Retirement preparation requires both emotional and financial planning. For many people, no matter how much they dread the drudgery of long days of work, their colleagues have become a major part of their social life. Studies show that retirees with lots of social interaction are healthier and happier, so replacing your "work family" with some new friends and new colleagues should be considered.
Part-time jobs and seniors
Most retirees, even if they want to earn some income, prefer to work only part-time or to do seasonal work. AARP offers a wide range of suggestions for work suitable for seniors, and even has a job bank searchable by location.
Finding a part-time job that meets your needs depends a lot on your skills and experience. Here's a sampling of the types of jobs you may qualify for and not even know it:
- Tax preparation: If you have an accounting background or are simply good at math and reading government publications, you can become a tax preparer. You must take an IRS exam and get an identification number and then you can work on your own or apply to work at a tax preparation firm such as H&R Block or a local business.
- Bookkeeping: Another option for those with math skills and who are detail-oriented is bookkeeping. While some companies prefer to hire someone with a degree in accounting, you may also be able to pick up work after taking bookkeeping classes at a community college.
- Private tutoring: If you have worked as a teacher or have strong skills in math or language or grammar, you may want to consider becoming a private tutor. Tutors are needed for high school students taking higher level classes and for students studying for college placement exams and graduate school exams. Tutors can be self-employed or work with a local business. Online tutoring programs such as Tutor.com can offer part-time, work-at-home employment. For online tutoring employment, you usually have to take an exam and have good computer skills since you will be working over the Internet with students.
- Medical Assisting: If you have an interest in the medical field or have retired from a job in doctor's office or hospital, part-time work should be relatively easy to find. Medical assistants are needed for front-desk work and for working with patients if you have the right training. If you are physically healthy enough, a job as a home-care aide or in an assisted living or nursing home is another good option for part-time employment.
- Working from home: Seniors with superior computer skills have lots of options for working at home, including acting as a customer service representative or a virtual assistant. If you are looking for work as a social outlet, though, working at home may not meet your goal.
Financial options include a reverse mortgage
If you are looking into part-time work because of concern about your level of income during retirement, you may also want to consider the benefits of a reverse mortgage. Homeowners above age 62 can borrow money from the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage lender. The amount borrowed is determined by the age of the homeowners and the amount of available equity.
While a reverse mortgage is not the perfect choice for every senior, these loans do offer the opportunity to establish a line of credit for emergencies, to receive monthly income or to take out a lump sum to pay off your existing mortgage or other debts. The loan is repaid when the home is sold or the owners pass away. A reverse mortgage counselor can work with you to determine whether this type of loan will improve your finances.
Whether you want to work part-time or not, a reverse mortgage could ease your cash flow for a less-stressful retirement.
Michele Lerner is a freelance writer with twenty years of experience writing articles and web content for newspapers and magazines on topics related to real estate, personal finance and business. Her clients include The Washington Times, Urban Land Magazine, NAREIT's Real Estate Portfolio, and numerous Realtor association publications. Michele's first book, "HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time" is available now at Amazon.com or from www.MicheleLerner.com.