For as long as you can remember, you’ve worked in some capacity. Maybe you started with chores on the family farm as a child, or if you grew up in town, perhaps you ran errands for neighbors or shoveled snow off the sidewalks in winter to earn some pocket change. You then worked in a full-time job or career throughout your adult life, probably also while you were raising a family. It was a lot of work, but it was fulfilling, too.
Now, in retirement, you may have found yourself technically “unemployed” for the first time in your life, and you’re realizing it just doesn’t feel right—you have too much time on your hands or maybe you enjoy having that extra spending money to put toward your favorite hobbies or buy little gifts for the grandkids. Whatever your reasoning, working in retirement can be an enjoyable and fulfilling endeavor. And here in Lancaster County, there are many opportunities to keep busy while earning a nice little paycheck to go along with the effort.
Today’s post gives you some general ideas about new paths you might take as a worker in retirement. After all, there is no need to only pursue work related to your former profession or acquired skillsets—now is the time to try something new that you know you will enjoy!
Jobs You May Not Have Considered
You’ve likely heard about the “gig economy” that all the kids are working in now. While lining up multiple smaller jobs to make ends meet is becoming more typical for the younger generations, there is no reason why retired individuals can’t tap into these networks to find flexible part-time jobs for themselves, too.
While you may not need to cobble together multiple “side hustles” in addition to a regular day job like younger workers, you can try your hand at one or two of these occupations just for fun or personal enrichment. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Pet Sitter/House Sitter
Are you a responsible type of person who enjoys spending time around the house and/or caring for friendly pets? How about making a little extra money looking after other people’s homes and companion animals while they travel for work or go on vacation?
It’s true that unless you want a full client roster (which also might require you to become licensed and bonded or form an official business entity), you likely won’t need to advertise. There are many people—probably within your own family or friend network—looking for trustworthy individuals who can water their plants, get their mail, and look after their pets while they’re away. And the pay is typically quite good, especially for pet sitters who offer an array of services like dog walking or mess clean-up.
You will need transportation to and from this job, which can be a challenge for seniors who no longer drive or own a personal vehicle. However, if you mostly offer “live-in” house sitting services in which you stay over at your client’s home while they are gone, you won’t need to worry about a daily commute.
Car Dealership Shuttle Driver
This requires a valid driver’s license, so it won’t be appropriate for those who do not drive, but it can be a little like driving for a ride-share service without the freelance nature of those jobs. Many car dealerships offer complimentary shuttle services to nearby areas for individuals dropping off their personal vehicles to be worked on. Not everyone has the time or wants to sit in the dealership waiting room, so these shuttles take customers to and pick them up again from their workplaces, their homes, or shopping areas while their own car is in the shop.
Often, dealerships like to hire retired folks to do these jobs since they’re part-time in nature, but may require an unpredictable time commitment during regular daytime working hours. If you like to drive, check around with local car dealers to see if they have a need. Sometimes they may also be looking for people to courier parts between multiple locations or run other errands throughout the day, as well.
If you have excellent math or accounting skills and have always done your own taxes, preparing returns for others can give you a sense of great accomplishment. Bonus: you will likely only have to work a few months out of the year, and if you spread the word about your service, you will almost certainly get more than enough interest. Try taking out a small, inexpensive ad in your local Penny Saver or Merchandiser community newspaper or get the word out on Facebook.
Or, if you’d rather volunteer your tax prep knowledge to help people in need, you can become an IRS-certified preparer through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.
Are you a social and energetic person who enjoys helping others celebrate special occasions and/or enjoys preparing and serving food and drinks? It’s true that the events hospitality industry continues to grow and trends reporting suggests that venues and events managers have a demand for workers that outpaces supply in many areas of the United States.
Finding these jobs is not difficult, but you need to know where to look. Here in the local Lancaster County area, these are often filled by well-established staffing agencies who handle all the details of the working relationship between staff and the companies needing workers. The good news about that is you can often choose how often—or how occasionally—you want to work. Once you’re registered, the staffing agency or agencies you contract with will call you when they need workers, and they don’t necessarily expect you to accept every assignment.
Consulting, Mentoring or Working Part-Time for Your Former Employer
If you retired from a professional career like business, law, medicine, or engineering, you’ve probably already thought of consulting, as your expertise is likely in high demand from younger workers looking for mentorship and advice. Consulting and mentoring can indeed be very lucrative and fulfilling work.
But if you come from a skilled trade background or another profession that hasn’t traditionally embraced consulting, there are many ways to use your years of skills and experience to make money even though you’re no longer working full-time. One way is to go back to your former employer on a part-time basis, if they are open to this kind of arrangement. It’s true that many businesses have lots of little tasks that no one on staff has time to get to and they’d likely be happy to have someone cheerfully running errands or assisting with client needs. Get in touch with former colleagues to see if this might be a viable option for you.
Some Ideas for Local, Lancaster County-based Retirement Jobs
Lancaster County is home to lots of businesses that hire retirees on a fairly regular basis for part-time work. Some are quite visible and advertise widely, while others may require you to ask whether they may need a little help. Here are a few leads to get you started:
- Become a driver on sale days at Manheim Pennsylvania (aka Manheim Auto Auction).
- Work as a Box Office/Sales Associate at the Fulton Theatre or other theatres in the area, like Sight & Sound. You may also be interested in ushering, though this is often a volunteer position.
- Pick orders at a fulfillment warehouse that doesn’t sell particularly heavy/bulky items. Companies like Urban Outfitters in Gap, Outback Toys in Lititz, and Backcountry Edge in Manheim are good examples of potential employers.
- Help out at a market stand (or open your own!) at a weekly farmers’ market like Root’s Country Market & Auction, Lancaster Central Market, Green Dragon, and more.
- Work on campus at your local retirement community, whether you currently reside there or not. Check with individual communities near you to see if they have specific needs.
Lancaster County is Your #1 Place to Enjoy Retirement
Have you heard? Lancaster County has been voted U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 Best Place to Retire in the USA! Here in Lancaster, opportunity abounds for recreation, healthcare resources, and just generally keeping active in retirement—whether you decide to continue working or not—and Explore Retirement Living wants to connect you to everything you need to live your best life as a retiree.