You Can Now Work a Bit (and Still Enjoy Retirement) with These 4 Career Ideas

A Guest Post by Sharon Wagner

Photo via Rawpixel

Not every senior is ready to retire, and many more seniors need to continue working to earn an income. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of excellent second-career options for seniors who want or need a partial retirement. What to Do About Mama wants you and yours to thrive throughout all phases of life, so read on for more information.

Don’t Discount Remote Work (in a Range of Industries)

Virtual careers are more popular than ever, and the industry of digital work continues to expand with more than 7 million people working remotely — even before the pandemic. Whether you want to work remotely in sales, marketing, accounting, writing, or customer service, there’s an opportunity out there that’s the perfect fit for you.

To start seeking out freelance work, check out senior-friendly freelance job boards. Most job boards exist online and via apps for your smartphone, so you can start your job search from just about anywhere. Of course, you’ll need a comfortable workspace to do your job, and brushing up on work-from-home tools and platforms will also be a necessary part of beginning remote work.

This may sound daunting, but the learning curve isn’t so steep that it’s impossible to learn, and you may be surprised by how much more productive you can be when working from the comfort of your home.

Consider Travel-Based Opportunities Nationwide

Many retired folks aim to travel during their golden years. However, if the need — or desire — for part-time work has you feeling tied down, you have options.

One travel-based job opportunity can be found in campgrounds and RV parks across the United States. Many camping facilities offer free space rent and even compensation packages for campground hosts, also known as “workamping” jobs. You might combine workamping with another part-time opportunity to support your travel habits and semi-retirement.

Plus, national parks and other spots around the US offer part-time work for people of all ages. You can still travel the country while earning an income without heading to state parks. House sitting has also become a popular way to travel the world while making money.

Earn an Income Near Home (In Others’ Homes)

While traveling to work at National Parks and other spots throughout the country is ideal for many seniors, long-distance travel isn’t doable for others. However, if you are seeking flexible working opportunities near you, think about becoming a house or pet sitter.

Many professionals often travel, leaving their pets and homes unattended in the process. As an experienced professional with a career behind them, you can offer clients reliable services and affordable rates and still make an income.

Plus, serial house-sitting can eliminate the need for a mortgage or rental expenses, explains US News. What’s more, you can travel as near or far as you prefer. Many seniors opt to travel the globe during retirement, while others keep a home to return to as necessary.

Think About Your Passions and Start Selling

Some remote opportunities are technically freelance gigs, where you work for companies as an independent contractor. But you can also make your own work by starting a business and connecting with clients in dog walking, house cleaning, nannying, or a range of other positions.

Whatever passion, hobby, or talent you have, marketing yourself in that niche may prove more lucrative than working for someone else. In fact, as Inc. reports, the statistics show that a 60-year-old startup founder is three times as likely to be successful than someone half their age. Whether your goals are small- or large-scale, there’s an audience willing to pay for your expertise — supporting your retirement goals simultaneously.

Make a Point to Prepare

If it’s been a while since you applied or interviewed for a job, understand that the landscape changed significantly. Cover letter and resume styles have grown by leaps and bounds, so it’s crucial to have the right cover letter and resume for the job you’re seeking. When it comes to interviewing, you already know to dress appropriately and plan ahead for potential questions. However, keep in mind that for a remote position, most companies opt for virtual interviews. Ensure you’re set up with a webcam and a microphone.

Working beyond retirement age isn’t for everyone. However, for those older adults who are aiming to give their career a second life, there are endless opportunities available. While some require an adjustment — and a change of perspective — you only need the motivation to pursue your quasi-retirement dreams.

Look to What to Do About Mama for more information for seniors and their caregivers designed to help them thrive.


My husband and I have been struggling with the concept of his retiring for several years. He is 73-years-old, and I am tired of doing this retirement thing alone. Because of COVID-19, he is currently working remotely from home—a compromise situation that allows him to continue working with me being less unhappy about him doing so. The benefits are:

1. Continued income
2. Constructive use of his time, otherwise hampered by COVID restrictions
3. My having him at home so that I am less lonely

The essay I wrote, “Through the Eyes of a Grandmother”, for “After the Pandemic, Visions of Life Post COVID-19” includes a brief mention of working remotely from home.

Thanks for your guest post, which is of such current interest.

Barb Matthews (co-author of What to Do about Mama?)