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How To Utilize Your Professional Skills as a Retiree

While retirement is something most people look forward to, the transition between working and adult and retiree can be difficult for most. It can seem like your entire life changed—from working full-time to having minimal responsibilities. 

If you are struggling with boredom and stagnation in retirement, you aren’t alone. However, one way to combat boredom is to utilize your professional skills to help your community, manage your finances, and earn a temporary working position.

 

Volunteering

Retirees may sometimes lose their sense of purpose if they do not have roles, goals, or the structure provided by working. Volunteering is a great way to preserve your sense of purpose, as it provides all of these things and more. 

Since you can volunteer in nearly every industry, you’ll likely be able to transfer some of your professional skills into a volunteer setting. This setting may take place in your local community, or you can look for travel volunteer opportunities as well. Some exciting volunteer opportunities include: 

  • Doctors Without Borders: Medical professionals can use their skills to help people around the world. 
  • The Peace Corps.: Places volunteers around the world to work in education, agriculture, and other fields.  
  • Boys and Girls Club: Locations are across the United States. Volunteers can provide homework help, coach youth sports, and so much more. 

By using your skills, domestically and abroad, you can help others and strengthen communities by doing what you do best. If you spot a problem on your own that you feel needs assistance, you can also start your own nonprofit organization. This may be particularly beneficial if there aren’t that many organizations that aim to solve the issue, or if there aren’t any local organizations in your area. 

 

Community Programs

Community programs are typically open to the community — you’ve probably attended one yourself at some point. They may take place at your local community center or school, at your home, or in a park nearby. However, you can put your professional skills to practice by hosting a program of your own, especially if you’re interested in the following examples: 

  • Health and safety: If you are a retired healthcare professional, you can start a variety of community health and safety programs, including those that cover first aid, caregiving, and wellness classes.
  • Finance: If you worked in business or finance, you can start a community program that brings together other retired professionals from the same field. You can even start a program that teaches others about managing finances.
  • Education: As a retired teacher, you can use your skills to bring together others for book clubs, tutoring, and other educational activities.
  • The arts: If you worked in the arts, you can start a local theater group, get your friends together for weekly painting lessons, or start a band. 

Community programs are more than just a group event. They’re for your enjoyment too. With this work, you’ll be able to use your talents and skills to teach and connect with other people in your area. 

 

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Temporary Work

Being a retiree doesn’t mean you can never work again. In fact, there are a variety of temporary jobs with flexible scheduling that can allow you to continually use your professional skills. If you are a retired healthcare professional, these jobs include: 

  • Medical surveys: There are a variety of sites that are looking for input from experienced medical professionals who are willing to pay for your time. 
  • Locum tenens: If you are a retired doctor, nurse, or administrator, you can find locum tenens roles at hospitals and doctors’ offices. This means you are a traveling or temporary professional working in an interim role. 
  • Tutoring: There are future doctors and nurses in your area right now who are struggling that may need help in their studies. This job is a great way to bring in extra cash, use your expert knowledge, and help future healthcare professionals of the world. 

These jobs allow you to use your expert knowledge and skills without giving up your free time entirely. You can also consider these jobs as side hustles before retirement if you are trying to increase your retirement savings. 

 

Travel

Although travel is typically thought of as a leisurely activity, you can also apply your professional skills if you so desire. If you travel and plan the trip strategically, you can use professional skills such as research, critical thinking, budgeting, and foreign language proficiency. 

Some popular travel destinations for retirees include: 

  • Hawaii; 
  • Greece; 
  • Alaska. 

As you age, it is important to research travel destinations before booking tickets, especially if you have mobility issues. While these spots are favorites among retirees, you can go anywhere — the world is yours to research, explore, and enjoy.  

 

Managing Personal Finances

As you age, responsibly managing your personal finances is an important task. Whether you are trying to add to your retirement savings, set aside money for loved ones, or plan new investments, managing your finances requires you to use several professional skills. 

 

Saving

Many people turn to saving in retirement for a variety of reasons. For one, you may use it for future travels. But most typically save to live comfortably long into retirement.

No matter the purpose, however, you can use your professional skills to your advantage when saving for retirement as well. You may use anything from long-term planning to critical thinking, and creative strategies. 

One way to save money for retirement is through a backdoor strategy on your IRA. Using a backdoor strategy allows you to save for retirement in an IRA, even if your income exceeds the set limits for eligible contributors. 

 

Spending

The skills you used in your career, such as research and critical thinking, are extremely helpful as you work to maximize the benefits of your spending. 

By finding the best credit cards, you can earn points, miles, and cash back bonuses on your spending. These perks, along with other benefits such as travel insurance and concierge service, can help you make the most of your retirement years

By conducting thorough research and using high-level critical thinking, you can choose the right credit cards for you and reap these benefits.

 

Investing

Investing is a great option that allows you to use any previously established skills, learn new skills, and improve your finances. Some investment opportunities include: 

There are many different ways to invest your money — depending on how much time you want to invest in the day-to-day. If you want to invest your money and hire someone else to manage your investments, you can. You can also expand into entrepreneurship in retirement and see where your active investments can take you. 

Using your professional skills has plenty of advantages. Not only will it give you something to look forward to daily, but it may even push you out of your comfort zone that you may have established during your working years.

 



 

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4 thoughts on “How To Utilize Your Professional Skills as a Retiree”

  1. As a physician you are a problem solver and mentor to help your patients through their problems
    These skills can be used anywhere you like in retirement.
    Being curious and continuing to learn new skills and hobbies help in retirement.
    Volunteering is great
    I have helped to start and continue volunteering with a “Village movement” to support seniors in independent living
    I have given talks to groups about how to communicate with your physician and getting organized for the visit.
    Wonder how I ever had time to work

    Reply
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  3. I retired after thirty years of federal service at age 56 in 2014. I volunteered with the health department during the pandemic which was very fulfilling. I currently volunteer with local animal rescues. My most exhilarating retirement role, however, is being a second grade teacher’s helper. I am assigned to one class and have the time of my life. I go in one day a week and do many different things. I learned their new math methods and have become so much quicker with mental calculations! Best of all is the joy of helping children and their teacher. It’s simply amazing and I love it. I highly recommend it!

    Reply
  4. I’m not a doc, I’m a retired engineer. But I’ve found tons of ways to find interesting rewarding pursuits. I chair three boards, a hospital, a college and a large foundation. I mentor engineering students at my alma mater. I also do a small amount of expert witness work because it’s scary and exciting at times and definitely presents a mental challenge. All of those things draw heavily on my experience as a technical expert and business leader and provide great purpose and a counter balance to my tennis, pickleball, cycling, walking, hiking, fishing, etc. I hope your many readers take your advice to heart. Having a purposeful and exciting life in retirement requires self knowledge, experimentation and sometimes a little courage.

    Reply
    • That’s so true Steve! Many physicians think that the best use of their time is in patient care, but certainly there are many ways to find purpose whether supporting hospital systems, nonprofits, and foundations.
      Cheers,
      Pof

      Reply

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