The baby-boom generation is reentering the workplace in droves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2024 projections show that 41 million people in the workforce will be 55 or older, including 11 million people 65 and older. As a retiree, you can rekindle your passions and continue earning during your golden years, even in the virtual realm. If you’re interested in making money when you’re retired, this article is for you.
Tips and Considerations to Make Money When You Are Retired
Going back into the workforce as a retired person isn’t new. In 2003, workers aged 55 and older were no longer the smallest employed group, eclipsing the youngest segment (18 to 24). But even since then, the working world has changed—most notably with the advancement of telecommuting.
One of the unfortunate aspects of making money when you are retired is that you may have to adjust your outlook. Before you retired, you were probably at your highest earnings potential and at or near the top of your industry/company. But that all changes when you reenter the workforce in a newfound era of computers and the internet. To make your adjustment back into the remote labor force, here are some tips and considerations.
Adjust Your Salary Expectations
Wage stagnation is a problem that has plagued the United States for decades. However, a 2020 Northwestern University study found that wage stagnation primarily affects those without a college degree. But even with a degree, your time spent outside of the workforce can hinder your earnings potential. This is particularly true if your prior positions didn’t include technological proficiency.
As a result, you may have to lower your salary expectations to some degree. This doesn’t mean you should take a job that makes you feel uncomfortable or doesn’t allow you to meet your financial goals. Rather, you need only to remember that you probably won’t earn what you did when you were in the workforce, regardless of experience.
Actionable Step: To guide you through salary expectations, use the Salary Data & Career Research Center from PayScale. This resource compiles salary information from thousands of workers based on their current salaries. Thus, you can get a firm idea of what to expect on the low, mid, and high end of salaries in your intended line of work.
Figure Out Why You Want to Work From Home
Before you begin your remote job search, it’s imperative that you figure out why you want to work from home. Some typical considerations might include:
- Less fear or chance of exposure to COVID-19
- Limiting costs associated with commuting and working onsite (lunch, coffee, gasoline, automotive maintenance)
- Supplementing income while instilling work-life balance and more time with family
This is by no means an exhaustive list. But by contemplating why you want to work from home, you can make a vested, educated decision as to whether remote work is a better idea than an onsite position.
Don’t Fear the Technology Hurdle
One of the major hurdles of remote work for many seniors is technology. Many reasons exist as to why this is the status quo. In some cases, seniors may have the mentality that they existed without technology, so why do they need it now? Others may feel overwhelmed by the basic concepts of technology. And still, some may feel they don’t have the knowledge to be successful in an online capacity.
If you feel as though you’re deterred from remote work because of one of the above reasons or that technology seems like a foreign idea, you aren’t alone. Just remember that learning new technology is attainable, and you have the ability to do it. Don’t fear the technology hurdle; it’s actually a facet of the modern age that makes your life—and the ability for remote work—easier.
Consider Consulting or Freelancing Work
With your experience and expertise as a senior, you might find that typical employee jobs don’t meet your financial goals. But don’t let that hinder your meteoric rise into remote work. Instead, consider consulting or freelancing.
Although the barriers to entry in these particular lines of work may be more difficult, the payoff and the challenge might bring more income and passion to the job. However, you’ll need to leverage social media and use content marketing to your advantage to find clients that need your services.
Still, the ability to choose who you work with and your own hours has distinct advantages over a 9-to-5 job—even if you’re working remotely.
Understand Generational Differences
To work from home, seniors must also understand generational differences. In most scenarios, you’ll work with one, two, or even three other generations at your job. Yet the onus of comfortable interaction is a two-way road. Try to keep conversations casual and light, as differing views across generations may have fire-starter potential.
Must-Know Technology to Make Money When You Are Retired
Remote work uses a set of technological tools that you’ll need to have a basic grasp of to make money when you are retired. Without this knowledge, your chances of employment are bleak, if not impossible. But don’t stress. The internet is rife with free or low-cost options to get your skills where they need to be. Here are some of the major technological components of virtual work you’ll need to find a job and succeed.
The virtual interoffice envelope is collaborative software. By logging into a certain website, you can send direct messages to others and post comments to the group. Several of these programs exist, and not every company uses the same one.
Actionable Step: Thankfully, almost all of them come with an “academy” or tutorial on how to use each respective program and the capabilities of each one. Here are some of the most popular.
Email is another technological tool that’s a requirement for remote work. There are literally hundreds of different email providers on the web. However, Gmail is often the preferred one because it allows you to use G Suite—a collection of proprietary apps designed for the workplace.
Actionable Steps: If you don’t have a Gmail account, sign up for one now. Follow this link for step-by-step instructions.
Ever since the typewriter became obsolete, people have been using word processors. By far the most popular word processors are Microsoft Word and Mac (Apple) Pages, depending on whether you have Windows or an Apple computer. Also, Google Docs (part of G Suite) is a free, easy-to-use word processor that also allows you to share documents online at the click of a button.
Actionable Steps: If you haven’t used a word processor or you need a quick refresher, here are some tutorials.
- Microsoft Word: Word for Windows Training
- Mac Pages: Create Your First Document in Pages
- Google Docs: Google Docs Training and Help
Due to COVID-19 and for the sake of convenience, video-conferencing programs have become the normal way to interact face-to-face remotely. And this technology is likely to stick around.
Without a basic knowledge of these, you may have trouble trying to make money when you’re retired. While Skype was arguably the first program for video conferencing, other companies have emerged that provide quick, simple ways for online meetings.
Actionable Steps: Although most employers now use Zoom, you’ll also find a few other video-conferencing programs that are worth learning. Again, different employers use different options. But don’t fret. The interface is surprisingly easy to all of them.
- Zoom: Zoom Video Tutorials
- Skype: How Do I Get Started With Skype?
- Microsoft Teams: Meetings and Conferencing in Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts: Hangouts Help
Where to Find Courses to Build Your Tech Skills
In addition to the technical aspects of remote work, you may need to brush up on some new ideas and principles that come with the job. Remember that not all jobs will require this. But if you want to maximize your income or you’re just curious, these online courses will help you build your resume and online presence.
These online educational forums are also known as MOOCs, or massive open online courses. Oftentimes, they are free or low-cost ways to familiarize yourself with terminology and other ideas without spending all that much money. Perhaps the best aspect is that courses range from beginner to expert and everywhere in between. Here are some of the most popular.
Job Options to Make Money When You Are Retired
The good news about work-from-home jobs is that they’re available in nearly every industry. So whether you were a salesperson, an IT professional, or a teacher, you can find something that utilizes your unique skill set. Here are some of the top jobs to make money when you are retired on the Virtual Vocations jobs database.
K12 Inc. is a leading online education platform, providing instruction for elementary and high school students. Through its proprietary online platform, students can take virtual classes, as well as get online tutoring jobs. Typical positions include special education teacher, high school teacher, and tutor.
Founded in Skokie, Illinois, VocoVision is a 100% remote company that specializes in teletherapy. Since 2011, the company has helped over 40,000 students in 350 school districts through online therapy sessions covering a variety of mental health conditions. Job openings often include speech-language pathologist, certified school psychologist, and online special education teacher.
Use the Virtual Vocations Education Industry Guide to discover the opportunities for remote education jobs with other companies.
Magellan Health, Inc.
Magellan Health, Inc. is a Fortune 500 healthcare company that focuses on special populations of patients and pharmaceuticals for rare diseases. In addition, the organization manages healthcare plans for unions, employers, and governmental agencies. Typical jobs include a remote behavioral healthcare manager, a remote pharmacy technician, and a telecommute physician clinical reviewer.
With millions of customers across the country, UnitedHealth Group is the largest healthcare provider in the United States. In addition, the company has over 320,000 employees across a variety of backgrounds, providing opportunities for people with all types of healthcare skills. Some job openings include remote call center registered nurse, remote mental health coach, and remote medical director.
Healthcare is a booming industry for remote workers. Use the Virtual Vocations Healthcare Industry Guide for more information on salaries, roles, and companies hiring in the healthcare field.
Started in 1997, Amazon is the largest retailer in the world. While to company offers an endless amount of online goods, it also provides streaming services, digital content, and a variety of other products. Due to the online nature of the business, Amazon often has open positions for software engineers and software developers in various mediums.
Oracle is a Fortune 500 corporation that provides cloud services, database software, and customer relationship management software to businesses around the globe. Some typical jobs with Oracle include a remote security engineer and a cloud software product manager.
The IT world is rife with remote opportunities for retired professionals. Discover job openings and the current state of the industry with the Virtual Vocations IT Industry Guide.
Experian PLC is an Ireland-based consumer credit reporting company. In addition to credit reporting, the company also offers a breadth of marketing services and remote sales opportunities. Job openings may include sales account executive at various levels of seniority.
Headquartered in New York City, Nielsen Holdings is an information and data firm. By collecting information about consumers, the company enables other organizations to plan their marketing strategy and appeal to the largest number of customers within a target market. The sales department plays a large role within the company, and retirees may find positions as a remote field sales supervisor, a sales account representative, or an outside sales representative.
If you want to find more information on remote sales jobs, including salary information and statistics, check out the Virtual Vocations Sales Industry Guide.
Making money when you’re retired may not be as simple as onsite jobs, but the convenience and work-life balance is enough to make you think twice. From moonlighting to supplemental income, work from home jobs can improve your financial situation without sacrificing the best aspects of retirement.
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