Not everyone dreams of retiring at 65. Some people love their jobs so much they can’t bear to stop. Others simply want to keep busy. Even if you don’t intend to spend your golden years relaxing, you may not want to keep pulling 40-hour work weeks either. With technology by your side, it's easier than ever to work on your own terms.
Work With Smartphone Apps
Retiring from the 9-to-5 world doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Make some money and stay busy with a side job courtesy of smartphone apps.
- Rent out your extra rooms. Have extra space in your empty nest? Airbnb is an excellent income opportunity to make use of that space. The arrangement is simple: List your home on Airbnb and rent your rooms out to travelers. You never know who you’ll meet!
- Drive around your city. Ride sharing services like Lyft or Uber are a great side job if you are comfortable behind the wheel. Once you're approved to be a driver, all you have to do is turn on your app and you’ll be driving people around in no time.
- Walk dogs. If you love animals, being a dog walker hardly feels like a job—but you can indeed get paid for it! With applications like Wag!, you can sign up to spend time with the dogs in your town and earn up to $25/hour.
- Be a secret shopper. Sign up to be a secret shopper with applications like Rewardable and Gigwalk and get paid to check out stores. You can pick up a task like going to a specific location and taking pictures of their displays, or testing out an app and seeing if it works.
Retain and Learn New Skills Online
Being retired doesn’t mean you have to stop learning or that it is too late to try a job in another field. Online courses make it easy to stretch your brain and pick up some new skills.
- Identify your skills. Retiring from one job can be an opportunity to try another. Online tools like the CareerOneStop Skills Profiler can help you figure out if your skills are easily transferable to a different type of position.
- Take online courses. Always wanted to try your hand in a certain field? Has learning that one language been on your bucket list? From job-based skills to that topic you’ve always wanted to learn, you will be able to find an online schools or educational courses to learn all you’ve ever wanted to know.
- Enroll in MOOCs. A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Rather than studying on your own, you can join in a large group all taking the class together. These courses are often free and offer interactive video lectures with quizzes and student discussion forums.
- Brush up on interviewing skills. Ready to jump back into the job market? There's online help available to sharpen your interviewing skills and freshen up your resume to be prepared for today’s job market.
Work How You Want, Where You Want
When looking for a new job opportunity, consider companies that offer alternate job arrangements that can help you balance work with time off.
- Telecommute. While telecommuting isn’t a new technology, it has become increasingly popular with those who want to go back to work after retirement. With telecommuting, you can work from home with flexible hours.
- Use a task manager. A task manager like Asana will help you stay on top of your workload from home. You can collaborate with your team remotely even as you work on the same projects.
- Try a virtual office. Virtual offices like Sococo help working from home feel more collaborative. You can be in ‘the office’ and easily chat with colleagues via text, video call or screen-sharing.
- Ride-sharing services. The prospect of driving to work doesn’t have to hinder your plans. Until self-driving cars arrive, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber can be your own personal chauffeurs.
Life Doesn’t Have to Stop During Retirement
Whether you want to stay busy, supplement your income or move into a new field entirely, technology is making retirement easier than ever. As a modern senior, you get to choose what you want your retirement to be. You can retire on your own terms, no matter your age.
Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.