Many working Americans count down the years until they can retire, seeing it as a permanent vacation of sorts when they can travel, take up new hobbies and visit family whenever they want.
But some retirees quickly realize that they're instead twiddling their thumbs all day and thinking about the days when they were productive and felt they had a purpose. Their savings also may be depleted quickly. According the 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, which touched on personal finance for seniors – 60 percent of workers say the total value of their household's savings and investments is less than $25,000 – which will be gone in a flash in most cases.
"Retirement today is not that of a generation ago. Gone is the day of a company pension, company-paid health care and secure Social Security," says Ted Sarenski, president and chief executive of Blue Ocean Strategic Capital LLC in Syracuse, N.Y., according to CNBC. "Today's retiree is faced with self-sufficiency and, as such, needs to work at least part time 'in retirement' to have enough money to pay the costs of living that were once paid by someone else."
Back in the work game
Even taking a part-time job can help seniors preserve their savings and keep busy for a number of hours a week. A recent Harris Interactive survey for CareerBuilder found that about 60 percent of workers older than 60 plan to work into retirement, so what jobs are best for seniors?
Retail is a great option for many seniors, whether at a big-box store or a local market that is seeking part-time help. CareerBuilder said 29 percent of retailers plan to hire retirees in 2013, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Being a medical assistant is another good option for seniors, not only because it is a fulfilling position but because the health care field has been booming for years, despite the recession. Often, the duties are administrative and clerical, meaning seniors can sit often or spend much of the day walking around and checking on patients.
Retirees with a penchant for numbers may want to look into becoming a part-time bookkeeper to process payroll, order office supplies and handle financial records. Seniors may need to obtain certification to complete some financial tasks, but those who were accountants in their previous career would be a great fit.
"If you have the financial chops, this can be a very good area," said Kerry Hannon, author of "Great Jobs for Everyone 50+," to U.S. News and World Report. "Small businesses often can't afford to hire someone full time, so if you are available for blocks of time, like once a week or one week a month, this area might be perfect for you."
Those with great financial savvy also could act as a tax preparer, which could be a great part-time option during tax season, leaving them the rest of the year to travel and be a full retiree – like many dream of. People generally start having their taxes prepared in January up until the deadline in mid-April, for three to four months of solid activity.
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