People return to work after retirement for one of two reasons: They want to or they have to. Those who want to work often miss the challenge of having a job, the sense of purpose, the human interaction or some combination of the three.
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Those who have to work miss the paycheck. A recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that many Americans will need to stay employed longer -- perhaps even into their seventies or eighties -- to make ends meet in their golden years.
Whatever the reason for returning to work, here are six jobs that are well suited for retirees. Each position offers flexibility -- you'll want the leeway to travel, visit grandkids, volunteer or simply relax -- as well as other retirement-friendly perks. Data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hourly pay ranges reflect the rates in the 25th and 75th percentiles. Ten-year growth projections are based on the BLS's expected change in the number of positions between 2008 and 2018. Take a look at our top picks.
The duties: Direct patrons to seats, collect tickets, hand out programs. Crowd-control freaks need apply.
The pay: $8.12-$10.50 per hour
The perks: Get paid to listen to music, take in a show or watch a sporting event. Backstage passes are a bonus.
10-year growth projection: 14%-19%
Where the jobs are: Not surprisingly, movie theaters, performing arts venues and sports stadiums are the biggest employers of ushers, but don't neglect to check with colleges, universities, museums and historical sites.
The duties: Officiate at sporting events. Should be a fan of fair play and a stickler for the rules.
The pay: $8.74-$16.39 per hour
The perks: There's plenty of part-time and seasonal work, which is tailor-made for semi-retired sports buffs.
10-year growth projection: 10%
Where the jobs are: The five states with the highest concentration of jobs for referees, umpires and other sporting officials are Kansas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Utah and Missouri.
3. Restaurant Host
The duties: Meet and greet diners, take reservations. Phone, computer and people skills are a must.
The pay: $8.07-$10.07 per hour
The perks: Pick from night, weekend, breakfast and lunch shifts. Plus, enjoy free meals.
10-year growth projection: 6%
Where the jobs are: The highest concentrations of restaurant-host positions are in touristy metro areas, such as Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Panama City, Fla.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Brunswick, Ga.; Prescott, Ariz.; Fort Myers, Fla.; and Ocean City, N.J.
4. Product Demonstrator
The duties: Hand out samples, perform demonstrations, answer questions. Think meatballs on toothpicks at grocery stores and juicer demos at trade shows. Must be quick -- and comfortable -- on your feet.
The pay: $9.33-$15.12 per hour
The perks: Free samples. Demand is strong for workers willing to fill part-time and short-term positions.
10-year growth projection: 7%
Where the jobs are: Metro areas with the most jobs overall for product demonstrators are Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The area with the highest concentration of product promoters? Napa, Cal., thanks to the abundance of wine tasting rooms.
5. Child-Care Worker
The duties: Look after kids, from infants to teens. Parenting experience pays dividends.
The pay: $8.28-$11.46 per hour
The perks: Stay young in body as well as in spirit. Keeping up with youthful charges offers quite a workout.
10-year growth projection: 11%
Where the jobs are: About 33% of child-care workers are self-employed and work from home. Another 33% are in day-care centers. The rest work in churches, schools and the like.
6. Retail Sales Clerk
The duties: Assist customers, process payments and stock shelves. Service with a smile is appreciated.
The pay: $8.58-$13.29 per hour
The perks: Discounts galore. Bibliophiles apply to bookstores, fashionistas to apparel chains, and so on.
10-year growth projection: 8%
Where the jobs are: Everywhere. Some of the best-paying retail sales positions can be found in tony areas such as Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts, Naples and Marco Island in Florida, and Stamford and Danbury in Connecticut.