Jobs for Seniors: Prospects Improve Greatly for Older Workers
A recent study reports that jobs for seniors are easier to find. The average retirement age is being pushed back each year and there is no longer a “typical” definition of what retirement is. A large number of older Americans don’t necessarily ever want to stop working completely, for reasons such as keeping themselves busy, staying healthy, continuing to earn money or a combination of reasons.
For those retirees who may want to continue working into their late 70s or even 80s, there is good news: the outlook for older workers has improved drastically since the late 90s, according to a recent study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Older Workers in Demand
Though job opportunities do decline for workers changing jobs after age 50, the employment opportunities are reasonably similar to opportunities for prime-age workers, the Boston College study found.
“People are seeing that the skillset of an older person is much more valuable than they realize,” says Peter Creedon, CEO of Crystal Brook Advisors, located in New York, N.Y. “They may not have the hustle of a 20 year old, but they’ve been there, done that and have made plenty of mistakes, but know how to get the job done.”
And there’s more good news for working in retirement: what some would consider “old person” jobs (which are defined by Boston College researchers as occupations with a certain hiring ratio), pay no less than other jobs. In general, over the years, the options for older job-changers have broadened and continue to do so.
Why Are Prospects for Jobs for Seniors Looking Up?
The Boston College study cites several reasons contributing to a positive hiring environment for seniors. Reasons include:
- Employers are less likely to offer defined benefit pensions — making it more affordable for companies to hire workers.
- The work culture has shifted and now values generic skills rather than company-specific knowledge.
- Older workers are now as educated (or more so) than younger workers.
- Hiring managers themselves may be older than they once were, and are therefore more likely to hire older workers.
What Are the Ideal Jobs for Seniors?
The best jobs for seniors? Staying put may be your best option.
There are a number of part-time jobs that traditionally appeal to retirees, but you may be best served to see if you can continue to work for your current employer under new terms. That might mean cutting back on hours or establishing more flexible hours so you can keep the job you love and make the transition easier.
If you are ready to switch gears altogether, an option could be to freelance or become a consultant. This way, you can work on your own schedule and utilize the years of knowledge in a particular industry that you’ve built up.
These types of positions are becoming more and more common due to the fact that many employers are not hiring full-time help like they used to. They are now looking for consultants to help with projects in all areas from human resources to law to marketing and project management. This option would also allow you the time to travel and work from wherever you’d like.
Another way to get involved on a freelance or contract basis is working in finance. If you have a background in finance, many small businesses are in need of bookkeepers, but may not have the funds to bring someone on full time. This job too could be done remotely, depending on the company.
Retirement Jobs Can Improve Your Finances
“If people are concerned about running out of money in retirement, it comes down to asking yourself if you want to dip into your nest egg or work a few more years or get a part-time job,” explains Corey Purkat, founder and CEO of Northwoods Financial Planning in Oakdale, Minn. “Continuing to be a part of a community and staying active will also help your health, which could keep costs in retirement lower.”
Even if you have not planned to work in retirement, continuing to do so in some capacity could greatly improve your financial outlook as well as your health.
If you are not sure about your retirement finances, you might want to try the NewRetirement Retirement Calculator. This easy to use system makes it easy to get started with fast answers about your retirement finances. You start by entering some basic information and then you get a detailed assessment. You can then rapidly assess different options for when to stop working and when to start Social Security, etc…. Compare your retirement plan with a retirement job and without.