Whether you're 52 or 72, nearing retirement or already in it, you may find yourself in need of a job or additional income. Many of us will not be retiring with a nest sufficient to support us comfortably, so jobs for seniors are very welcome while our health holds out and permits it. Others might have sufficient nest eggs, but might find that retirement is just too... boring. A job can alleviate that restlessness, providing not only income, but also new friends, more structure to your days, and the opportunity to socialize and feel useful.
According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com, 54% of workers ages 60 and up expect to work after retiring, with 81% of them planning to work part-time. Though a number closer to 100% would be more welcome, 54% of private-sector companies hired workers who were 50 or older last year, up considerably from 48% in 2013. Fully 57% expect to hire older workers in 2015.
Below are a host of money-making ideas for your consideration. See if any seem right for you, or spark an idea for an even better job.
Do consulting or freelance work: Whatever job you performed pre-retirement may be one you can stay involved in post-retirement, either via some consulting gigs, or by freelancing. There are websites you might check for freelance work, such as Elance.com, or PeoplePerHour.com, where you'll find jobs or can market yourself for work in writing, editing, design, web development, web design, programming, marketing, illustration, translation, and a host of other things. You might even be able to work for your former employer on a reduced-hour basis. Alternatively, look into working as a temp, as that can be a way to get to know area companies, and get a foot in the door.
Work with kids: If you would enjoy being with young people, you might find some work at a school, perhaps as a teacher's aide, or might help out with a school or town's athletic department, tending grounds, maintaining equipment, or even refereeing. Many retirees drive school buses, too, or serve as crossing guards. You might even go back to your first job, and make money babysitting. Many parents would welcome a trustworthy adult in such a role. Tutoring is another option, if you're proficient in some school subject such as a language or math. (Check out Tutor.com as one possibility.)
Crunch numbers: If you can perform bookkeeping duties, small companies might be interested in your services on a part-time basis, as they can't afford or don't need a full-time accountant. More seasonally, you might prepare tax returns for others. Big tax-preparing firms hire many seniors to help get their work done in tax season.
Work for the government: Visit USAjobs.gov for temporary and part-time jobs, and even some volunteer positions, in museums, libraries, and more. Government jobs often deliver good benefits, and your local or state government might be looking to hire, too.
Train for a new career: The Department of Labor's Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) offers training and help with job placement to low-income folks ages 55 and up. "SCSEP participants gain work experience in a variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities, including schools, hospitals, day-care centers, and senior centers."
Provide customer service: Customer-service jobs -- and telemarketing jobs, as well -- can often be done over the phone from your own home, so they can be especially appealing to retirees. Many websites, such as CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, and even Craigslist.com, list these kinds of jobs -- along with hundreds of thousands of others.
Work in retail: Retailers are particularly in need of extra help in the holiday season, but jobs are available year-round. Think of the kinds of stores you enjoy and might fit best in, such as Home Depot, Best Buy, CVS Health, Whole Foods Market, Barnes & Noble, Dick's Sporting Goods, or Williams-Sonoma.
Work where you like to hang out: If you enjoy spending time at the gym, in museums, theaters, concert halls, libraries, sports arenas, craft stores, zoos, colleges, or any other kind of location, consider asking there about any work opportunities, or checking their websites for job listings. Your interest and related knowledge can be a selling point for you. You might find positions ranging from welcoming and ushering to researching, being a tour guide, or feeding animals. Convention centers also need a lot of workers for setting up events, and then breaking them down.
Work with animals: With people busier than ever these days, there's a need for pet sitters and dog walkers to take care of animals during the day, or when pet owners go out of town.
Sell your skills: If you're a good knitter, woodworker, photographer, or party planner, you may be able to make some money by selling your products or services.
There are many more possibilities. Spend a little time thinking about what you like to do, and what you're good at, and you can probably come up with a bunch of other great job ideas. Whether you need to or just want to, looking into jobs for seniors can be a rewarding thing to do. For many kinds of jobs, experience is a valuable asset.
John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Longtime Fool specialist Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns shares of Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool recommends CVS Health, Home Depot, Whole Foods Market, and Williams-Sonoma. The Motley Fool owns shares of Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.