Finding a New Job in Retirement - Part 2
Identifying Your Next Job
In Part 1, we discussed how companies are addressing ageism and are becoming more aware of the value of an age diverse workforce. With that in mind, why exactly would an individual want to take advantage of this trend? If retirement is officially the “golden years”, why offset that by going back to work? And in the case an individual does decide to forego retirement, what are the best job opportunities for a retirement-age demographic?
Retirement? Not Quite Yet
Many individuals are finding themselves approaching retirement age, but not quite yet ready to fully retire. The three main reasons for not embracing retirement are economic factors, social concerns, and a desire to give back.
- Economic - Most people don’t have enough saved up for a comfortable retirement. According to a recent study from Transamerica, the average retirement savings comes in at $50,000. That breaks down to $56,000 for full time workers, $25,000 for part-time workers, and 25% of workers have saved $10,000 or less. These low numbers are compounded by the fact that life expectancy is consistently rising. As a result, it is becoming increasingly more common for Americans to be retired for 20+ years. That requires a significant nest egg to make retirement comfortable, and most just don’t have it. This requires workers to look for continued employment even after they have officially hit retirement age.
- Social - As many of us know from personal experience, a large percentage of our social interaction comes from fellow coworkers. They may not be our family or best friends, but they do provide an interactive venue which keeps a person socially engaged. Many American seniors who are fully retired often find themselves leading socially distanced lives. Even those who are fortunate enough to have an active social life may not yet be ready for a life of quiet leisure. Staying active helps people find fulfillment and for many people their main activity is work.
- Giving back - Retirement can provide a platform for people to give back to their communities. With lesser financial pressure, retirees can engage positions that may not be as well paid, but can have an outsize effect of the recipient community.
Finding the Ideal Post-Retirement Job
The first step in finding a post-retirement position is determining which elements you feel are most important for the position. Start by exploring the following questions:
- Are the economics important? How important is it that the position should be well paying? Will this position be your main income or will it be supplementing Social Security and other retirement savings?
- What do you want to do? Many workers fell into their career paths in an almost happenstance manner, but those careers are not necessarily their dream jobs. If you could do anything at this point in your life, what would you actually enjoy doing?
- Do you want to explore low-paying or perhaps even volunteer positions? Many of these positions can offer a tremendous sense of fulfillment, although they may not provide a lot of compensation.
- How much stress or activity would you like to anticipate? Some people thrive on fast paced environments, while others are ready for a more leisurely position that does not possess the same day-to-day tension.
- Would you like to start your own business? This is an option that can optimized with a Self Directed IRA, and we will discuss it in depth in the next installment.
Once you know the parameters of the position that you are searching for, it will be much easier to compile a list of positions that fit the bill. You can then go on job boards (like Indeed or LinkedIn), and skim jobs according to your parameters. You can also google senior-friendly companies, especially those that offer “returnships”.
Jobs For Post-Retirement
If you have a specific position in mind, then you should certainly pursue it. Daily activities that you actually want to do are always going to be your best bet. However, if you’re open to new possibilities, then the following list of retirement-friendly positions might give you a few good ideas.
- Landscaper – Gardening has been a perennial favorite amongst retirees. However, not everybody has a great property for it or perhaps they just like thinking big. In either case, working as a professional landscaper can turn an enjoyable activity into a great job. These kinds of positions can be found by specialty landscaping companies, botanical gardens, or company-dedicated grounds crews.
- Librarian – Do you enjoy reading and helping people explore great books? What about working with children? As a librarian, you can help people navigate the collection, run children’s programs, or engage a research interest by working in an archive.
- Patient advocate – A patient advocate works on behalf of those receiving medical care who may not have the requisite expertise or emotional temperament to successfully pursue their own cases. The advocacy can be in any area but typically focuses on receiving the correct services or navigating the financial and insurance-oriented aspects of the treatment. If you have healthcare or insurance experience, patient advocacy is a great opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.
- Local government – Local positions are fundamental for neighborhood success but often require an allotment of time that goes beyond the offered salary. Working in a local government office gives a retiree a small but consistent income, as well as a chance to have progress-oriented interactions with fellow community members.
- Primary school teaching assistant – As a teaching assistant, you get to experience the joy of working with children, but without the headache of curriculum development or other administrative duties. This is also ideal for those looking for part-time work as the school day ends in the early afternoon and comes with built-in holidays and summer vacation.
Getting educated is always the first step. The research will give you new ideas and actually point to the positions where you’ll find the most personal engagement. If you’re interested in exploring using a Self Directed IRA to take your retirement further, you can contact a Madison specialist here.