In theory, retirement is a time to kick back and relax, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Some retirees still want to work, whether add structure to the day, just get out of the house or to supplement their incomes.
In fact, more than half — 51% — of Americans are worried the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their ability to enjoy financial security in retirement, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security. Furthermore, 68% of Americans believe workers can’t save enough on their own to achieve financial security in their golden years.
No matter what your reasoning for wanting a job in retirement, GOBankingRates found several senior-friendly options and the average pay. Unless otherwise noted, salaries are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Find something that parallels your life’s work or head in the opposite direction. Pursue your passion while getting paid or turn a hobby into a job.
Last updated: Aug. 20, 2021
1. Substitute Teacher
- Average pay: $17.35 per hour
For people who like working with kids, substitute teaching offers a flexibility that makes this one of the best retirement jobs. Also, its requirements might be relatively easy to meet.
“A teaching certificate is easy to obtain in some areas around the country, and this allows seniors to work when they want,” said Danielle Kunkle Roberts, co-owner of Boomer Benefits, a licensed insurance agency.
Do note that you’ll be on your feet most of the day, which could be a drawback if you can’t stand for extended periods of time. Requirements to become a substitute teacher vary by state, so check with your local Department of Education.
2. Virtual Assistant
- Average pay: $19.71 per hour
Being a virtual assistant means you can work from home. You can also likely set your own hours, making it a great part-time job for seniors.
“For people retiring with good computer skills, doing virtual assistant work is an opportunity for more regular income,” Kunkle said. “There are a couple of companies out there offering VA certifications, and then you can join online job websites like Upwork to showcase your skills and find opportunities.”
The downside: If you’re looking for social interaction, this probably isn’t a good fit.
3. Temporary Staffing
- Average pay: $17.24 per hour for data entry keyers and $16.98 per hour for general office clerks
If you like to take part in a variety of experiences, consider taking temporary assignments. They make great retirement jobs since each gig offers something a little different.
“I worked 10 years in the staffing industry. Some of very best short-term file clerks and data entry people were seniors,” Kunkle said. “It’s sometimes harder to find younger people who are interested in a three- or five-day job, but seniors loved them because they offered some extra income with no long-term commitment.”
This probably isn’t the best idea if you prefer to follow a set routine, though, because your work hours and location will change frequently.
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4. Uber Driver
- Average pay: $19 per hour, according to Glassdoor
One of the most accommodating jobs for retirees, driving for Uber is a fun way to meet new people. It’s also a popular choice among seniors.
“In recent years, we have [had] tons of retirees joining the Uber workforce,” Kunkle said. “It’s flexible, and you can work only when you want to.”
The major negatives? You never know who will be hopping into your car, and driving in certain parts of town might not appeal to you. If so, this isn’t the gig for you.
5. Poll Worker for Elections
- Average pay: Varies — $250 per day in New York City, up to $240 in San Francisco and $230 in Milwaukee; inquire with your local Board of Elections for specific information in your community.
Being a poll worker can be a fulfilling way to give back to the community. It is also one of the best jobs for retirees looking for an occasional cash infusion.
“The jobs are temporary or short-term but recurring, so once you train for it, you will have a series of elections you can work each year,” Kunkle said. “These are often seated positions, checking voters in and explaining voting booths. It’s a perfect occasional income source for people that want to supplement Social Security without going over the income limits that cause Social Security to be taxed.”
Work days won’t come often, but they will require long hours. Some positions might also involve minor lifting.
6. Social Companion
- Average pay: $13.02 per hour
When it comes to rewarding jobs for seniors, it doesn’t get much better than this. As a social companion, the other person will be relying on you, so committing to regular hours probably will be necessary.
“Earning retirement income by offering companionship, rides to doctor appointments and help making meals is rewarding work that enables seniors who may need a little assistance to continue living comfortably and safely in their own homes,” said Frank Byrne, formerly the senior director of home care services at Surrey Services for Seniors. “The pay is good, the hours are flexible and you feel great helping another senior.”
The job also could require at least moderate physical strength; your client might need help into a wheelchair or to lean on you for support when walking.
7. Call Center Consultant
- Average pay: $17.23 per hour
Working for a call center can be a fulfilling part-time job for seniors who enjoy problem-solving and chatting with others. Also, they can sit comfortably in a chair for the entire shift.
“Some of these positions are great for seniors because certain companies allow their employees to work from home,” said Valerie Streif, formerly a senior advisor at Mentat, a career service company. “As long as they know how to use a computer and phone, they’d be set.”
But if you’re not looking for regular hours, this probably isn’t the best choice. Employers typically need a commitment to ensure proper coverage.
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8. Childcare Services
- Average pay: $12.24 per hour
When it comes to jobs for retired people who like kids, child care can be a fun and rewarding opportunity. It can also help boost your income if you’re only relying on Social Security.
“As day care is exorbitantly expensive, looking into providing part-time child care services for friends or family can help them out in a huge way, but also can be a lucrative way to stay occupied,” Streif said.
The job requires lots of energy to keep up with the little ones. Don’t commit to more hours or kids than you can reasonably handle.
9. Floral Delivery
- Average pay: $15.32 per hour
If you enjoy driving and want to deliver beauty to people in your town, floral delivery might be a good retirement job for you.
“Many seniors have great driving records, so it’s easy on the insurance for the floral company,” said Dawn-Marie Joseph, founder of Estate Planning & Preservation. “Driving or making deliveries for a small company often doesn’t require a special driver’s license.”
Most floral deliveries occur during the day, so you won’t have to worry about driving at night. Do note that moderate tech skills are required as you’ll need know to use GPS to quickly and easily find your stops.
10. Retail Clerk
- Average pay: $12.03 per hour
Retail stores provide great jobs for seniors who enjoy interacting with the public. Retail also offers many opportunities to find a job you’ll like, too.
“As a senior, find out what you’re interested in — baking, food, clothing, etc. — and seek out a store that provides those services,” Joseph said. “Most of these small shops are flexible and will be able to work around your schedule.”
The main drawback is having to stand on your feet most of your shift, so keep this in mind before applying.
- Average pay: $19.54 per hour if you have a bachelor’s degree, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers
Think Robert DeNiro in “The Intern.” One of the more unconventional jobs for retirees, landing an internship can benefit you down the road if you have your sights set on a part-time gig that requires skills you don’t have.
“Retirees looking for work should consider seeking out volunteer or internship opportunities where they can gain relevant experience in an industry or field that interested them,” said Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of career site Ladders, Inc. “Job seekers in the 60-something age category should be proactive, emphasizing the experience and work ethic that come with age, while demonstrating the flexibility and hunger to succeed that are often attributed more to younger workers.”
If you are used to being the boss, one possible disadvantage to this job is you’ll have to take orders from younger workers.
- Average pay: Varies — $42.14 per hour for management consultants and $32.27 per hour for freelance writers
Although starting your own business might buck the retirement jobs standard, give it a whirl if it’s always something you’ve wanted to do.
“Whether you worked in sales officially, or just helped your kids sell cookies at the grocery store before retirement, turn these skills into a flexible working arrangement like consulting or freelancing,” Cenedella said. “Create your own hours and utilize your network or local community to get started.”
Because entrepreneurial income isn’t always reliable — at least, at first — this option is probably best if you’re looking for more of a pastime than a way to pay the bills.
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