You're Not Ready to Quit Work?
Then try out this top 10 list of jobs for the 60-plus set
Not ready yet for the golf course, that staging area for the hereafter? Here are 10 retiree-right careers:
Fundraiser. Most people in a position to donate big bucks are older and more likely to trust a fellow elder than a young turk. Are you worried you won't have the guts to ask for money? Don't be. Fundraisers generally spend most of their time developing relationships with donors. By the time the relationship is strong, you may not even need to ask. And because fundraisers bring in the bucks, they're often well paid. Perhaps most important of all, you get to work for a cause you believe in. Resources: the Association of Fundraising Professionals (www.afpnet.org), The Chronicle of Philanthropy (www.philanthropy.com), and Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits by Ilona Bray.
Angel investor. Angel investors fund a new product or service. Just be careful: Start-ups often fail. Carefully assess both the idea and the quality of the people behind it. Invest only money you won't need for your retirement. Resources: the Angel Capital Association (www.angelcapitalassociation.org) and Angel Investing: Matching Start-up Funds With Start-up Companies by Mark Van Osnabrugge and Robert Robinson.
Geriatric care manager. Older folks often get overwhelmed by the mountain of paper in their lives: medical bills, tax forms, investment documents, and government forms. Often, family members live far away or are too busy to help much. Enter the geriatric care manager. More than a bill payer, the care manager may help elders find the right doctor, ensure they get needed social services, and simply check in to be sure everything's OK. Resource: the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (www.caremanager.org).
Mediator. The wisdom that comes with age can give seniors an edge as mediators. They can come from many backgrounds, but those with a counseling or legal background have an edge. Caveat: Because the work is desirable, new mediators must be willing and able to network their way into their first gigs. Resources: Mediate.com and www.nolo.com (search the site for Mediation Resource Center).
Politician. Even if you're just a school board member, become a politician and you're instantly a local celebrity, with a chance to make a difference in your community. Essentials: a winning personality, public speaking skills, and a steely resistance to corruption. Resources: An Insider's Guide to Political Jobs in Washington by William Endicott and Politicians Are People, Too by Richard Benedetto.
Personal coach. Distressed people are increasingly forgoing the shrink in favor of the coach. Seniors who specialize in boomer employees, retirement planning, senior fitness, and senior dating-and who are willing to market themselves-are likely to find plenty of clients. Key skills: lots of practical knowledge, common sense, and strong listening ability. Resources: International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.org), Coach U (www.coachu.com), Choice magazine (www.choice-online.com), and Coaching Manual: The Definitive Guide to the Process, Principles and Skills of Personal Coaching by Julie Starr.
Seller of senior-oriented items. Older people do well selling such items as airplanes, luxury cars, retirement housing, long-term-care insurance, and apparel and such in upscale retail stores.
Home-based entrepreneur. Many older people prefer the flexible work hours a home-based business affords. Some potentially profitable senior-friendly options: editor, tutor, virtual assistant, E-book writer, and affiliate marketer. The last refers to creating a website that lists top sites offering a particular product or service. You get a commission for every person who clicks through from your site to theirs. Resource: Affiliate Millions by Anthony Borelli and Greg Holden.
Celebrant. Without having to be an ordained cleric or justice of the peace, you can help create and preside over weddings and funerals. Resource: www.celebrantusa.com.
Board member. Organizations from community theaters to small companies to church groups seek people to join their boards of directors. Some pay, but many in the nonprofit sector are usually looking for members likely to donate serious money. So don't think of it as a remunerative career but more as a chance to join a team of leaders and to have influence over how your charity dollars are spent. Resources: www.boarddevelopment.org and Board of Directors Corporate Governance-Lapdog or Watchdog? by William Brown.
Marty Nemko is a contributing editor to usnews.com and the author of Cool Careers for Dummies (third edition).
This story appears in the June 11, 2007 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.