You may have retired, but you still can get a job—and have fun doing that job! Here are seven options…
National Park Service employees get paid to work in spectacular natural or historical settings. They work at the gift shops and entrance gates, give talks to guests, maintain trails and perform all the other tasks that keep the National Park system running. These jobs tend to be seasonal—don’t expect many openings until spring. Age is not an issue. More than one-third of National Park employees are over age 50. Salaries typically are between $12 and $15 an hour, sometimes higher. Lodging might be provided as well.
To learn more: Visit the National Parks Web site (NPS.gov) or USAJobs.gov to find openings. Private Web site CoolWorks.com lists National Park job openings, too (select “National Park Jobs” from the “Find a Job” menu).
English language teachers are in heavy demand in Asia and elsewhere. It is a great opportunity to get paid to live abroad. Some of these positions pay only travel expenses, lodging and a small stipend, but others pay $50,000 a year or more. A one-year commitment often is required. Passing a certificate program on teaching English as a second language can improve your odds of landing good jobs in this field, but it’s not required.
Adjunct professors share their expertise while working in an intellectually stimulating environment. Impressive academic credentials usually are required to land an adjunct professor position at a prestigious college—but at junior colleges, community colleges and technical colleges, these jobs are within reach of many retirees. If you had a successful career in marketing, for example, a local community college might hire you to teach a marketing course. Adjunct professors typically earn a few thousand dollars per course taught at four-year colleges but often just $1,000 to $2,000 per course at two-year colleges.
To learn more: Visit the Web sites of two-year and technical colleges in your region to see if they are looking for an instructor in your area of expertise.
Caretakers look after homes or other properties while their owners are away. Retirees are in particular demand as caretakers because property owners consider them mature and responsible. Often all a caretaker has to do is live in the property and care for it as any resident would-having someone there reduces the odds of break-ins or that a major maintenance issue will go unnoticed.
Caretaking doesn’t tend to pay very much—sometimes nothing at all—but it can be a great way to reduce retirement travel costs by staying in interesting properties in interesting locations with no out-of-pocket housing costs. (Income should be provided if the caretaker is asked to do significant maintenance or groundskeeping.)
To learn more: Subscribe to The Caretaking Gazette, which lists caretaking opportunities worldwide ($29.95/yr, Caretaker.org).
Inn sitters take care of inns and bed-and-breakfasts while their owners are away. Duties might include handling guest check-ins and checkouts, cooking breakfast and cleaning rooms. Compensation varies greatly depending on the inn sitter’s level of experience and other factors, but experienced inn sitters or inn-sitting couples often earn $100 to $200 a day plus lodging and perhaps travel expenses.
To learn more: Ask innkeepers and B&B owners whether they ever hire inn sitters. The Web site of the Interim Innkeepers Network offers some additional details (InterimInnkeepers.net).
Stadium ushers help fans find their seats on game days. The job doesn’t pay much—often little more than minimum wage—but it’s a way to get paid to attend sporting events. Usher jobs can be difficult to land with top teams, but the odds can be better at minor league stadiums or at baseball spring-training facilities in Florida and Arizona.
To learn more: Visit the Web sites of local teams and stadiums to find openings, or call the team offices.
Museum docents serve as guides, helping visitors to understand the museum exhibits. Docent jobs typically are unpaid, but they can be an enjoyable opportunity to share your passion for a topic and further your knowledge of it by attending museum lectures, events, exhibitions and training programs for free. (Some museums offer extensive training programs for their docents.)
To learn more: Call local museums, and ask about their docent or volunteer programs. Or visit a museum’s Web site, and look for a section labeled “Volunteer” or “Docent Program.”