved in. I’m no scientist but I’m sure there are many studies that show that people who work or stay active after retirement not only live longer, but enjoy their life a lot more as well.