I know several people who recently took early retirement. A few of them had planned to take a few months off, then supplement their income with a part-time job. But then the pandemic hit — and now the opportunity to land part-time jobs, especially for older adults, is significantly diminished, especially because more older people are taking early retirement or being furloughed because of COVID-19. Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and retail jobs are obvious options — but some in the “older worker” category might not be comfortable in those roles. What are some other options?
Allie Fleder, COO of SimplyWise, a retirement advisory company, says the company has seen “a good number of our users in their 60s” deciding to take early retirement due to COVID-19.
And while she says most of them are too nervous to go back into an office, “many have taken up part-time work from home.” In fact, a recent SimplyWise survey found that one in five Americans in their 60s have been laid off/furloughed due to the pandemic, and that 72% of Americans now plan to work in retirement — an uptick from 67% in May.
What are some options for older workers looking to supplement their retirement income? Here are a few ideas for any early retiree looking for extra income:
Virtual tutoring.This is one category Fleder says is popular with the job seekers she’s worked with. Andrea Woroch, a nationally recognized consumer and money-saving expert, says it’s a great option, especially considering the uncertain school start this year.
“Kids of all ages are in need of tutoring more than ever as the upcoming school year remains in jeopardy. In households where both parents work, finding time to homeschool can be a struggle,” Woroch says. “Sites like Varsity Tutors, an online tutoring company, say they are looking to add thousands of tutors and instructors for their new School@Home program … if you fancy yourself an expert in any field, have some free time and a computer, apply to tutor. The work is online, you’ll be helping kids and parents during challenging times, and you’ll find there’s a high demand for your services.”
Customer service. Fleder reports that customer service representative is a category that has been popular with older workers. Nate Tsang, founder of WallStreetZen, says there’s been high demand for remote customer support specialists, and suggests searching for opportunities at weworkremotely.com.
Finn Cardiff, CEO and founder of Beachgoer, has hired virtual customer service assistants who have been instrumental to the company’s success during the pandemic.
“Our business employs customer service assistants online who can guide our buyers when they have queries or complaints regarding their beach products purchases such as bodyboards,” Cardiff explains.
“Due to the ongoing virus, we’ve offered same-day shipping on all orders so we can be ahead of our competitors. Because of this, we get tons of inquiries every day and we need more staff to cover this. This is one role where part-time retirees can do part-time work and earn a decent wage. Customer service professionals who are older are known to empathize more with the person on the other line and for this, part-time retirees are best to work with.”
Freelance content writing.This is a big opportunity for retirees who can’t risk being exposed to the virus or who simply prefer working from home, Tsang says. “While publishers have suffered from lower advertising rates during the pandemic, COVID-19 has actually pushed web traffic up 70%, so there is still very strong demand for content writers,” he says. “You can find clients on general freelance sites like Upwork, specialized marketplaces like Textbroker, or niche job boards like Pro Blogger.”
Pet care gigs. “There are still plenty of people who are going to work every day, including frontline workers. Some are even working longer hours, such as first responders, nurses, doctors and store clerks,” says Woroch. “While they’re busy being heroes, their pets could likely use some exercise and attention.” She suggests checking out sites like Rover.com to find various pet care opportunities.
Beta testing. Fleder says this is among the most popular categories older workers are turning to for extra cash.
(Article written by Kathleen Furore)