The word ‘pensioner’ was once synonymous with the word ‘old’. Better health care, food and knowledge means that people reaching retirement age are fit, well, and vital. Some wish to continue working past retirement age and many feel that they still have much to give to an employer. Their knowledge, energy, work, and life experience are invaluable in the workplace. Some people do not want to retire and need some work to keep them busy. In difficult economic times, some people cannot afford to retire or need to supplement their retirement income. Whatever the circumstances, many people are considering good post retirement jobs for seniors.
There are alternatives for people post retirement. The demographic time bomb means that there are fewer youngsters entering the job market each year and this situation will worsen in the coming years. People are having fewer children later in their lives and birth rates are not even at replacement rate in many western countries. Formerly, many employers were resistant to the idea of employing older people but some have already realized that position is unsustainable and others will have to adapt their policies if they are to maintain their staff levels in the coming years.
When considering working post-retirement, it is necessary to decide whether you need to earn money and, if so, how much. You also need to decide what you want to do or work at, whether you want to continue doing the same thing that you have done all your working life or whether you want to try something new and many other questions need due consideration before your final decision and action.
There are age discrimination laws in many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, about age discrimination in the workplace. You should consult your country’s official information and see what your rights are at work. However, an anti-discrimination law does not automatically make discrimination disappear overnight. Some employers retain old prejudices but others are more enlightened.
You may want to continue in your current job after retirement age. In many countries, under discrimination and other legislation you have the right to ask your employer if you may do so. Your employer may have a legal responsibility to consider your request seriously and without prejudice. Your employer may have the right to refuse your request and may, or may not, legally have to give credible reasons for such a refusal. You may stay in your current job or with your current employer but choose to reduce your working hours, week or work in a more flexible manner.
Many people retire and then become a paid consultant to their previous company or within their previous industry. Consultancy can be a lucrative business and gives you some freedom. It means that you decide when and where you work.
Retirement can provide an opportunity for you to begin a new business. Perhaps you have an idea for a new business. A current hobby, or pastime, could provide a business idea. If you have always been interested in antiques, art, or property development, for example, retirement could provide the opportunity for you to build your own business and make your own job to suit your needs and circumstances. Many people over retirement age move to a tourist or country area and establish a bed and breakfast (B&B) establishment to finance their retirement idyll and give them a paying interest.
Your retirement could provide an opportunity to return to learning and allow you to train for a post retirement career. This could be extremely rewarding. There are post retirement careers, where age and experience are a positive advantage, for example, a social worker dealing with the needs of older people might find that age and life experience give them a positive advantage.
You might choose to work only part of the year. Many companies in all sorts of industries offer seasonal work to older people. Some older people work as house sitters for those who do not wish to leave their houses unoccupied during extended vacations or when working away from home for a time.
Some companies now positively welcome older people into their employ. B & Q a large retail ‘Do it yourself’ chain store, in the United Kingdom, was in the forefront of this drive. They discovered through an experiment that the stereotypes regarding older people were as false as most generalizations, and that customers appreciated the life experience and practical advice that older sales assistants could give them because it was more credible coming from people who had actually done household jobs and improvements. B & Q along with 18 other leading UK employers belong to the Employers’ Forum on Age, but these are not the only UK employers who positively welcome job applications from older people.
There are employment agencies, in the UK, and other countries, which deal specifically with over fifties job applicants. An internet search will help you discover these services in your country, as well as any government advice regarding employment for older people. The United Kingdom Government produces a downloadable leaflet giving older job seekers comprehensive advice regarding employment and their rights.
You may want to do voluntary work after retirement. Many people enjoy volunteering their time after retirement and there are many opportunities to do so. You could work selling goods in a charity or thrift shop but retail is not the only skill that charities and organizations need, secretarial, organizational, clerical, decorating, DIY, and other skills may also be required. Discovering vacancies for older people is not as hard as it once was.
Retirement used to mean the end of useful life. Today, retirement can be a new beginning, a gateway to a different life, or whatever you want it to be. There are some great opportunities for those in the nearly young age group.