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Retired-ish: How To Find Part-Time Jobs in Your Golden Years

Medicare Bob
Having a part-time job helps older Americans supplement their Social Security while keeping them engaged in the world around them.
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Finding a part-time job in your later years has become increasingly common. In fact, by 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that one in four workers will be older than 55.

What’s more, by 2030, the number of people 75 and older in the workforce is expected to rise by 96.5%. Those numbers align with a 2021 survey by American Advisors Group, which found that 46% of older Americans plan to work part-time in their retirement.

If you’re considering a part-time job in your retirement, you may be wondering where to start. What you choose will depend on your health, interests, educational background, personal goals and capabilities. Looking to find a job that keeps you outdoors? How about one that allows you to use your background in teaching to educate others? You have plenty of options, and these types of jobs popular with older workers come with some built-in benefits.

The Best Part-Time Jobs in Business and Retail

Whether you want to meet new people or work behind the scenes, the business and retail world offers older adults a variety of opportunities, particularly if you have previous experience in the field.

For example, you might work as a part-time bookkeeper for a small business you like to support. You could also pick up a few hours a week as a retail salesperson at a local shop if you enjoy interacting with people. Are you outdoorsy? REI offers health benefits for part-time workers averaging 20 hours per week. Other stores offering part-time employee health benefits include Starbucks, Lowes, Costco, Walmart, and Ikea (to name a few).

If you enjoy communication and keeping things organized, you might excel as an administrative assistant in a doctor’s office, law firm, university or community college. Or try your hand at being a mobile notary. There are a few state-required steps to get going, but after that, you’re in charge.

And of course, depending on your past job expertise, you could share your knowledge as a self-employed consultant. Consulting allows greater flexibility on how many hours you work and what you earn.

Educate Others as a Part-Time Instructor

The benefits of teaching are many: For starters, it helps give your day purpose. A University of California San Francisco study found that 43% of older adults say they are lonely — and that loneliness could be linked to a host of health issues. What’s more, intergenerational relationships can help mitigate depression in older adults and improve life satisfaction.

The education field has a wide range of opportunities for part-time teachers. If you prefer working with adults, explore your local community college to see what classes are offered. Many colleges or universities with a continuing education department allow community instructors to teach self-enrichment classes, ranging from photography to cooking. Or find out what’s required to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) through programs like TEFL.org.

Parents are always looking for academic tutors for their kids and essay help for college applications. Maybe you’re a former high school language arts teacher with skills that extend into retirement. Along those lines, are you a musician or vocalist? Consider offering private lessons to adults or kids.

If you prefer working with children, you might find an opening for part-time paraeducators (teacher aides) in your local school district. (Visit your state’s department of education website to see the required qualifications.)

While many intergenerational opportunities rely on volunteers, AARP offers resources for finding paid work, including the Senior Community Service Employment Program, Work for Yourself@50+ and BACK TO WORK 50+.

How To Work Part-Time as a Caregiver or Handy Person

f you enjoy helping others, there’s plenty of part-time work to be found. Parents are always on the hunt for quality childcare. You can find opportunities on websites that pair caregivers with care-seekers.

Animal lovers can make money walking dogs or cat-sitting. Place an ad for your services on your town’s Facebook page or create a profile at Rover, an online site for pet services. Bonus: Dog walking offers a host of health benefits, including improved heart health, weight loss, increased social interaction and reduced stress and depression. Regular exercise is also associated with improved memory.

Another option: Many older adults need help with errands, doctor’s appointments, house cleaning and personal care. Check with your local recreational center to make connections and learn where the need is greatest.

For those more inclined toward household fix-it tasks, post a note on your community Facebook page to let others know about your plumbing, technology or carpentry skills. Or register with Task Rabbit if it’s available in your city.

How Part-Time Work Affects Your Health & Income

Working part-time is good for both your mental and physical health. Research shows staying mentally and physically engaged can slow the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's and reduce the risk of depression. Studies also show that people who work part-time after retirement have fewer major diseases than those who don’t.

As you explore potential jobs, make sure your income goals don’t have a negative impact on Social Security payments. If you start accepting Social Security at 62 and you make more than the allowed cap of $19,560 for 2022, earned income can reduce your benefits. For those who don’t take Social Security until full retirement age (that’s 67 for people born in or after 1960), there’s no limit on earnings.

It’s also useful to understand your income’s possible impact on Medicare rates. But working part-time may not have any impact at all, so consult a retirement professional to be clear on your benefits.


LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above is meant to be strictly educational and not intended to provide medical advice or solicit the sales of an insurance product or service of any kind.

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