It used to be called freelancing but today, those age 50 and over make up the largest segment of the work force participating in what is now referred to as, the gig economy. The term gig, coined in the 1920’s by Jazz musicians for their paid musical engagements, represents any job that provides income. It is estimated that by 2020, 40% of the employed workforce will make their living by gigging.
Retirement or eligibility for Social Security doesn’t always equate with financial bliss and not every retiree is emotionally excited about the thought of no longer going to the office. Some seniors find that their retirement plan needs a financial boost. Socially, perhaps family and friends no longer live close by. It has been proven that humans live longer when engaged with others. Adults who consider themselves to be a productive part of society are happier than folks who deem themselves non-productive. For those that wish to keep working, no matter what the reason, there are many options out there to earn.
Seniors who have not been able to sufficiently save for their retirement find themselves in a bind when they contemplate how to stop working. The answer may be not to stop working, but to slow down. So, what are your options to remain independent in retirement? If you are a homeowner, you can investigate a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage may provide you with a monthly income. You may also, consider a reverse mortgage with a Line of Credit feature (RMLOC). This feature will allow you to access monies as needed. If you never access your RMLOC, you know your ‘rainy day fund’ is at the ready.
Financial balance is easier now than ever for retirees willing to embark on a new career or go back to the work they enjoyed. Gigs provide significant income and social interaction even to those who wish to work from.
The largest need is for folks who like numbers. H & R Block and Jackson Hewitt hire thousands of additional employees, tax preparers annually from January through May. It is a seasonal gig but perhaps it would provide enough income for you to hold off enrolling in social security until you reach the the maximum benefit age of 70? Then, you can take the rest of the year off! If you want more steady work, there is always need for financial services like bookkeepers, preparing financial reports or processing payroll checks. You do not have to be a certified account to do any of the above.
Retired teachers and professors are gigging as tutors, translators, writers and editors. There are gigs for tutors to assist students as they prepare for standardized tests like the SAT, GED or GRE. Enjoy working from home? Look into upwork.com, freelancer.com, fiverr.com, virtualvocations.com or bark.com, all of these sites will help you start gigging!
Do you enjoy the outdoors and sports? Share your love of exercise with the new generation of athletes and become an athletic coach or referee. The National Parks Service hires seasonal employees. Aramark, facilitates the hiring for the concession stands at The National Parks. If you love animals, have you considered becoming a dog walker or pet sitter? Contact your local pet shop or check out the Rover and Wag app to get started.
Social engagement, helping others and earning extra income will enrich your life. Your mind will stay sharper, make new friends and feel a sense of personal satisfaction. The need for giggers in New York, New Jersey or other metropolitan areas can be greater than more rural areas, but there are opportunities to earn in every city. Just because you have retired, it doesn’t mean you have to stop earning, try a gig. Financially you will be better off, you might even earn enough money to pay your basic monthly expenses and allow your investments to grow!
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