What Kind of Jobs Are Available to Baby Boomers Who Refuse to Retire?
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What Kind of Jobs Are Available to Baby Boomers Who Refuse to Retire?

Over the next 19 years, close to 10,000 people a day will celebrate their 65th birthday and will be giving serious consideration to retirement. However, the majority of these baby boomers want to continue earning money in some way, but what kinds of jobs can a 60-65 year old expect to get in an already saturated and declining job market?

The year of 2011 marks a important milestone for baby boomers.  According to “The Gerontologist” in the Oxford Journals, “...the first of the Baby Boom cohort reached age 65 and for the next 19 years, close to 10,000 people a day will celebrate their 65th birthday."  This is a tremendously large number of people who are, or will be, eligible for retirement. But, this is certainly not where the story ends.  According to "The New Retirement Survey," in a news release by Merrill Lynch, of the baby boomers they surveyed 76% indicated their intentions to keep working and earning as long as they can after retirement. 

When Boomers were children, their parents looked forward to reaching that important age 65 mark when they could finally retire, live on what they had been able to save, draw their work pension, and enjoy what they called, "the good life." Today, those who have somehow been able to hold on to a pension from an employment can count themselves very blessed as company pensions have basically become a thing of the past.

Even if a pension is in the works for some of the earlier boomer retirees, those who are marriied have become accustomed to living on two full-time pay checks each month.  If a spouse has died or become enable to work, or if the never married senior citizen has not properly prepaired for retirement,  the very thought of no longer being gainfully employed can understandably bring about panic or even depression stemming from financial worries.   

Any way you look at it, if a person is physically and mentally able to continue working, it is difficult to leave the work force simply because a certain age has been reached. While the need to work longer and keep bringing in as much money as possible is great, equally as important is that the energy level of a 65 year old today is often still quite strong, lessening the allure that “never having to go into work again” might have once held.

According to the Lynch report, “Taking advantage of their "longevity bonus," baby boomers will create a whole new life stage. Since the time that Social Security established the "normal" retirement age at 65, life expectancy for a 65-year-old has increased by over seven years and continues to lengthen. As a result of living longer, baby boomers plan to be "younger" longer and to work longer.”

Interestingly, the report goes on to state that, “When asked about their ideal work arrangement in retirement… only 17% of the baby boomers in the survey reported that they hope to never work for pay again.” 42% responded that their ideal would be to repeatedly "cycle" between periods of work and leisure.” The next group drops to 16% who wanted to find part-time work, followed by 13% wishing to start their own business. Only 6% stated they wanted to continue working full time.

Retirees who want to continue earning an income that will enable them to live an active and interesting life before settling into that proverbial rocking chair will need to realize that the chances are high that their new earning power will quite possibly be much less than what they have been used to. Another thing is that the types of jobs they will be able to get may be quite different, and possibly considered to be on a lower scale from what they have retired from. Once these two issues have been addressed and worked through, the retiree will be ready to begin their new job search.

So, what kinds of jobs can a 60-65 year old expect to get in an already saturated and declining job market?  Here is a short list out of the many possibilities a Boomer might want to consider when looking for employment. These jobs may not pay well, but they will at least help supplement a Social Security Income and at the same time meet the Boomer's desire and need for flexibility in working hours. 

SUGGESTIONS FOR the 42% who would like repeated cycles between work and leisure, the 16% who would like part-time work, and the 13% who would like to start a business of their own. 

Writing:  Those who love to write may find themselves drawn to the world of freelance writing.  Though the income may be slow to start, with enough time free for writing and research, enough talent, creativity and willingness to think outside the box, a patient retiree who is bent toward writing might flourish well as a freelancer. 

Cooking/Baking: The retiree who loves to be creative in the kitchen can find income in any number of ways.   Though one's kitchen will have to pass the local Health Department Codes inspection, selling fresh baked goodies to a grocery store, or another vendor, can be an excellent way to bring in some extra cash.  Catering for small weddings, or perhaps for an office party where you used to work might be appealing.  While opening a restaurant or small cafe might sound exciting to the entrepreneurial spirit, such a venture would call for a full time commitment from which most retirees tend to shy away.  

Teaching From One's Passion:  A Boomer might turn something they love and do well (i.e. golf, playing an instrument, crafts, etc.), into added income by teaching others. This can be a fun and lucrative at the same time. Whether the teaching is through one-on-ones, or group sessions, teaching one's passion and getting paid to do it just might be a dream come true.

Hospitality Jobs:  There are many jobs with plenty of flexibility for retirees who enjoy people.  Food service is one such area.  Many large grocery chains and wholesale food companies allow food demonstrations and food sample hosts or hostesses to set up a booth during times of high volumn traffic in their stores.  Food hosts and hostesses are generally willing to share the name of the company they work for and contact information if you stop long enough to inquite. Most companies offer their employees a bonus for referrals.  These companies have a difficult time finding enough people who can work the odd hours, or who are willing to be on call.  They often hire retirees for this very reason.  Most companies allow their food demonstrators to turn down jobs whenever it does not fit their schedule without being in jeopardy of never being asked again. 

In areas where there are convention hotels, an outgoing Boomer might find part-time work representing various companies who set up booths related to their product..  These jobs require that you read about and understand their product and that you have a welcoming or winsome personality.  This is a great job for the right Boomer!

Home Cleaning and/or House Sitting: If a person is not too proud to clean someone's home, this is a great way to make good money!  Without even having to become bonded, once you get the word out to friends, family members and those you used to work with, you may find that within a relatively short time you will have many offers from people wanting you to either clean their house, house sit or perhaps even care for their pet while they are out of town.  Cleaning a house could possibly bring in $20 or $25 per hr.  Know your territory and price yourself just a wee bit below the average for the market, or offer something uniquely special to your customers, and watch the offers begin to flow.

Church Secretarial Staff:  Small churches cannot afford to pay for fulltime office help.  Neither can they pay to offer insurance.  A part-time church Office Administrative Assistant is an excellent job for the retiree who is looking for permanent part-time work.  Something to keep in mind that many people do not realize is that many churches do not require their secretary to attend their church in order to be considered to work in their office. In fact, it is often better if they do not.

Lawn & Garden Help:  Retirees who love working in the garden, and particularly those who have a "green thumb," might consider helping young adults with their lawn and/or garden.  Everyone wants to have a nice looking yard, but so often there is not enough time to keep up with the weeds, the mowing, watering, or raking in the fall.  Some Boomers who are particularly active and full of energy might enjoy caring for their neighbor's yard while they are at work each day, on vacation for several days, or when the neighbor simply has other things they would rather be doing than spending their off time working in the yard. 

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Comments (9)

smart, educational and valuable information from a most helpful prospective.Promoted until I can give you a vote.

Rich, informative and educational. summarily, this is a masterpiece!

I am promoting your article as well but I will be back to vote it up. This is a great article!

I came back to vote up your article.

Great article Gerrie. I'll forward this to my father too (he's refusing to fully retire!).

Great article...informative and an educational outlook. Promoted!

Great article! I know I'll stick with freelance writing as long as I'm capable of writing.

This is a well done article. My husband was forced to take an early retirement a few months ago. He is a restless soul so I think I will have him read this fine article. It may help him find something worthwhile to do. Some companies will get rid of you long before 65 if you are at the top of the pay scale, especially in this economy.

Coming back with a well deserved vote up.