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Retirement Jobs For Seniors

Updated on March 23, 2013
This is what boomers really want in retirement. The question is, what do you need to do that will allow you the time to enjoy friends and family.
This is what boomers really want in retirement. The question is, what do you need to do that will allow you the time to enjoy friends and family.

Boomer Seniors Are Back In The Workforce

Summary: When baby boomers began to reach 60-65 years of age, and had planned for their retirement, they thought they’d had it all worked out. They devoted 25-30+ years with their place of employment; or had a successful business that they were ready to pass on to a family member or a buyer. They really felt ready to live the easy life. They got the obligatory ‘gold watch’ and handshake and looked forward to their golden years.

However, what senior baby boomers are already finding out, is that retirement today can be an expensive proposition. For whatever reasons, they have come to a rude awakening, and have now realized that the investments they had made (along with retirement pensions), just isn’t going to be enough to enjoy the relaxed retirement they had expected.

So, how are senior Boomers today handling the ‘drop in pay’? And what has changed since our parents retired?

So, you’ve reached the golden age…and at last, and you are ready to take it easy. You’re a successful Baby Boomer and you are looking forward to your retirement. How do you think your planning panned out?

Well, according to statistics, the senior baby boomers have been rudely awakened by the fact that they haven’t saved enough to get them through their ‘golden years’. Or, as an old maritime friend of mine said when he saw his income plummet, through more downs than ups, “Golden years me arse!!!” Says it all, doesn’t it?

So, where did some of us Baby Boomers go wrong?

Boomers love their summer homes.
Boomers love their summer homes.

Boomers bought homes and cottages that they have now paid off. They invested in Mutual Funds stocks and bonds, and watched them grow. They lived great lives, perhaps inherited a few bucks from parents’ estates, and saved for more than one rainy day. They had a pension plan at work and lots of benefits like medical, dental, and accident/health insurance. They had savings accounts for little luxuries. Life was going to be great in retirement – or was it?

Here’s the rub though in this thinking…no one (not even the top financial investors in the country) could have predicted the drops in investments or pensions. Between taxes, inflation, stock market ups-and-downs, and pension realignments, there is less money available to retirees than ever before. Many lost substantial amounts of money during the bubble, and again in the 1990s when stocks took a massive dive.

Then of course there were changes in pension funds as well. Many companies did not contribute near enough funds to pensions to keep the wave of retiring baby boomers in the lives they were accustomed to while working.

In the U.S. the housing market took such a dive that it virtually left many families penniless and homeless. Thankfully, our Canadian housing market is guided by a different set of rules for mortgages and real estate and we escaped the problems faced by our southern neigbours.

As many of you probably have found out yourselves…living the good life in retirement is a costly endeavor indeed. So, what solutions have you found that help you enjoy life as you knew it before retirement? Have you found yourself returning to the workforce to supplement your pensions?

It’s becoming more and more noticeable in the workplace, that the ages of employees are much older than they used to be. Boomer seniors are taking part-time and full-time jobs again, just to keep up with their expenses. People in their 60s and 70s are still working to supplement their income because their expenses outweigh their pension cheques. They just have no choice but to keep working.

Some, of course, are working because they like to keep busy outside the home; but, the majority of them are doing it for the ‘extra pin money’ that they earn to be able to enjoy many modes of leisure. Just as their parents had taught them, senior boomers have become accustomed to getting what they want. And if it means getting a part time job to have those little luxuries of life, then so be it…part time job it is!

Of course, many senior boomers have also decided to start small businesses. And starting your own small business is not as difficult as you would think either. There are lots of home-based business opportunities available today, and many baby boomers are starting them every day.

You don’t have to be a business guru to start one, and there are plenty of online internet websites that you can learn from, right on your computer. With today’s technology you can even be a remote call agent. That means companies today want people just like you to work from home instead of from a call centre.

The pay is not bad either, some pay up to $14-$15 per hour depending on your performance. It can be great for seniors who don’t have vehicles and don’t want to drive in winter. Often you can find companies that let you set your own hours too. In that instance you are usually a contract agent NOT an employee. But, there are others who will actually employ you within their company.

You do not receive any benefits from a company as an independent agent working for yourself. However, you do have some expenses that you may incur, such as designated phone and internet connection fees. But, you get to claim those in your tax return at the end of the year. And hey, you get to work in your pyjamas if you’re so inclined, and you don’t need a car to get to work. I’ll have more on this type of work in upcoming articles.

Seniors are re-training for many new kinds of jobs.
Seniors are re-training for many new kinds of jobs.

Starting your own business can be exciting, and it seems simple. But, the downfall of having a small business is that you do have to put plenty of hard work into it to get it going. I speak knowingly of that from experience. But, it can be fun, too.

You will need a good business plan, especially if you are going to a bank for a loan. There are plenty of online small business websites out there, and most of the advice is free. Just make sure that the business you choose ties in with your lifestyle or you may find yourself working harder at your business than you anticipated, and have very little relaxation time. Make sure you talk to your family about it too, often times they can offer up great advice, or not. :)

So, whether you go back to work for someone else as an employee, or decide to start a small home based business of your own; make sure you really love what you do. There is nothing worse than doing a job you don’t want to do, simply because you need the money.

Try to find something that will appeal to you and go for it. Do your research though and you may find that the one thing you love to do as a hobby, just might turn into a business for you.

After thought: If your children and mine are counting on having a large inheritance when we leave this world… and if my husband and I live another 20-30 years, there’s not going to be enough left to call an inheritance – maybe a bit of pocket change. I hope to let them down gently.

Good luck…and happy retirement!

Remember, the extra cash you earn might just go into a new fishing rod.
Remember, the extra cash you earn might just go into a new fishing rod.


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      Larry Wall 4 years ago

      My retirement plan, despite the financial downfall, was on target, until my job ended two years before I expected. I was asked to leave because my job had been eliminated after 22 years. My biggest issue has been insurance. I had COBRA for a year (at company expense) but could not convert because that company did not write individual policies in my state. I tried starting my own PR business, but the competition was so fierce. I picked up very little work and less revenue. You make some good suggestions. I am just not sure they are right for me, but I do appreciate them. It may get me thinking in a new direction.