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Who Says You Have To Retire?

working past retirement ageArar Han is the co-CEO of Alert-One, a personal safety and technology firm.

With all apologies to Jimmy Buffet, not everyone wants to waste their retirement away in Margaritaville. The best part about being a retiree is choosing how to spend your days. Seniors can choose to work as long as they wish, on their own terms.

Why work past your retirement?

According to Andy Robin of, in the past, people retired, had a few golden years, and then died. Seniors used to think that retirement was all about golf, travel and cruises. Many did that, for a while, and then went stir crazy. Robin suggests that today’s retiree has the money, time and know-how to live differently. Don’t give it all up. Have it all instead.

Robin’s solution is the tapas life! A little of this and a little of that. Many retirees will want to do something productive and meaningful with the decades ahead. Why not keep working on your own terms into retirement?

Other reasons for retirees to work into retirement include:

  • Earning supplementary income. Use the money from your part-time work to give investments time to appreciate.
  • Finding what makes you happy. Look for work that relates to your passions. This is your chance to try those jobs that simply sound fun.
  • Staying mentally active. This is the number one reason retirees choose part-time work. Challenge your brain instead of watching TV all day.
  • Interacting socially. Alone time is fine, but staying in the house all week is not. Enjoy getting to know your colleagues—they might even turn into good friends.

Finding the Perfect Part-Time Job

Nearly one in four employers say they expect to hire part-time employees (Source: Companies recognize the wealth of experience that retirees have built over the years.

Tips for Your Job Search:

  • Use your network connections. Ask around and see if any of the connections you have made over the years need extra help. Tell your friends and family you are gig-hunting.
  • Contact businesses you admire. Reaching out to businesses that could use your skill set is a great way to go after a part-time job. Not all businesses openly advertise when they need help. Some may not even know they need help until you arrive.
  • Go to your favorite stores. Walking through a familiar door and speaking up can be the easiest way to land a part-time job. If you are acquainted with the owners or managers, let them know you are available to pick up shifts whenever they need help.
  • Check job postings online. There are many job opportunities listed online. Check Craigslist and other job posting forums.
  • Volunteer. Volunteering can lead to part-time jobs if you make the right connections.

7 Perfect Gigs for Retirees

  • Bookkeeping. Do you have financial or accounting skills? Ask local businesses if they would like your help with managing their books. Small businesses often can’t afford to hire someone full-time, but they need someone to come in every so often. You get flexible hours and they benefit tremendously from your experience.
  • Consulting. You are a seasoned worker and an expert in your field. You don’t need to leave your industry when you retire. Turn your knowledge into cash by consulting. You can work with businesses in your industry to train their next generation of employees or work on specific problems the company is facing.
  • Retail. If you are outgoing and love interacting with people, then retail might be for you. Walk into your favorite local store and let them know you are available whenever they need help. Retail provides a large amount of scheduling flexibility, and you can’t beat the social interaction.
  • Sports. Love your local sports teams? Many teams and stadiums hire part-time workers. You can do everything from taking tickets and ushering spectators to their seats to helping coach your local Little League team. Watching the games is often a perk.
  • Tour Guide. You know your city like the back of your hand. You know all of the stories, both fact and urban legend. Being a tour guide or docent lets you share your passions with the tourists who visit your home. You never know what new stories you will learn as you train for your new role.
  • Tutor. Many enrichment programs for young students are in need of instructors. You can tutor in everything from math to writing to piano. Try your local college, art school or recreation center for teaching positions. Your local senior center may have opportunities for mentorship programs that will suit you.

Your golden years are yours. But if you want to spend your days searching for your lost shaker of salt, that’s up to you.

Arar Han

Arar Han is co-CEO of Alert-One, a personal safety technology and consulting firm headquartered in Williamsport, PA, with offices nationwide. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Arar holds a dual degree in Philosophy and Human Development from Boston College, summa cum laude, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Originally from Seoul, she currently lives in Palo Alto with her family.

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Thursday 7th of April 2016

I can't imagine to fully retire myself :) I need to work to live! I am a workaholic

Lois Wingerson

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

All too true, But you've left out another important opportunity for a meaningful retirement: Giving back.

When you realize that you've saved enough to get by without the income, that you've succeeded in your career and have nothing left to prove, and that other causes could use your skills even more than your corporate employer, gearing up to serve an important nonprofit organization (or several) can bring new life to your life.

I did retire last year, but I hardly quit. I'm busier than ever--doing what I truly love doing, and on my own terms.

Meanwhile I gave someone else a good job doing what I used to do. It's all good!

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