Retirement and Working: It\’s Not a Contradiction!
Will you work after leaving your primary career? If the answer is
yes, you will be in good company – an AARP survey reports that 80% of
boomers plan to work full or part time after retirement. Finances are
the biggest reason, but over one-third of those surveyed cited
enjoyment of work as a factor, and doing something different enticed an
additional five percent.
There are a number of options for working during the second half of
your life. Let\’s look at several areas beyond the usual greeter,
retailer, cashier, food preparer, and server positions:
Work part of the year. If you love the great outdoors, consider
working at a national park, ski resort, ranch, theme park, tour
company, on a ship, etc. For a seasonal commitment, you can receive
lodging, meals, and a paycheck. It won\’t be the Ritz, and you won\’t
make a fortune, but it may be the right thing if you\’re open to new
experiences and like to work hard. For more information, contact www.coolworks.com – there is even a link for the “older and bolder” or call 406-582-9491) or Xanterra Parks & Resorts (www.xanterra.com
or 303-600-3400) if you\’re interested in managing the concessions
(lodging, food, gift shops, etc.) at national/state parks or resorts.
Best employers for those 50 or better. The AARP publishes
their “Best Employers for Workers Over 50” annually; AARP evaluates the
companies on the following criteria: “recruiting practices, workplace
culture, continued opportunities, employee benefits, retiree benefits,
organization statistics, and innovative practices.” To access the
latest (2005) list, go to http://www.aarpmagazine.org/lifestyle/best_employers.html. If you\’re within striking distance of one of these companies, it would be worth checking out.
Hot jobs. If you\’re looking for a new direction, but want
to find out where the jobs are – or will be – check out the U.S.
Department of Labor\’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is revised
every other year. It contains a treasure trove of information about
national growth projections, wages, education, and working conditions
for specific careers. Access the newest edition of the handbook, the
2006 – 2007 edition, online at www.bls.gov/oco.
Predicted areas of highest employment growth for the 2004 – 2014 period
include healthcare (no big surprise as we boomers advance in age),
employment services, technical (think computer) services, the leisure
and hospitality industry (all the boomers ready to spend their money!),
and the financial services industries. If these areas appeal to you,
you\’re in luck!
Start your own business. Some retirees dream of taking a
passion or hobby and turning it into a money-making venture – writing,
painting, opening a restaurant or boutique or B&B, or having a
consulting business, for example. Although two million Americans 55 and
older are self-employed, the cold reality is that most businesses fail
within the first three to five years. Carefully consider financial
issues (cash flow, potential outside sources of money, develop a
business plan, have a niche market), your personality (perseverance,
ability to cope with rejection, stamina, desire and energy to solicit
business, reasons for pursuing this goal), and kind of business (sole
proprietorship, joint enterprise, corporation). Do you want to start a
new business from scratch or buy into a franchise? Investments in
franchises can begin under $15,000 and can climb into six or seven
figures. Take a look at www.franchisedirect.com or www.franchsie.com for more information.
Work from home. Although it seems that scams abound in
this category (stuffing envelopes, anyone?) there is a definite
legitimate side to this industry. “Homeshoring” allows customer service
agents to work out of their home, primarily phone work and data entry.
Some people hired for this type of work are independent contractors;
others are employees of the company. Examples of firms that hire
stay-at-home customer service reps: Working Solutions (www.workingsolutions.com), West Corp (www.workathomeagent.com), LiveOps (www.liveops.com), and Alpine Access (www.alpineaccess.com). Pay is usually around $9 – $15 an hour.
Teach English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL).
If you\’d like to combine work and travel, consider teaching English in
a foreign country (or in locations within the United States). Many
positions require a college degree; some require a TEFL (Teaching
English as a Foreign Language) certificate, which can be obtained in
the United States. A good website is www.tesol.org, or look on www.eslemployment.com to get a sense of positions, locations, requirements, and pay.
Realtor. Real estate attracts those who are people oriented,
flexible, realize that there won\’t be a steady paycheck, and don\’t wish
to have a 9-5 job. You\’ll need to take the appropriate real estate
course, pass the licensing exam, and be sponsored by a broker or real
estate company in the state in which you wish to be licensed. Contact
the Board of Realtors in the location where you wish to be licensed to
find out the specifics.
Miscellaneous. Several other assorted thoughts: Become a Mystery Shopper (www.secretshopnet.com), a member of a focus group (access the New York Marketing Association Greenbook – www.greenbook.org
– and search their national directory by desired location, or look for
ads in local or college newspapers). Get paid to participate in surveys
over the Internet (www.buzzback.com and www.gozing.com).
Whether you are asked to participate in a survey is a function of the
demographics a company needs. How about being a Club Med staffer? See www.clubmedjobs.com for more specifics. For Men Only (who like to dance): you can be a “gentleman host” on a cruise ship (www.theworkingvacation.com).
Would you like to be paid to exercise? Consider a stint as a dog
walker/sitter – done on your own or as through a company such as LA
County\’s Your Dog\’s Best Friend (www.yourdogsbestfriend.org) or a Fetch! Pet Care (www.fetchpetcare.com).
Although not an exhaustive list by any means, you can see that there
is a wide variety of second careers/jobs in a wide variety of fields.
So, freshen up that resume (that\’s a future column) and start