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Top 10 Best Recommended American Cities for Retirement Jobs

Updated on September 18, 2015

The New Retirement

In the 21st century, The New Retirement is one in which retirees, Baby Boomers and older, expect to work at least part-time and often do.

The reasons for this continuation of work are often financially based. For one factor, many US Baby Boomers have been hard pressed to find employment at a living wage throughout their lives long-term, because the Boomer cohort of workers has been so large an entity.

Despite increases in business growth and job development, the American economy and job market nationwide as well as locally went through cycles from WWII - 2000, with somewhat of a recession each 4-8 years with changing administrations in the White House. Employment and Training agencies such as Private Industry Council and others would consistently see regular,increased influxes of people needing help, many of them American Baby Boomers.

In addition to the Boomer cohort being large, the last half of the 2nd century saw a new trend toward corporate downsizing, shutdowns, massive layoffs, layoffs/buyouts of older workers, and the rise of the temporary employee phenomenon. Temps are far less expensive in the workplace than are direct employees, because in hiring temps, companies avoid paying for benefits and other employee costs.

All of these factors have contributed to the lack of some Boomers to be able to secure and maintain long-term employment.

In retirement, a proportion of Boomers need to work in order to survive financially. Other reasons for working include the need for social contact, the need to feel useful and to be active, and to obtain or keep health insurance. These and other factors are illustrated in the chart below.


Why Retirees Work

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Boomers Expect to Work

Merrill-Lynch found in a recent study that the top 10 jobs desired by Baby Boomers when they retire are the following:

  1. Consultant
  2. Teacher/Professor/Teacher Assistant
  3. Customer Greeter
  4. Tour Guide
  5. Retail Sales Clerk
  6. Finance / Accounting
  7. Home Handyman
  8. Innkeeper, B&B Owner or Manager
  9. Security Screener
  10. Real Estate Agent

American Cities That Welcome Mature Workers

According to AARP and other sources that have interviewed employers and mature workers, the Top 10 and Employers and their Cities that welcome employees ages 50 and older are the following:

1. SC Johnson (Racine, WI)
2. Mercy Health System (Janesville, WI)
3. First Horizon National Corporation (Memphis, TN)
4. Scripps Health (San Diego, CA)
5. Stanley Consultants (Muscatine, IA)
6. Lee Memorial Health System (Fort Myers, FL)
7. Leesburg Regional Medical Center & The Villages Regional Hospital (Leesburg, FL)
8. George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)
9. Principal Financial Group (Des Moines, IA)
10. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)

SC Johnson company is at the Number One Position,. A packaging corporation, the company is located in Racine, Wisconsin and operates successfully in 70 nations globally. The administration offers flexible work schedules of several types for mature, mid-career and young professional employees.

Other attractive draws are health benefits that include their on-site medical clinic wellness, fitness, and recreation programs; on-site education for lifelong learning and college credit without leaving work; paid sabbaticals to employees of longer tenure, and others. SC Johnson also provides retirement planning services.

Other Employers significantly mature-worker-friendly include:

  • MidMichigan Health (Midland, MI)
  • Bon Secours Richmond Health System (Richmond, VA)
  • The YMCA of Greater Rochester (Rochester, NY)
  • Brevard Public Schools (Viera, FL)
  • Atlantic Health (Morristown, NJ)
  • ACUITY (Sheboygan, WI)
  • Volkswagen of America, Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI)
  • Saint Vincent Health System (Erie, PA)
  • Trinitas Hospital (Elizabeth, NJ)
  • Securian (St. Paul, MN)

Overall, the Top 10 Cities for Working Retirees are the following with major employers that are eager to have mature workers listed above in some additional cities:

Retirement Ages in America Are Changing

Most workers in America in the 21st century will work in two to three different Careers in their lifetime, and many jobs within each as they progress up the ladder of expertise, responsibility, recognition, and high-pay. Further, as the retirement age has already reached 67 years for a portion of the US population, it is likely to increase with lengthening worker lifespans to perhaps as high as 75.

For a proportion of individuals that would have previously retired at ages 62 - 65, this longer "work-lifespan" would provide income higher than most retirement funds, a continuing sense of purpose as well as mental and physical stimulation, and a way to ward off diseases of old age. This is particularly true given the results of reaction-time studies that show PC usage effective in shortening reaction times for older people.

Exercising the fingers exercises the brain connected to them, so this makes sense. PC use can shorten reaction times, but also increase memory span, productivity, and creativity. This is not true for everyone, but it is correct for a lot of people - true enough for an appropriate number of such people that it makes sense to do it, especially if they must work a greater number of years into their lives.

Another advantage is a national one -- The greater number of years employees work before retirement, the fewer years they might need Social Security retirement benefits and their working income will likely be higher than their retirement benefits.

Although these facts have validity, it is not necessary for all senior members of US society to sit at a computer terminal eight hours a day. Some will find pleasure, productivity, and health in owning their own businesses, now that they are retired and have more time.

Others may turn to freelance writing, and this is a very interesting skill and service - Older individuals can look at events 20-40 years ago and compare and contrast them with current events, extract trends, and offer valuable lessons for the rest of us. No matter what any online encyclopedia states, none of them have all the information. In fact, some of them have misinformation and hand it on to innocent online researchers.

The observations, insights, and opinions of people who lived during the events in question are invaluable help in getting to the truth. This may often require a compilation and a sort of meta-analysis of many different such opinions, or a critical eye toward a single source from long ago, but it all is valuable.

One of the local major healthcare conglomerates in my town has employed senior persons in their research and grant writing departments with very good results for the workers and for gathering additional medical and heath research funds.

Given all of this information, it is easy to say that senior citizens past the previous retirement age of 62 - 65 can continue to be productive and valuable employees if they need or want to be. Individual differences are always a factor in this opportunity, leading some to leave the workforce in young adulthood, while others work into their nineties. A restaurant server worked in a diner in an Appalachian community well into her 90s, pausing each day to phone in a short local radio program. This is only one example.

The point is that those that want to work and those that need to work and can still produce good results should be permitted to work in jobs and careers that are appropriate to their Job Personalities and employer needs. Those senior personages that have reached retirement and do not need or want to work should not be forced to do so by a rising national retirement age. In any case, as the age if retirement slowly increases, those already retired will not likely be called back into service, as if they had been in the military.

In a recent study, the median income for women 65 years of age or older was approximately half that of men of the same age. This is $12,502 compared to $21,600.

The Plight of Older Women

In 2007, Ke Bin Wu performed a study among mature workers and retirees in roder to examine financial need and stability of retirees in America. The results include the facts below:

The median income for women 65 years of age or older was approximately half that of men of the same age. This is $12,502 compared to $21,600. These older woman showed poverty rate overall of a bit over 12%, but Blacks and Hispanics were double that rate. Thus, 1/4 of these senior women of color live below the US poverty level.

About 92% of these older white women received Social Security retirement, compared to about 83% of the Blacks and 74% of the Hispanics. With few of any of these women receiving pensions and many lacking husbands and families the need to continue working seems clear. Some of them have little or no income at all.

Workers Ages 50 and Older

For individuals looking for work past the age of 50, here are some points to keep in mind:

Look for companies and employers that are not put off by the higher health and medical benefits premiums required by group health insurance policies for workers at the age of 50 and above. This is a substantial increase in a controllable business cost, so employers will control it. Employers need to be willing to hire productive workers at age 50 and older and these workers need to be willing to be well worth the increased costs.

Stay fit, stay sharp mentally, and continue ongoing lifelong learning and skills acquisition. This will help you look valuable to a potential employer. What's more, if you can make a company more money than a younger, less expensive employee, then it behooves the employer to hire you. Experience can do this and you must illustrate that on your resume and during interviews.

Pursue jobs and careers in your retirement-age years that are considered "senior-friendly". These include:

  • Healthcare - especially nursing and Travel Nursing
  • Education - Academic, adult education, life skills, ESOL, self-improvement
  • Social services
  • Some temporary employment jobs
  • Sales and service
  • Hospitality - host/hostess
  • Tourism - tour guides
  • Marketing, community liaisons, etc.

Life experience enhances client and customer rapport in these types of occupations nd leads to enhanced success.

Flexibility and Travel

Some employers offer the flexibility to work in different parts of the country seasonally. This is an ideal situation for retirees that own a winter home and a summer home and still want to work.

CVS pharmacies has what is called a snowbird program. Mature workers that include pharmacists, assistant managers, cashiers, and cosmetic consultants that live in the cold winter-weather states like New England are permitted to work in Florida and other parts south and west in the winter during the height of the tourist season in warmer climes.

Travel Nursing is another good way to keep a flexible schedule and work 2 months, 6 months or 12 months a year in vacation sports and attractive locales.

What Color is Your Parachute, Retirement - Retirement Industry

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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