Just because you’ve retired from your primary career doesn’t mean you’re finished working. In fact, some retirement advice is to keep working at least part time.
Whether you need the money to make ends meet or are just figuring out what to do in retirement, there are options, especially work you can do from your own home.
Last updated: Oct. 5, 2020
You don’t have to come into the office to help busy people with their smaller tasks anymore. Instead, add it to the list of jobs you can do from home and still manage to make good money. To work as a virtual assistant, you need good communication skills, a computer, a phone and internet access. Some companies prefer you have a bachelor’s degree as well. Your hours depend on the role you take on.
Some companies, like Belay, serve as third-party providers so you work as an independent contractor and take on tasks as you decide. Similarly, a company like Fancy Hands prices each task, and you are paid for the ones you complete. Alternatively, you might find a job working for a specific person or company as an employee — which means you could have a more structured schedule and maybe even receive benefits. In fact, many companies offer great benefits worth getting excited about.
Customer Service Representative
You can find a new career at 50 working from home as a customer representative. Instead of having a centralized call center, some companies opt to allow their representatives to work from home. The company saves on overhead, and you save on your commute time to and from work.
To work, you need a high-speed internet connection and a landline phone. Some companies hire directly, while other companies like Sykes outsource customer support to companies in need. So you might have a full-time, part-time or seasonal job, depending on whom you work for. The median pay for customer service representatives is $15.53 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You can get paid to transcribe audio files to Word documents thanks to this job done in the comfort of your home. To work as a transcriptionist, you need to be very detail-oriented and accurate with punctuation, grammar and spelling. In addition, you might need industry experience or manuals to make sure you know specific terminology.
You might be able to land a full-time job, or you might prefer the flexibility of being a freelance transcriptionist. For example, at Rev you get to pick the jobs you want to work. And the average transcriptionist brings home an extra $245 per month.
Car Rental Sales Representative
If you can sell a customer on a rental car over the phone, you could land a job with Enterprise as a reservation sales representative. The car rental company does provide some work from home opportunities where you could expect to earn $12.85 per hour, plus a commission when you meet monthly sales goals, which Enterprise claims averages $250 per month.
You must typically live in the general area of the store that you’re serving and have at least six months of customer service experience and a year of performance or commission-based jobs. If you’re hired, you’ll be expected to handle 80 to 100 calls per day and work full time.
Create and Sell Crafts
Gone are the days when you needed to have a storefront and lots of capital to interact with potential customers. With the power of the internet, you can open your own business with just $100. For example, you can start an online craft store. You can make, sell and ship all your products under your own roof.
You could launch your own website, or you could create an online store with Etsy or a similar platform. Etsy charges you a fee for each item you list, plus a commission and processing fees on the payments when your items sell. You can work as much or as little as you want.
Just because you’ve retired from your main career doesn’t mean you no longer have any valuable business knowledge. You can put that knowledge to work starting your own business consulting company from your den. Your experience and know-how, accumulated over decades during your working years, can prove invaluable for business owners who want to get ahead.
If you create your own company, you’ll have the flexibility to work when you want on the projects you enjoy, and to charge the rates you want. It also means you’ll have to network with your family, friends and business connections to drum up business, however.
Taking Care of Pets
If you like animals, consider starting a pet sitting business from your own home. You can start from scratch or use an online platform like Rover, where you can post your profile. Of course, Rover checks all applications first. Once you’re on board, you can advertise your services and set your own prices and availability.
For example, you could put a size limit on pets you’ll babysit in case you’re no longer able to handle overly large or energetic pets on a leash. When setting your prices on a network, remember that you won’t get to keep all of it. For example, on Rover, 80% is yours to keep, and 20% goes toward maintaining the site.
If you enjoy working with students, consider online tutoring as a good job for senior citizens. You can connect with students across the country and teach the subjects you’re passionate about. Plus, as an independent contractor, you can pick and choose which students you want to tutor.
You can register to tutor through an online site, like Chegg, where the site claims tutors can earn $20 per hour, and the top 5 percent of tutors bring home $1,000 per month — which is almost as much as the average Social Security check. To tutor with Chegg, you need to have attended college and might need to take a proficiency exam for certain subjects.
Lawyers do lots of research before going to trial, including trying to figure out how potential jurors would feel if they were presented with the case. To get those opinions, they hire people to serve as pretend jurors for their cases so they can gauge whether they are likely to win, and how much a jury might award their clients in damages.
Companies like Online Verdict and Jury Test let you know when there’s a case that’s ready for your review. After you’ve reviewed the case and submitted your response, you get paid — between $5 and $50 on Jury Test and between $20 and $60 on Online Verdict.
Working as a graphic designer makes the list of jobs for people over 50 because you can easily do it from home. If you have a computer and graphic design software, you can create logos and images for companies and organizations.
It can be hard to find a full-time job in graphic design because most companies have only sporadic needs. You can use online platforms to get projects, however. For example, DesignCrowd offers contests where the winner gets paid the prize money and freelance jobs where the client selects a specific designer to work with.
Internet Search Engine Rater
If you thought surfing the web was a complete waste of time, you’re in for a surprise. Some companies, including Lionbridge, will hire you to evaluate websites and search engine results. To qualify, you need access to a computer and internet connection. Positions are typically part time and pay hourly.
You can make a second career out of editing other people’s work before it gets published. Companies like Cactus Global hire people to work from home as full-time editors. The requirements vary depending on what category of writing you want to edit.
For example, to join Cactus Global’s medical reviewing team, you need at least three years of experience in the industry.
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If you are bilingual or fluent in multiple languages, add translator to the list of jobs for retirees. You’ll need to demonstrate your fluency, such as by passing a proficiency test. If you prefer to work on your own schedule, sign up with a company like VerbalizeIt, where you can opt-in to translation jobs that suit your preferences and get paid per job.
Sometimes, you’ll need other skills for particular jobs. For example, Telelanguage posted an opening for a translator to work from home with medical professionals who have limited English proficiency. The job required some medical experience.
If you really want to run with this job, it could provide great pay opportunities and other perks.
Insurance Claims Adjuster
If you have previous experience working in insurance adjusting, you could parlay that experience into a full-time job that you can do from your house. For example, a Cottingham and Butler Claims Services job posting sought senior workers comp claims adjusters with prior experience. Workers receive an allowance to pay for their home offices, equipment and tech support, plus covered business expenses.
The median salary for a claims adjuster is $63,670 per year, according to the BLS. That’s certainly a good way to give your income a boost.
The last option on the list of best jobs for retirees is working in development and fundraising for a nonprofit. Some nonprofits allow their fundraising directors to work remotely as long as they can accomplish all the job duties.
These duties include organizing fundraising events, such as a telethon or gala, writing grant applications, maintaining donor relations and reaching out to new donors. Fundraisers are paid a median salary of $49,698 per year, according to PayScale.
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Data is accurate as of March 11, 2018, and is subject to change.