Could more money bring you more happiness in retirement?
Done with the grind? Enjoy well-earned freedom and a paycheck too.
You’re retired. You’re having fun. Still, there’s something you miss about not going to work every day. It might be the purpose your job gave you or that daily feeling of accomplishment. Let’s face it though, the paycheck probably was the best part.
You may be wondering about the possibility of going back to work or how to earn a bit of money.
Finding a way to get a little payday without cramping your laidback retirement lifestyle might be easier than you realize. After all, 63 percent of Americans plan to work after retirement age. That’s why we’ve pulled together this set of seven tips for retirees considering looking for work.
Seven ways to find work that doesn’t cramp your senior citizen lifestyle
1. Identify skills that feel natural so you can enjoy what you do.
Need ideas for types of work or money-making opportunities? Start by brainstorming and listing your skills. Most people have more job-worthy skills than they may think of based on their career choices.
Think of skills you’ve used in previous jobs, those you developed through hobbies and/or volunteering, as well as others related to helping your friends and family. Be sure to drill down and call out all of your transferable skills, also known as soft skills: empathy, teamwork ability, problem-solving, time management, etc. This article on soft skills will juice your brainstorm.
2. Think outside the box.
You might have fun doing a job you wouldn’t have considered prior to retirement. It may strike you as something you’d be good at or would let you meet interesting people but didn’t necessarily make sense for you to do as your occupation or build your career on.
Explore possibilities with web searches: Food demonstrator, phlebotomist, barista, shelf stocker, resort guest services, customer service at local tourist destinations or airport shuttle driver. Think of places where you see people having fun while working. When you’re feeling really outgoing, consider chatting up someone doing a job that seems intriguing.
3. Not crazy about commitment? Consider something in the gig economy.
If you are working in the “gig economy” it means you likely do short bursts of work—something that takes less than a day or perhaps a week or longer. If you’re interested in doing projects instead of a regular job, you may want to consider going to sites that connect people with “gig economy” work .
Freelancer.com lets you refine your searches according to specific skills so you can find opportunities in your zip code and all around the world. Pay can vary wildly. A recent search yielded listings for everything from house painting and garden waste removal to a UX design project in Thailand and creating a risk assessment document for a medical device.
Other platforms, such as Care.com (matching customers with babysitters, home health providers, tutors and others who provide household services) and TaskRabbit (matching customers with people who offer handyman, furniture assembly and similar services), are niche-focused compared with Freelancer.com . Check out this article for a list of these and other gig websites where you will find great gig opportunities.
To find postings for regular part- and full-time jobs, LinkedIn , Indeed and Monster are a few places to get started.
4. Better-suited for something stable? Work right from your home.
Love the flexibility of freelance, but don't want to spend so much time on the road? Or maybe want to be free to roam the world. Refine your googling for paycheck opportunities that let you work wherever you want. A growing number of well-known companies , such as Amazon, Google and Apple, are embracing a remote workforce.
More and more customer service work is done via virtual contact centers by people working from their home offices. ( Liveops is one to check out if you are empathetic, organized and enjoy solving problems.) You’ll find an array of possibilities by going to websites specializing in matching talent with remote work, such as Flexjobs and Working Nomads .
5. Sell your crafts, artwork and photography.
There’s no requirement for a fine arts degree or a lifetime devoted to painting or other creative pursuits to make money with your creativity. Sites like Etsy and Art Fire enable anyone to sell their wares. The Penny Hoarder has a few tips, and The Work at Home Woman also may be helpful for you.
Hobby photographers can make decent side money by submitting their images to a stock photo seller. When you’re starting out, you may only receive 25 cents or so from a picture but it will likely be sold multiple times and the more you sell, the higher your rate can go. If you’re already shooting beautiful, interesting or useful photos, you’re already doing the most time-consuming portion of this work.
6. You may encounter a scam or two in your online job search.
Being aware of red flags will help you thwart any would-be scammers. You’ll find a lot of great detail on avoiding scams in this article. Common signs for suspicion can include postings for opportunities such as assembly jobs or data entry jobs, which often turn out to be an advertisement to buy something supposedly to help you get set up for a work-at-home job. Although there are lots of real opportunities to work at home and to make money by working online, assembling products and data entry aren’t two of them.
Other types of scams may request highly personal or financial information over less secure mediums such as email or text or listings that provide only a vague description from the employer. This article from ZipRecruiter has additional tips. Ultimately, if your gut tells you something is off, it probably is.
7. Exploring your financial picture is always a good idea before making any moves.
Find out how a new source of income would affect your Social Security payment and whether it would negatively impact your tax situation. This is more crucial for anyone receiving their social security retirement before reaching full retirement age—which is 67 for those born after 1960. The government will reduce your benefit if you earn more than the annual limit. In 2019, that limit is $17,640 for the years leading up to full retirement age and $45,360 the year you turn 67 so you may want to keep your retirement side gig earnings below that. After you reach full retirement age, the sky’s the limit and you won’t have to worry about paying back on your social security.
You may want to explore this topic online and use tools from the Social Security website such as their Retirement Earnings Test Calculator . Talking to an accountant or financial advisor wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Go ahead, jump back in!
Just because you’re “retired” and loving the lifestyle without the 9-to-5 grind doesn’t mean you can’t still earn income to supplement your financial picture. And if you enjoy talking to people on the phone and helping solve problems, you should investigate how you could turn those life skills into earned income.
Liveops is looking for people just like yourself to handle calls for the businesses we support, which include everything from healthcare companies in need of empathetic and compassionate brand ambassadors who enjoy working with patients to agents who dispatch help for roadside service calls. Learn more about work at home customer service opportunities with Liveops here.