What does retirement mean to you?
For some, it means never working or even thinking about work again. A life of travel, leisure, and pleasure-seeking. Others get antsy and find themselves looking for a new way to spend their days and doing things that might look a lot like paid work. Because it is paid work.
Today’s guest author’s father was one of those people. After leaving the teaching profession, he bounced around until he found something that suited him. His provided bio:
A passionate content creator and marketer, Geoffrey enjoys writing about life, love, and the pursuit of money. Currently, he works at On Q Financial and spends his days creating content and focusing on SEO.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending his time scrolling the random recesses of the internet, and every day he challenges himself to take one idea home to teach his family. He dreams of having a long career in marketing and eventually becoming a published author.
You’re Retired. Now What? Finding Purpose in Retirement
Even after a long day’s work, my father was the type that never sat still. He hated it. That’s why the adjustment period after he retired from a career in teaching was difficult.
He would wake up, clean his car, and vacuum at least four times a week. He would work on the yard, mowing the grass that was trimmed the day before. He went through a ridiculous number of hobbies including building copper metal sculptures, soap artistry, and writing greeting cards.
Slowly the excitement about retirement fizzled, and he began to miss the good old days of being stressed-out and overworked. He explored jobs ranging from customer service to real estate during this post-retirement period, but only one profession truly fit him.
We would often joke that my job should have had a “Bring Your Dad to Work” Day. Fortunately or unfortunately, they did not. So, he continued his journey to find the best job for him. I want to share my Dad’s experiences with you so maybe you can learn from his post retirement journey.
Before you begin your own adventure, it would be helpful to consider exactly what you want out of your new position. Are you looking for a new job that will provide a social outlet? Are you trying to get more involved in the community, looking for extra income, or something flexible? Maybe you are looking for something more fun?
One of the first professions that my father began to dabble in after his retirement was Uber driving. Customer service is a great option for anyone looking for a social outlet and some side cash. If you think you’ll be lonely sitting in your house all day this might be the perfect job for you. The good news is there are tons of customer service opportunities opening up all the time. In addition, you can easily find opportunities using free services such as Indeed, Craigslist, and Opendoor.
There are many positions you could apply too. You could become a part-time events staff. It might be fun to become a professional greeter or help around a restaurant. If you’re a dog person, you could become a pet sitter or if you enjoy the sun, work on a resort. If you are feeling adventurous, you could apply to become a mascot at Disneyland or work on a cruise ship. Many of these jobs have great perks as well.
Even though these jobs often pay minimum wage, there are opportunities for high paying part-time positions that are easy to obtain. Delivering for Amazon, or working as a virtual assistant are examples of positions that are growing in demand and pay well. These jobs are typically low stress and involve a significant amount of social skills. If you are someone who prefers to stay alone in their home this wouldn’t be the best choice for you.
My Father’s career as an Uber Driver was short-lived and although he enjoyed meeting new people, he didn’t like the hours. He preferred to have nights and weekends off. Unfortunately, this is when a significant chunk of his business took place. The schedule could be a downside, so consider that when applying for a customer service position.
Take Advantage of the Gig Economy
After being an Uber driver flopped, my Dad dabbled in another profession. He realized he could market his own skills, so he went into consulting. We are living in the age of opportunity. My Dad chose school district consulting, but going into financial services or becoming a tax consultant could work as well. Pay the next generation back by helping them pay back the man.
He started marketing his skills and using his extensive degrees to help others gain knowledge. This work was rewarding for my Dad. It seemed obvious considering he spent his entire life cultivating these talents. Plus, Since you are marketing yourself, your schedule is flexible, and you can take on as many projects as you’d like.
One of the major drawbacks of this profession is that you need to put in a lot of effort upfront to turn this job into a consistent stream of income. This is the type of profession where you get what you put into it. It’s a way to do what you love and get paid, so if it’s something you want I wouldn’t give up on it. Simply educate yourself. You can start here with this article by the Harvard Business Review.
Become an Entrepreneur
It may seem like a lot of work to start a business, but it’s easier than ever. With modern technology, you can simply build a business online. There are plenty of opportunities for you to pour your love into a project and make a profit.
One of the projects that could potentially be consistent income and fun in the process would be writing a book. It takes dedication, but the payoff could be huge and your story could be shared with tons of readers. If you are tech-savvy and wanted to start small, you could look into niche blogging, and create great content using your expertise. Then start earning income using affiliate programs with Amazon or other businesses.
Education is another option. A billion-dollar industry, which has plenty of potential for a retired professional. The idea is along the same lines as consulting, but you would provide information online instead of in person. Digital courses are a popular source of information for people.
You can get artful like my Dad and create revenue from handcrafted items that you sell through your website. Modern luxuries make it easy to be able to start a business online. Whatever your expertise or interest you can turn it into revenue. You just need to have the right amount of dedication, interest, and marketing knowledge.
Workamping is a profession where people work while they camp or on the road. Some of us are more nature-oriented. Therefore, if you’re someone who enjoys spending time outside than this could be the perfect opportunity for you. Buy a camper and travel the country, volunteer at organizations along the way or become the host of a campsite. Neither of these options will pay very much, but you’re not doing this for the money. It’s all for the adventure.
Get Involved in Real Estate
Everyone’s journey will be different, my Dad’s definitely was. While my father took the long way around, he did eventually find a profession that worked for him. He realized that the perfect job for him was actually getting involved in real estate.
While some individuals might consider working part-time as an agent, he decided to become an investor. Starting with a small house in South Carolina, he added a kitchen and bathroom to the basement. He researched property management and found a company that advertised his home as a vacation rental. Within months of his property going live, he was earning thousands of dollars.
We have relatives all over the country, so he saved his money and decided to invest in single-family properties in Arizona and Minnesota. He uses these properties not only as extra income but also as a holiday home when he visits family. Now he continues to live in South Carolina, and he plans to purchase his next property this summer.
I think that he found out real estate investing was his passion because he loves working with his hands. He was a handyman his whole life, so renovating and flipping properties is enjoyable for him. There are many other options around real estate though. You could become a real estate agent or you could invest in real estate using programs such as FundRise or other crowdfunded and syndicated real estate investments.
Retirement Doesn’t Mean It’s Over
Overall, retirement doesn’t have to be the end of your professional career and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to start over. You can still do what you love and get paid for it. All you need to do is consider exactly what you want out of your new career.
For my father all he wanted to do was work for himself and use his hands. For you maybe you want to work somewhere where you can feel like what your doing has a lot of value. Whatever it is, I hope you find the journey to success after retirement.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card75,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 mo.
2 points per dollar spent (2% cash back equivalent). Up to $300 credit each year for travel booked on Capital One Travel, 10,000 bonus miles each account anniversary ($100 value). Unlimited Priority Pass Lounge Access, $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ credit. $395 fee can be more than offset with travel credit & annual point bonus
Geoffrey’s father found his passion in retirement. How will you find yours?
7 thoughts on “You’re Retired. Now What? Finding Purpose in Retirement”
I am at FI but I have a very bad case of one more year syndrome. It is hard to quid medicine after only 8 years of practice, especially since it is hard to get back in once one stops completely. So I decided to keep going but I am taking 9-10 weeks of vacation each year. Each vacation is like a mini-retirement. The extra income allows me to plan some fantastic adventures and be very generous with family and a charity in which I am involved. I also plan to leave a legacy, so somebody can splurge on all the stuff I am too cheap to buy 😉
There is a retired orthopedic surgeon who works on one of the chairlifts at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe. He loves it. FYI.
Sounds awesome. Free skiing when he’s not manning the lift, I’m sure.
Great read! Your dad sounds like an interesting guy!
Great article and I couldn’t agree more. As someone who has found paid opportunities in retirement extremely rewarding financially, socially, and mentally, I can attest to early retirement being an adventure. Having the time to experiment and act on new ideas to figure out what drives me is half the fun.
Nice article! I didn’t know about workamping before but it sounds like so much fun. Can’t wait for early retirement!
Retirement is different for everyone…. and it should be.
FIREd means you can do what you choose rather than what you have to do.
I retired when the investment income replaced the practice income.
I walked away and pray never to return.
I spend my time playing in small musical groups, working on my photography, learning Spanish, and traveling.
That might be boring to many, but it’s how I want to spend the last few decades of my life… excited to have another day.
When people ask if I don’t miss working, I just laugh and say, Why would you want to work all day when you can play?
Not being FIREd, they have no idea of what financial independence can mean.