More Americans are working part-time jobs in retirement. According to U.S. government figures, 19% of U.S. retiree had part-time jobs in 2017, and that figure should rise as more baby boomers pour into retirement.
What's not to like? Part-time jobs keep retirees engaged in the community, offer a steady paycheck, and enable them to meet more people, and keep them active and busy.
"If you're retired and looking for something to do, part-time work is a
great way to get out of the house, meet some new people and earn a little
spending money along the way," says Michael Decatur, a spokesperson with Truxx, an Ithaca, N.Y.-based crowd-sourced ride-sharing app that connects truck owners with people who need cargo moved.
Increasingly, the gig economy is a promising option for retirees looking for part-time work, says Decatur. "Gig jobs offer schedule autonomy and getting one is usually as simple as having a relatively clean criminal record and the ability to download an app to your smartphone," he says. "Also, you're no longer limited to Uber or Lyft. There are caretaking services, home task services and even one for those retirees who own a truck, like we do with Truxx."
Retirees are also increasingly matching their passions with part-time work.
"I'm an avid golfer and have worked in the golf industry, both at a country club and a store," says Matthew Ramos, a financial planner in Washington, D.C. "The pay is OK, but the real perk of free golf, if you work at a course, is a nice one. Plus, if you love golf, it's fun to be around the game and outside, even if you are working."
A little professional training can also lead to a good part-time gig in retirement.
"Becoming a tax preparer is a great seasonal job for a retiree," says Chuck McCabe, chief executive officer at The Income Tax School, in Glen Allen, Va. "The retiree can travel and have fun with grandchildren during the off-season and summer when school is out, and work during tax season in a professional office atmosphere using computers and helping people." McCabe says his tax school employs "a lot" of retirees.
Having more time in retirement allows retirees to get more creative about the work they want to do.
"I'm an actual retiree with an actual part-time job," says Kitty Felde, creator of the Book Club for Kids podcast. "Recently, for example, I just talked to half a dozen middle-grade school kids about the book "A Wrinkle in Time. After 30 years of public radio journalism, covering everything from Bosnian war crimes trials to the O.J. Simpson case to politicos on Capitol Hill, this is a blast!"
What jobs are most popular and most in demand for retirees? Roy Cohen, a career coach and author of the book, "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide," offers this handy list:
Dog Walker -- If you are a dog person, this option offers lots of flexibility. It also provides plenty of exercise and you will meet new and interesting people on your walks. It also generally pays in cash.
Athletic Trainer -- America as a whole is "greying". We are all living longer and healthier lives. Older people need trainers who understand the physical and mechanical limitations that are inevitable in an older client.
Financial Advisor -- For individuals who have worked in finance and understand and get excited by sharing that knowledge, this option is readily available as long as you are willing to study for, take, and pass the CFP exam.
Tutor -- For retired teachers this is a great option, especially helping families to manage the college admissions process.
Consultant -- Lots of opportunities exist for skilled project managers, specialists in technology, and other subject matter experts.
House Watcher -- In resort communities, off-season opportunities always exist for house watchers. People tend to visit their houses less often and the potential for a frozen pipe, a leak, or some other emergency can be easily avoided or detected in advance by having a trusted person check in with some regularity.
Garden Store/Nursery -- Gardening is a seasonal activity and it is a great way to get paid for a hobby. Spring and summer tend to be the busiest for planting and tending gardens, so focus on applying before the busy season.
Dance, Crafts or Bridge Instructor -- "Specialty" teaching offers flexibility and the potential to travel. Lots of folks are hired by cruise lines to distract and entertain the passengers.
Driver, Caregiver or Helper to the Elderly -- The very oldest among us will need increasing help and support. For those who want to remain independent, having a person to help with errands, driving, personal hygiene and other activities will become essential.
Freelance Editor or Writer -- For ex-writers, editors or lawyers who like to write and/or edit, there are an infinite number and range of opportunities. The internet has a vast demand for content that can be delivered on a freelance basis.
As Cohen's list demonstrates, there is no shortage of part-time jobs for retirees, many of whom are gung-ho about staying busy -- and collecting a welcome paycheck -- in retirement.
With the advancement of the gig economy and digital job sites, getting such a job is likely easier than you might think.