As you near retirement age, you may find yourself at something of a crossroads. You’ll be glad to say goodbye to 50-plus-hour workweeks, but you’re not ready for your accounting and finance career to come to a screeching halt. But what jobs for retirees should you consider?
You want to find retirement jobs that make the best use of your abilities and appeal to your interests. But you also want them to be flexible enough to match a more relaxed lifestyle. Perhaps you’d like to work remotely, for example. Meeting new people and learning new things might be among your priorities, too. Or maybe you’re aiming to supplement your IRA or 401(k) savings and increase your financial security.
Whatever your reasons for seeking retirement jobs, be sure to consider any potential tax and Social Security consequences before you launch your search. Then, you may want to explore the following avenues that can be sources of jobs for retirees:
1. Contract assignments
Retirees have long enjoyed seasonal work, as it tops up their income without tying them down with a year-round commitment. An obvious way for retired accountants to land a seasonal job is to sign up with a tax preparation company. A talent solutions agency specializing in accounting and finance recruiting can also help you find seasonal work, such as helping organizations with year-end closing.
But it doesn’t have to be seasonal work. Accounting jobs that are contract roles are an increasingly attractive option in today’s labor market. It’s a myth that these opportunities are only for professionals seeking entry-level roles. Contract jobs for retirees can include everything from part-time bookkeeping help for a growing company to interim management duties for a chief financial officer (CFO) on leave.
2. Consulting gigs
While many accounting and finance pros who are at or near retirement age are interested in new work opportunities, most are still looking to wind down a full-time career — not start a new one. That want an arrangement that provides flexibility, and consulting positions are one option that fits the bill.
Many organizations, especially small and midsize businesses, are eager to work with accounting and finance professionals who have a proven track record of success in leading high-profile and complex initiatives. They value the insight and knowledge experienced talent can bring to their organization.
So, if you can offer an attractive portfolio of services, such as tax advising and preparation, it’s likely that you can quickly build a book of clients to work with on a project basis.
3. Teaching opportunities
Your professional knowledge is a priceless resource. If you have great communication skills and enjoy spending time with people, you may to look for part-time teaching positions at a local four-year or community college.
There are also plenty of independent, for-profit organizations that arrange training programs for businesses. And don’t forget tutoring. To get matched up with students who need extra help with math, finance or economics, advertise your services on Craigslist or with a school’s academic advising office.
Many institutions are looking for instructors for virtual learning opportunities, too. You might also want to take your expertise to the virtual realm through online learning communities, like Skillshare and Lynda.com, where you can create video training courses that are then available to subscribers of the platform. Each time someone watches your lesson, you get a commission. One of the best parts about this retirement job option is the passive income: You do the work once but earn money each time the video is viewed.
4. Monetizing a hobby
Whatever you’re passionate about — whether be it cooking, travel, arts and crafts, music or model trains — it’s now easier than ever to build a business around it, thanks to the internet. Your financial savvy gives you an extra edge. Even if you don’t make substantial income from selling your products or services, you still get to spend time on your favorite pursuits.
5. Academic research
Accountants have the skills to be excellent researchers: patience, attention to detail and a way with numbers. There’s a demand for researchers in many areas of academia, not just accounting and finance, to sift through files, gather data, organize information and archive records.
To get started, dig into the list of contacts in your professional network to see who you (or they) know at nearby universities. Your trusted contacts might be able to connect you with stimulating and rewarding projects.
6. Grant writing and administration
Helping a company or nonprofit put together grant applications is another way to make use of your accounting skills after retirement. If the organization’s proposal is funded, you could even help them disperse funds, track expenses and create year-end reports.
This type of retirement job is a good way to use your abilities in project management, tax legislation, payroll, bookkeeping and interdepartmental collaboration. (Just keep in mind that the bigger the grant you receive, the more hours you may have to put into the role!)
7. Unique rewards of volunteerism
If you have a comfortable nest egg and do not need to worry about bringing in additional income during retirement, consider working pro bono. You can find volunteer accounting work in virtually any field that requires money to operate. Balancing the books at the local dog shelter to serving as the treasurer for a neighborhood association’s fundraiser are just some examples of the opportunities you might find.
Retirement jobs: a new chapter for many professionals
Retirement doesn’t have to mean completely letting go of interesting, fulfilling work that allows you to use the skills and expertise you’ve earned during your career. And you don’t have to stop learning, either. In short, retirement jobs can be a brand-new stage in your career progression if that’s your aim. So, explore your options and make the most of this exciting time in your life.
This may also be a fruitful time to look into jobs for retirees in the accounting and finance field. According to the latest Salary Guide for accounting and finance from Robert Half, businesses in industries ranging from property management to healthcare to technology are hiring financial staff this year. And many are specifically looking for skilled talent for roles that can help them keep their cash accounts strong, like billing, accounts receivable and collections.