Sunday, November 28, 2010

Basic Employment Approaches after Retirement

For either financial or personal reasons you think you might want to work past the traditional retirement age of 65. What are your real options to find a job, offering certain income?

In spite of the reality that older people are generally have more obstacles to get employed, than younger potential employees, there are still multiple options available and they seem to be growing.

When embarking on a career or job search in retirement, there are many questions you will want to evaluate, including:
  • What is motivating you to find a retirement job? Money? Boredom? Both?
  • How much money do you need to earn?
  • What do you want to spend your time on?
  • What kind of work would you find fulfilling?
  • How much time do you want to spend on the job?
  • How much responsibility do you want?
  • How much flexibility do you want?
  • Would you consider working for yourself?
  • What hours would you like to work?
  • What kind of activities would you like to engage in at work?
  • What kind of retraining are you willing to engage in?
From staying in your lifelong job to pursuing something totally different, explore the following ideas for retirement careers.

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Stay in Your Current Job

While some employers encourage retirement at or even before 65, many other employers wish to retain their employees for as long as possible. There is no rule that says you must retire at any age. If you enjoy your current job and/or the benefits of your job (financial, social, or other) then there is really no reason to voluntarily leave.

In fact, the only real reason to voluntarily leave a job is because you have defined something better to do. If you wish to stay in your current job past retirement age, but feel that you are being forced out by your employer, please consult information about age discrimination.

According to a study by Cornell University:
  • 3 out of 4 companies would permit older employees to reduce their hours rather than take full retirement, but not many employers list retirement job option as part of their formal employment policies.
  • 26 percent of employers that would allow older employees to reduce their hours prior to retirement would not change the employees’ health benefits.
  • 40 percent would allow employees to draw pension benefits even though they’re working part-time at retirement jobs.
Phased Retirement

Phased retirement is when you retain your current job with your current employer, but reduce or change the hours you spend at the job and, in some cases, your responsibilities. Working part-time or on a more flexible schedule at your current job is a great way to ease into retirement. You can benefit from increased leisure while keeping an income and – in many cases – the benefits (medical and other) from your job.

Phased retirement offers huge benefits to the employee as well as the employer. Many employers will learn that they actually need baby boomers to continue working. If baby boomers retire at or before the age of 65, the United States may experience huge labor shortages. Not all employers offer phased retirement. If your employer does not, you might be able to help them design a program to meet your needs.

New Part-Time Retirement Jobs

There are numerous employers, who are interested in hiring seniors for business reasons, and some are even setting up special recruiting programs for retirement jobs to attract older workers. Everyone from McDonalds to New York Life Insurance wants to employ older Americans.

The AARP has developed a program called the AARP's Featured Employer's Program. For this program, AARP partnered with employers who want the experience and leadership of older Americans.

In addition, many other organizations help to connect prospective employers and interested older workers, such as the National Council on Aging.

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Consultant Jobs

Use the expertise you developed during your working years to offer short-term consulting or freelance services to companies that prefer to contract for temporary on certain projects. Generally, you will need to get a business license, keep records, and file taxes as a business on the income you earn, however these expenses are not significant, and even the minimum income will be able to cover them easily.

Work at Home Jobs

Finding a work-at-home occupation is probably of the most popular retiree jobs. Working from the comfort of your own home, without having to commute to the office each day, wear a suit, or deal with the same old office politics, gossip and plain pointless conversations; there are certainly many advantages to working from home.

Companies are seeking ways to reduce their overheads. With this come opportunities for part-time, stay-at-home work.

Some of the most popular jobs you can do at your kitchen table include writing, proofreading, editing and researching. If we just look at the category of writing, there is a unbelievable variety of related jobs, such as ghost-writing, resume writing, technical writing, blogging, travel writing. I have even seen jobs advertised for people to simply cut and paste internet research findings into a word document.

You can find many opportunities like this at freelance websites such as elance.com, odesk.com and freelancer.com.

Other work-at-home jobs include data entry, crossword creation, recipe testing and writing, graphics design and computer programming.

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Temporary Employment

The largest employer in the U.S. is not a major corporation like Boeing or Microsoft; it’s Manpower Inc., a temp agency based in Milwaukee.

Temporary employees (“temps”) are used by many businesses to supplement full-time staff or to help out with special projects. Temps often earn as much as permanent workers. Hourly rates range from $10 to $30, depending on the type of work being performed and where you’re located. In addition, about 30 percent of temp jobs turn into full-time positions.

Government and Community Programs

Federal and state governments have set up a variety of programs to provide job training and employment services to seniors, and so have many local communities.

One of the best government programs is the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps low-income people 55 and older prepare for a variety of community service jobs.

Notable community programs include the Career One-Stop Centers and America’s Job Bank. Check with your state Employment Security Department, Department of Labor, or Department of Aging for other senior employment programs in your area.

This post just offers basic approaches to stay busy and earn certain additional income during your retirement. We will review some of the most promising ideas in the further publications.


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