The transition to retirement is not always smooth sailing. There are people who look forward to retirement with gleeful anticipation for decades before their retirement actually arrives. After years of hard work, five days a week or perhaps more, the idea of never having to work again seems like the dream.
People are often surprised to learn that many retirees struggle with attaining happiness and fulfillment once they no longer have a full-time job. You’d think no longer needing to report to a demanding boss or deal with the stress jobs often bring about would be the perfect recipe for a happy life.
However, according to the data provided by psychologists, retirees are 40% more likely to suffer from clinical depression. This is one of the numerous reasons why older Americans choose to work a low-stress job after retirement.
Mental Health and Retirement
Retirement does not cause depression. There are plenty of retired individuals who love the freedom that comes with no longer working. But many retirees experience difficulty dealing with the changes that retirement brings. After all, a job is not simply a way to earn money.
The best jobs provide socialization, connection, a steady routine, and a sense of purpose. Working gives you a reason to get out of the house and a feeling of accomplishment. And in the best circumstances, a job can make you feel like you are actively contributing to society. When this disappears suddenly, retirees may feel purposeless or aimless, especially when there is nothing productive to take the place of work.
Whether you had the perfect job or a job you hated, an abrupt end to a daily schedule you got used to over several decades can leave you feeling lost. Many retirees experience loneliness and feel like they have too much free time they don’t know what to do with.
Working After Retirement Can Help With Depression and Dementia
Psychological research has found that working or volunteering after retirement can prevent the onset of clinical depression, in addition to dementia and hypertension. How you spend time during retirement has a significant impact on your health, both mental and physical.
While it is incredibly important to save money for your retirement years, it is just as vital that you have a plan in place for how you can spend your increased free time in a way that is emotionally and socially rewarding. Doing so can help you live longer and achieve happiness and contentment in your old age.
Why Retirees Might Want a Low-Stress Job After Retiring
There is a myriad of reasons why people choose to work low-stress jobs after retirement. Even if you decide to keep working, that does not mean you need to continue on in the career you had before retirement. Whether you want extra money to spend or more social interactions in your day, you can take on a great low-stress job that will meet your needs without returning to your pre-retirement life.
Some individuals decide they want to find a low-stress job before they even retire, while others might only realize that they want to continue working after discovering they don’t enjoy not working as much as they thought they would. Whichever it is, here are some of the common reasons why people search for low-stress jobs after retirement:
Extra Spending Money
Even if you are excellently prepared for retirement with pension and a hefty savings, you might still have a desire to make some extra money on the side. Many retirees like having more money to do things they’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for. Others might want a little extra money to spoil their grandchildren or set up savings for the futures of their loved ones.
A fun job that is low-stress can be an excellent way to bring in a little more money for you to spend at your discretion without needing to worry about dipping into your retirement savings. You don’t need an incredibly high-paying job or to work excessive hours for a satisfactory amount of extra spending money.
More Purpose in Each Day
A job can add a sense of purpose to your day. Depending on your personality type, a consistent routine might be necessary for you to feel centered and balanced. Completing a work day can make many people feel accomplished, which will help with overall contentment. Especially when one’s work is meaningful in some way, a retiree might feel like they are contributing to the world in a worthwhile way, something many retirees struggle to feel when they abruptly stop work.
In addition to the feelings of accomplishment, the action of completing tasks daily or weekly will help you stay active both physically and mentally. Remaining active will slow the aging process by keeping your mind sharp and body agile.
Socialization and Community
Post-retirement jobs can provide the social interaction that many retired individuals lack. Loneliness is pervasive amongst senior citizens, and a major contributing factor is the loss of socialization that daily work provides. An excellent way retirees combat loneliness is through regular volunteering or getting a low-stress job.
Whether it is through interactions with customers or coworkers, there are many types of jobs after retirement that can give you connection and community. A retiree job can also give you the opportunity to make friends if you foster the connections you made outside of working hours.
There’s a Fun Job You’ve Always Wanted To Do
Many people have fantasies about the fun jobs they’d work if they didn’t need to make enough money to live off of or have a career they’d invested too much into. Retirement is the perfect time to explore these fun jobs or new career paths you never had the time for before.
Perhaps you have always dreamed of starting your own business or pursuing further training for a passion project, or making money through a hobby you’ve always loved. Retirement can be a surprisingly good starting point for making those dreams a reality.
15 of the Best Low-Stress Jobs After Retirement
There is no shortage of excellent options for low-stress jobs after retirement. Much of the workforce is not too concerned with part-time or fun jobs as their focus is more centered on the average salary. Luckily, that leaves many of the best low-stress jobs available for retirees.
Which low-stress jobs after retirement are most appealing to you depends on your interests and priorities. If you prioritize making more money in your retiree job, then the more high-paying jobs will be of more interest to you. Or, if the social aspect of work is your priority, then the best jobs will be those with the most social interaction.
Some retirement jobs that might be stressful to certain people may be stress-free for you. It entirely depends on what kind of environment you thrive in. We have plenty of suggestions to offer you based on what jobs many retired individuals have found fulfilling.
Here are 15 of the most popular and best low-stress jobs after retirement:
1 – Pet Sitting
Pet sitting is an excellent low-stress job for retirees who love animals. As a pet sitter, you can spend quality time with dogs, cats, or other animals while making extra money. This can be an especially fun job for individuals who aren’t necessarily people-persons. Introverts can avoid talking to too many but still find reprieve from loneliness as a pet-sitter.
2 – Paid Focus Groups
One of the best low-stress jobs after retirement is a focus group participant. Paid focus groups can offer an exciting variety and socialization opportunities for retirees. Being a focus group participant can get you out of the house on a regular basis as they are often held at hotels or conference centers.
You will get paid to discuss upcoming products, services, or issues with a group of other participants. In short, you share your opinions and meet new people while being compensated for your time. In some cases, you might also earn free gift cards.
3 – Animal Shelter Worker
Working at an animal shelter can be an excellent way for retirees to feel like they are making a difference, all while getting to connect with an abundance of animals and other animal lovers. You can volunteer as an animal shelter worker, but there are usually opportunities for paid work as well.
4 – Real Estate Agent
Although certification may be required, becoming a real estate agent can be an excellent low-stress job after retirement. It provides flexible hours yet can earn you some serious money.
Suppose you are curious about what it takes to get into this line of work; contact real estate agents in your area. Most of them are incredibly friendly and more than willing to help as to the people skills required in their work.
5 – Dog Walking
Being a dog walker in your retirement is one of the best jobs to keep you active. Dog walking will get you outdoors and on your feet, but you get to choose your own hours. You can make the extra money you need while getting to enjoy nature and friendly pups.
6 – Freelance Writer
Freelance writing can be an exciting job for the more intellectually minded. It’s possible to be a freelance writer on a whole range of topics. You can write content about a subject you are already passionate and knowledgable about, or you can use this job to learn more about new topics. All you need to be a successful freelance writer is an internet connection and a way with word.
7 – Substitute Teacher
If you enjoy working with kids or maybe even worked in education previously, being a substitute teacher can be one of the best low-stress jobs for retirement. Most substitute teachers work fewer hours than regular teachers, giving you more time to pursue other interests.
8 – Private Tutor
If you love teaching but prefer the quiet environment of one-on-one work, private tutoring could be a perfect option for making money post-retirement. A private tutor can meet with students in person, but online tutoring is also very common nowadays. You can make your own schedule and specialize in your favorite subjects.
9 – Fill Out Online Surveys
If you just want to make a few extra bucks here and there, you could fill out online surveys rather than participate in in-person focus groups. You get to choose your own hours you want to work, which may be more convenient for you despite there being less social interaction. Some of the most popular survey sites can provide a fair bit of cash for each survey you complete.
10 – House Sitter
Similar to pet sitting, being a house sitter will allow you to get out of your own house often without forcing you to encounter too many people if you consider yourself an introvert. Instead of just watching after people’s pets, you look after their entire house. This might include their house plants, their multiple pets, their garden, and bring in their mail or packages.
11 – Massage Therapist
You will need some further qualifications to become a massage therapist, but it can be an excellent option for retirees. You can set your own schedule and meet new people, perhaps even form long-lasting professional relationships with your regular clients. As a massage therapist, you can remain stress-free while helping your clients feel better amidst their stressful lives.
12 – Librarian
If you love to spend your time amongst books, working at a library could give you a quiet and slow-paced environment. Being a librarian could allow you to work with kids and other adults while still enabling you to enjoy moments of peaceful calm.
13 – Tour Guide
For those passionate about history or travel looking for low-stress retirement jobs, a tour guide position could feel like they aren’t even working. From museums to national parks to whole cities, you can share your knowledge with visitors and tourists from all over the world. You can enjoy flexible hours and meet new people on a daily basis.
14 – Sell Crafts on Etsy
If you’re a creative person, selling crafts that you make online on a website like Etsy is an excellent low-stress way to bring in a bit more money every month. Making crafts to sell can give you extra motivation to keep up with your creative hobbies to avoid boredom.
If there is a lot of genuine interest generated by your items online, then you can try showing them to local businesses for them to sell in their shops. This can allow you to meet people in your area and generate even more sales of your crafts online.
15 – Self-published Author
Have you always dreamed of writing your own book? Self-publishing is easier than ever before. You can publish your own e-book with ease. It’s also not as challenging to self-publish your own physical books as many people think. Whether fiction or non-fiction, you could earn some money writing the books you always wished you could when you didn’t have the time.
Additional Low-Stress Jobs to Consider
If none of the jobs described above are your cup of tea, here are a few more of the best low-stress jobs that might give you days some structure post-retirement:
- Start your very own business! Whether it’s an online business or a storefront, you can be the boss.
- An interior designer.
- Be someone’s virtual assistant. All you need for a virtual assistant position is basic computer skills and the ability to make phone calls for them.
- Take on some painting jobs.
- Be a food delivery driver. As a food delivery driver, you could either deliver groceries to people’s homes or deliver take out to their front door.
- An event planner.
- Be a park ranger at one of our beautiful national parks.
- Seasonal jobs in retail around the holidays.
- A personal shopper or mystery shopper.
Some Final Thoughts
Even if you plan to work after you retire, every personal finance expert will tell you it is still necessary you have a decent nest egg saved up. Depending on your standard of living, Social Security benefits are typically not enough to live comfortably without some kind of pension or savings.
We also recommend that you have all of your debt paid off if you can before you retire. Pay off any and all installment loans and credit cards you have. If you still have expenses like debt on your plate during retirement, the work you do while retired will likely be more stressful because of the bills you need to pay.
There are quite a few ways you can stave off the downsides of retirement. Still, research has proven that continuing to work or regularly volunteering while retired can do wonders in preventing depression, dementia, and other health issues.