According to Harvard Health, research conducted by Michigan State University showed that individuals who had retired were 40 percent "more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those who were still working." But that doesn't mean every retiree should return to work.
In fact, for individuals who had stressful, unrewarding jobs, retirement, they say, might be a relief that leads to a healthier, more fulfilling life. However, if you are among those who enjoyed the positive aspects of having a career, working part-time as a senior can be a rewarding experience.
Why Should Seniors Work Part-Time?
There are a number of reasons why a part-time job would be ideal for today's seniors:
Stave Off Health Issues
Research has shown that there are significant mental and physical health problems associated with full retirement. Specifically: "complete retirement leads to a five to 16 percent increase in difficulties associated with mobility and daily activities; a five to six percent increase in illness conditions, and six to nine percent decline in mental health, over an average post-retirement period of six years."
Build Social Networks/Relationships
Sometimes, seniors can become isolated because retirement means less moving around and getting out and about. Working part-time, however, creates an outlet for seniors to get out and meet new people and build new relationships. While being physically active has obvious benefits, research shows that seniors who are socially active and productive live "significantly longer" than their peers.
Getting up every morning with not much to do can be both dull and unhealthy. Having a purpose is reported to reduce the risk of death from heart, circulatory, and digestive diseases.
According to the Social Security Administration, the average senior living on Social Security in America receives $1,471 per month in SS benefits and only 49 percent of the private industry workforce has no private pension coverage. This leads to tight budgets for today's seniors. However, a part-time job can increase their annual income by an average of $22,517!
Now that we know some of the benefits of part-time work for seniors, let's look at some great part-time opportunities.
Part-Time Jobs for Seniors
Before beginning a part-time job, it's important to consider key aspects such as:
- Logistics - How will they get to and from work?
- Safety/Security - Is the job in a safe environment? Is the actual work appropriate for their physical abilities?
- Flexibility - Will the employer be willing to work with them when medical appointments must be made?
Glassdoor reports that part-time tutors make an average of $23,345 a year. One of the great things about being a tutor is that travel is largely unnecessary and can be done in the home.
Schools and businesses often depend on the help of seniors for serving food during breakfast and lunch. The average hourly rate for cafeteria workers is $10.00 an hour. A part-time job in a school cafeteria has the bonus providing time with kids which, according to experts, is great for seniors' health.
Greeters work in a range of locations - from restaurants to hotels - and can make a decent part-time living smiling and welcoming guests as they come through the door.
Animal Shelter Assistant
Many animal shelters provide part-time work for those who enjoy working with animals. Studies have shown that human-animal interaction has numerous mental health benefits so on top of receiving a modest income.
Speaking of animals, many veterinarian offices can use a couple extra hands dealing with their patients. A high school diploma is all that is usually required to begin working as a vet assistant, although additional training in animal care could be beneficial.
Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
Glassdoor reports that dog walkers make an average of just over $30,000 a year. Add to that the health benefits of exercise and recreation, dog-walking could be a perfect part-time choice.
For the organized type, data entry is a low-pressure, simple job that pays an average of $31,585 a year. Making this position more appealing is that some data entry jobs can be done remotely, removing the need to commute.
School Bus Driver
School bus drivers are responsible for picking up and dropping off students to and from school, monitoring the safety and condition of the bus, and keeping logs of their daily bus activities such as fuel, miles driven, and the number of riders on their bus.
For outgoing individuals, a second career in sales can provide them with ample opportunities to get out and communicate with others. Careers in sales can be for anything from furniture and parts to cashier positions and product promoters.
With services like Uber and Lyft, seniors who drive can make extra income by transporting individuals who call for a ride in the area. Seniors might be particularly ideal for this kind of work since they likely know the cities they live in quite well and can share information with their riders.
The average age of today's nurses in the U.S. is 51. In 2017, nurses aged over 65 made up over 14 percent of U.S. nurses and those aged 60 to 64 accounted for just under 14 percent.
Seniors can be a valuable part of a child's life by providing insights, fun, games, and help as a childcare provider. Working as a private childcare provider in someone's home can provide an extra cash income without too much strain, depending on the age/need of the child(ren) and the number of hours needed.
Not Just Work
If the idea of starting a second career seems daunting or is otherwise not possible, there are other ways that seniors can get out and stay active. Volunteering for local organizations can be a rewarding experience and could even lead to finding a perfect part-time job. Hobbies and social gatherings are also valuable ways to stay happy and healthy.
Part-time work can be tiring for seniors so it might be beneficial for them to receive caregiver services that make their life easier to navigate. Simple things like meal-preparation or light housekeeping can make part-time work more possible. If you or someone you love is interested in finding out more about senior support services, contact us today to see how we can help.