older african american male teacher standing in front of a college common area with students walking by

Some older adults aren’t ready to stop working when it comes time to retire. Whether they prefer to keep busy or they’re trying to earn some extra money to supplement retirement savings, there are many reasons why you might be looking for work as a retiree. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of adults ages 55 and older were actively looking for work in 2014 and older adults’ labor participation rate is expected to increase faster than that of any other segment of the population through 2024. Rather than starting a whole new career, older adults might prefer looking for a smaller-scale or part-time job. These jobs can allow for more flexibility and free time than a 9-to-5 career. 

What Types of Jobs Do People Typically Work During Retirement?

Looking for a job in retirement is different than looking for a job earlier in life. Many older adults want more flexibility, less stress, and less lifestyle impact. Some job-seekers are looking for a position that utilizes the skills they developed during their professional career, while others want to develop new skills. 

Once you figure out your priorities and preferences for employment, you can start applying for new jobs that will help you create the life you want. 


If you have expertise and education in a certain field, or an interest in working with young people, then teaching is a fantastic job for you. Teaching as a substitute at the elementary and secondary levels is a feasible career choice for anyone with a bachelor’s degree who can pass a background check. This job allows you to teach young people, learn new things, develop your public speaking skills, and work on a flexible schedule. 

If you have advanced degrees or extensive work experience, then you may be able to teach college-level classes at your local trade school, community college, or university. This would allow you to share your knowledge with the next generation while working on a part-time schedule.  


A consultant helps companies by providing the benefit of their experience. By becoming a consultant, you can use the skills you have honed over decades in the workforce, and apply those skills to help companies and workers improve in different ways. 

Consultants get to create their own schedules, choose their own clients, and can often charge high rates per hour. In so many ways, ageism affects older workers who are actively looking for jobs. However, consulting is a field where your age and years of experience can be highly sought after. 

Ride-sharing App Driver

If you’re looking to get out of the house, make some money, and meet new people, becoming a ride-sharing driver is the perfect job for your retirement years. 

Working for companies like Uber and Lyft allows you to work when and where you want, whether that’s during the afternoon or midnight. This job also allows you to meet countless new people from all over the world who are visiting your area. 

Tour Guide 

If you’ve been living in your area for a while, working as a tour guide might be a good fit. To make money as a tour guide, you can check for job openings at your local visitors bureau, chamber of commerce, or city hall. You can also partner with local businesses and create your own company as a side hustle. 

Tour guides show visitors the notable historic sites, tourist attractions, and recommended businesses (hotels, restaurants) in a town or city. If you love your area, and you’re comfortable speaking in front of groups of people, then working as a tour guide is a great way to earn a living as an older adult. 


If you like to write, then why not make some money at it? If you have knowledge to share from your years in the workforce, write a nonfiction book. If you’ve been reading romance novels in your free time for years, write your own and self-publish it. 

You don’t necessarily have to write books — you can also make money blogging. You could start your own website, with your earnings coming from advertising and affiliate links, or you could be a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter creates content for companies’ websites and blogs without their name being attached. 

Why Work After Retirement? 

In an ideal world, everyone’s retirement savings would be enough to fully support them during their twilight years. But this is not always possible. Everyone takes different steps to prepare for retirement, and the preparations you made over the course of several decades can affect what your life looks like in the present. 

Sometimes your retirement funds aren’t enough to cover the rising cost of living or medical expenses. Sometimes, you just need a bit more cash to afford the trips on your bucket list. You might be trying to save money for fun expenses, trying to eliminate your debt, or trying to be more active and social. Whatever your reasons for working after you’ve retired, there are options for employment that can help you cover your expenses while also enjoying your retirement years. 

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How to Re-contextualize Work Experience on a Resume

If you are applying for a job that doesn’t seem (on the surface) to be in line with what you have been doing for the past couple of decades, that’s OK. Look at each of the individual skills you developed during your career and try to find ways they connect to the roles you’re now applying for. 

If you ever had to lead team meetings or give presentations, that means you have public speaking skills that can be transferred to jobs like teaching or being a tour guide. If you wrote reports and emails for your previous employers, you can show that you have extensive experience with written communication. 
Finding a job as an older adult can be hard, but writing a strong resume that showcases your skills effectively will help you combat ageism in the hiring process. By drawing clear connections between your past experience and the position you are hiring for, you can help employers see the benefits that your age brings to the workplace.

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