How to Land a Job in Retirement
Whether you want to work for yourself or for someone else, take these steps to make it happen.
If you're thinking of reentering the workforce for fun, if not much profit, you have plenty of company. Of the 7 million people age 55 and older who are working part-time, more than 5.5 million are working for non-economic reasons, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, people age 55 to 64 are among the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs, representing about 26% of start-ups in 2015, according to the Kauffman Index, which tracks new businesses.
Even if you don't plan to make a killing at your dream gig, you don't want it to become a nightmare. Here's how to get started.
Landing a job you love. Sites aimed at older workers include www.retirementjobs.com, which lists jobs in retail, tax preparation, caregiving and driving, among other fields, and www.encore.org, which focuses on jobs in the nonprofit world. For seasonal jobs in outdoor settings, including national parks, go to www.coolworks.com.
Be creative in seeking out jobs that dovetail with your interests -- say, working part-time at a golf shop, selling cosmetics from home, ushering at a sporting venue or manning an aisle a few mornings a week at a hardware store. You might assume employers are unwilling to hire older employees, but "companies appreciate the flexibility a retiree can bring in terms of hours and commitment," says Jeff Bucher, a registered investment adviser in Perrysburg, Ohio, specializing in retirement planning.
Starting a business that works. Succeeding as a start-up requires a willingness to take risks and to make decisions, as well as the ability to negotiate deals and make people want what you're selling. Be sure you have those skills before launching your idea (see Strike It Rich!).
Then make a business plan, including a description of your company and a market analysis. Also address how you plan to organize and finance your enterprise and how you’ll reach your audience. Include an executive statement that highlights your structure and mission.
Having a mentor can put you on the right track (or prevent you from pursuing an ill-advised idea). You can find one through Score, a network of business advisers offering free advice. Michael O'Malley, a Score mentor in Fairfield County, Conn., says, "I stress viability. Hoping and praying is not a business."
Be prepared to put up your own money -- say, from savings, home equity or a credit card. "Most banks don't fund start-ups eagerly," says O'Malley. Once your business has proved itself, he says, you can tap into the banking system, not to save the business but to expand it. (For more information, browse the Small Business Administration's Web site, at www.sba.gov.)