But today’s retirees are not only working longer, many are pursuing whole new full-time careers after retirement.
Baby Boomers: Fastest Growing Segment of the Workforce
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men and women over the age of 65 will represent the fastest growing segment of the workforce in the coming decade.
The BLS predicts labor force participation among 65- to 74-year-olds will reach 32 percent by 2022, up from 20 percent in 2002. And 11 percent of people age 75+ will work in 2022, more than double the 2002 numbers.
Careers After Retirement
Many of these working baby boomers won’t take on part-time jobs just to fill the time. They will begin full-fledged second careers. Or at least consider off-shoots of their former jobs.
Take Doris McGhee Collins, profiled by AARP. She retired as a human resources executive at a financial services company at 63, but soon went on to found her own HR consulting firm. At age 70, she is working as a full-time HR director at a charter school consortium. The children and the environment inspire her.
Perks of Second Careers
Many retirees like the flexibility that comes from working when they don’t need to for strictly financial reasons.
Older workers may choose to telecommute, have a shorter work-week, or choose work where they feel they can make a difference in the world.
Staying in a Related Field after Retirement
Some retirees choose to remain in their own field, especially if they worked in a highly skilled area that was not too physical demanding. They might leave their current job, though, and move into the non-profit sector. Or find a job related to their skillset but more inspiring, as Collins did.
Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and entrepreneurs with great flexibility in their working hours might stay in their careers decades after others have retired.
Best Second Careers for Retirees
For those who shift to a completely new field, what kinds of careers are retirees taking on?
Jobs in sales, market and survey research, non-profit fundraising, consulting, or even business coaching might be good fits for retirees with a certain skillset. The Fiscal Times identified these jobs as some of the best-paying for retirees. Older adults with degrees in public relations, marketing, human resources or business may do very well in these fields.
These jobs, by their nature, may fill a retiree’s need to stay connected, socialize, and meet new people.
Seasonal Work for Retirees
Retirees who want the utmost in flexibility might choose seasonal work. For instance, they might get the training and certification to become a tax preparer.
Don’t laugh, but a number of male retirees are opting to don a beard and play Santa Claus around the holidays. This can be the perfect vocation if you’re looking to a little extra holiday cash while helping others feel “merry and bright.”
Retirees and the Gig Economy
With the rise of the gig-based economy, seniors can set their own hours and earn extra cash as drivers, graphic designers, house-sitters, or dog walkers on a part-time basis.
Five Star Senior Living communities offer a number of adult education courses for residents, which could lead to a fulfilling second career after retirement.
The bottom line is that retirement doesn’t mean the end of the line for older adults who enjoy working. It can be a time to pursue a passion you’ve always dreamed of.