Don't Retire Full Time
As we’ve written before, retirement is changing. The typical American couple now needs nearly half a million dollars in savings to last through their retirement. As if that burden weren’t enough, the poor economy has forced many seniors to delay leaving the workforce. Others who were already retired have returned to work at least part-time to make ends meet.
Even as the economy improves, it seems likely that Americans will work more years as they continue live longer. With that in mind, here are some of the best professions to enter into in your twilight years. It’s worth thinking about now even if you don’t have many gray hairs on your head. Sometimes it pays to think ahead.
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Universities offer plenty of good teaching and administrative options for older workers. Plus, it can be a good way to feel young again. Cornell in particular ranked number 1 on the AARP’s list of best places to work over 50, thanks to its job placement programs that specifically target seniors and a workplace culture that is very comfortable for older employees. Cornell currently employs close to 4,000 people over 50 years old. Other universities that ranked high on AARP’s list were George Mason, M.I.T., Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma City University. Salaries vary widely by position and university.
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Public School Teacher
If you prefer to work with younger kids, or to go where people are really needed, why not try teaching at a public school? There is a large demand for more public school teachers in this country and according to CNN Money, there are now “alternative certification programs aimed at older workers.” These programs “can pay for and speed up the process of becoming a teacher.”Not only would you be doing something incredibly useful, but the majority of public school teachers make $50,000 or more.
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One of the best options for people looking to retire is to consider doing consulting work part-time. According one study, the number of consultants is expected to increase by more than 20% from now through 2016. This is a great way to continue working in your current profession. Best of all, consultants usually work remotely, so you can at least retire your commute. Salaries vary based on the field for which you’d consult. Sales consultants average about $50,000 while information technologies consultants, for example, earn anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000.
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With the economy still reeling, Americans are in need of qualified financial advisers now more than ever (especially the guy in this picture). Financial advisors help them make crucial investment decisions, and it's one profession where having some gray hairs may work to your advantage, helping you look more experienced and trustworthy. According to CNN Money, nearly half of all financial advisers are self-employed, meaning you won’t have to take any guff in the workplace for being a little older. If you do choose to work for a larger company, the AARP recommends H&R Block, Robert Half F&A and Accounting Principals. With enough experience, financial advisers can earn more than $100,000.
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If you’re not looking to make a lot of money, and just want to do something useful, why not try volunteering? There are plenty of programs tailored specifically for senior citizens. The Senior Corps, a national service program, is always looking for retirees to work as foster grandparents. In this position, your goal would be to serve as a mentor. Volunteers work up to 40 hours a week and some earn a tax-free, hourly stipend. Note: The grandfather in this photo is not a volunteer, as far as we know.
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Health Care Technician
Also known as nurse's aids or personal support workers, healthcare technicians rank as one of the best jobs for retirees, according to the AARP. These technicians can work in patient care, do research in labs, or help with radiology work, to name a few options. It’s meaningful work that pays well and doesn’t require too much prior experience in field. All you need is one to four years of training beyond high school in a particular health care specialty. Technicians can earn as much as $50,000, depending on their specialty.
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If you’re able to convince customers to buy an item, it doesn’t matter what your age is. Whether you’re looking to work in cosmetics or electronics, there could be an option available to you to work as a retail salesperson. This is an especially good option right now, during the holidays, if you’re looking to make some extra cash. These positions typically pay anywhere from $15 to $30 an hour.
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People may be criticizing banks these days, but they are a good place to work for older Americans. There are opportunities for older people to work in customer service or as tellers and managers. The AARP recommends working at several banks in particular including Wachovia and Bank of America. Managers make at least $50,000 and tellers usually make $10-$15 an hour.
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If you don’t know where else to work, why not try getting a government job. MSN reports that three government sectors in particular frequently hire candidates over 50: the IRS, Peace Corp and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance. Not only are these jobs pretty stable, but they provide excellent health benefits. If you’re interested, check out job listings on this site. Salaries vary based on position.
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