22 January 2020
Best part-time work for retirees
Retirement can be a huge lifestyle change, and although some people embrace the extra free time and lower commitments, for others, not working can be difficult. Although you may need to browse prices for stairlifts and make a few lifestyle changes as you become older, you may feel you still crave the productivity and social interactions that come with working.
We spoke to Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, a jobs and volunteering site for the over 50s, who commented: "Work patterns are changing - gone are the days of working hard five days a week for four and a half decades before suddenly stopping - and retiring ‘cold turkey’. We can see from our analysis that part-time work is growing in popularity amongst the over 70s, both male and female.
“In a survey, we conducted last year amongst 2,000 adults in the UK, 34% told us they planned to work beyond their state pension age. There are a number of reasons for this - with far fewer ‘gold-plated’ pensions around and ever-increasing life expectancy, many are actively looking to top up their pension savings while they still can. There is also a growing understanding of the many health and social benefits that come with working into retirement, such as staying active, socially connected and maintaining a feeling of fulfilment. With generational lows in the unemployment rate, the over 50s offer a talented, and up to now, largely untapped opportunity to many employers who are struggling to fill skills and employment gaps.”
In this guide, we look at some of your options if you’re retiring but still want to continue working part-time.
If you’ve got a knack for writing or you want a way to share your thoughts and stories, then why not give blogging a go? Many people start blogging as a hobby but end up earning money and building an online community of people who love reading their posts. It’s a great avenue for those who want to engage their brains but also enjoy being in the comfort of their own homes.
We asked Fiona from London Unattached for her thoughts: “I’d suggest looking at affiliate marketing and blogging. I’m 60 this year, but I’m not planning to give up work. While I don’t see myself ever making a fortune with my blog, it’s been a great way for me to ease into a less hectic way of life. For what I cover (food, restaurants and travel) I’ve had to develop skills in photography, and I’ve done a journalism course too! I firmly believe that doing something is much better than stopping work completely. Some of my friends have taken on Non-Exec Directorships, others have gone back to University and done further degrees, one is now a full-time lecturer!”
Similarly, if you have an interest in social media, there are other online jobs available. Fiona adds: “There are all sorts of part-time roles supporting others – posting on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, for example. Other bloggers will pay you to create pins on their behalf and share them on their own platform. All you need is a PC and a few hours a day!”
So, whether you want to start writing your recipes online, sharing your daily life or maybe presenting stories from your past, then start up a blog and see where it takes you!
Work for a local business
It’s understandable if you want to work beyond retirement, but you want something that won’t cause you constant stress or hassle. Finding part-time work for a local business that is only a short walk, bus ride or drive away is perfect, so you don’t have to undergo a stressful commute, is a great option. Plus, they may even allow you to work from home on certain days.
We spoke to Emma from the parenting blog Fashion Mommy to find out her advice: “My grandparents both retired at a similar time and decided to do outwork for a local factory. The work was simple, was time-consuming rather than tiring, and as they felt they had too much spare time on their hands, something they enjoyed doing, especially as they could do it together. Many local business and factories do outsource some work so it is worth checking out, particularly as you can choose your hours and work from home.”
Have you had a successful career and want to pass on your wisdom to others? Or perhaps you just enjoy teaching? Tutoring is a great part-time job with countless options for what you can teach including maths, English or musical instruments.
Luisa from the Online Personal Stylist tells us her suggestions for those who want to tutor: “Online Skype English lessons as a foreign language. This is an ideal work option for a retiree who wants to work from home, earn extra money and who misses work and communication with others during the day. The wonderful thing about offering English lessons through Skype (or another online video call system) is that you can schedule your lessons at whatever time suits you. As an English as a foreign language teacher, you will need to plan exercises in advance and monitor your student's progress. It is a really fulfilling job, watching your students improving their language skills and mastering more sophisticated levels of conversation in English.”
We also spoke to Emma from the blog Life According to Mrs Shilts, who shares with us: “My Father-in-law comes from an education background, and although he's now retired, he keeps himself busy offering consultancy for schools. He has a wealth of experience (40+ years of working in schools), it's good for him to use it to benefit school leaders and teachers today.”
Turn your hobby into a job
There are plenty of excellent hobbies for retirees, and you may be able to turn them into a part-time job. Whether you enjoy painting, making jewellery, writing poems, sewing, carpentry, – the list goes on - you can sell on places such as Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and even Facebook.
Karalee from the blog Tales of Belle, tells us: “For some extra money, I recommend writing a book and self-publishing it. My mother retired from working at the zoo after 25+ years, and this past December she self-published her first animal care book. During her first book signing, she sold 10 copies of her book. Plus, she has also sold multiple copies through Amazon as well. Besides writing a book, retirees can create other things such as knitted or crocheted items, jewellery, paintings, and other crafts then sell them online through websites such as Etsy.”
If you love the idea of selling your creations but feel it will be more isolating than the other part-time work options, Karalee suggests: “looking for retiree social groups in the area. In Denmark, there is one such group where retirees meet up and create ceramics, needlework, wood workings, and other creative projects. Social groups are a great way to stay active and socialise with others.”
We also spoke to Michael from Your Money Geek, a blog with tips and advice for saving money, who says: “Working in retirement can be both fun and financially rewarding. The key is to find work that you are passionate about or enjoy, such as turning a hobby into an income stream. For example, if you have a passion for gardening, you could sell plans or vegetables at a local farmer market. If you enjoy reading, consider a side hustle as a proofreader or book reviewer. Maybe, you love poking around swap meets, antique shops, and yard sales, then you could launch an eBay side business!”
Volunteering in your community
For many retirees, it’s truly the social interaction that motivates them to work beyond their state pension age, which is when volunteering may seem more appealing.
Emma from Fashion Mommy continues: “If you want to work due to boredom or on a social level, it could be an idea to volunteer in your local charity shop. My mum manages a charity shop, and many of her volunteers are retired. They love working as part of a team, talking to the customers, and just getting out of the house for a few hours to do something useful and productive.”
“Why not volunteer at your local library or community centre? There is plenty that is going on in the community that could benefit from an extra pair of hands or a listening ear. Local food banks are always looking for volunteers and it could lead to new friendships and social activity for you.” Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts also suggests.
Working beyond retirement can help keep you active and allows you to continue socialising with others, even for people who rely on stairlifts. So, take a look to see what’s available in your local area for something you enjoy doing.