The best part-time jobs for retirees

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Retirees seek out part-time jobs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s a piece of their retirement financial pie. For others, it’s a way to give their days the kind of structure and social interaction that a full-time job once provided. Sally Haver, a senior career management consultant in New York City, suggests starting with what you do now. “Tap into what you know either from work, or your hobbies and interests,” she says.

Here are four part-time jobs for retirees that can play off your strengths:

  1. Sales. If you have an expertise in something, you can sell it—and that can lend itself to many different part-time jobs. For example, if you’ve spent all your free weekends gardening and have made your lawn the envy of the neighborhood, you’re the perfect candidate to work in a gardening center. Or you could consider doing sales for a local landscaping architecture firm. Don’t want to work for someone else again? No problem. You could contract your services to neighbors who want a garden as gorgeous as yours but don’t have the time to do it on their own. 
  2. Teaching. You’ve built up a lifetime of knowledge during your career, and you can share it through teaching. Ask your local community college if they’re looking for adjunct professors in whatever field was your specialty. Many towns host adult education programs that could use you too. You can also approach colleges and universities, although they typically require you to have a master’s degree. Not interested in talking about what you used to do full-time? Consider teaching English as a second language classes, or tutoring. And if you want to work with younger students, you could also think about working as a teacher’s aid at an elementary school. 
  3. Fundraising. If there’s a cause you are passionate about, a part-time job with an organization that supports it can be a great option for you. For example, Haver, who is in her 70s, is also an equestrian, and she raises money for horse shows that are put on by the stable where she rides. “It perfectly combines my sales and marketing experience with my knowledge of the equestrian world,” she says. 
  4. Tour guide. No, you don’t need to love history or art, or even step inside a museum, to be a tour guide. Plenty of other places need someone to show folks around. For example, if you worked at the headquarters of a big corporation that also does public tours, see about being hired as a tour guide. Consider giving tours at a local college—especially if you’re an alumnus—or at other spots in your area that are a draw for visitors, like craft breweries, public parks, or farms.