Baby boomers are quickly approaching retirement age, but many of them are discovering that they haven’t saved enough to actually retire. Several years of market turbulence has made the problem worse, as aging boomers have found their net worth decreasing rather than growing. The bottom line, according to AARP magazine, is that, by the end of this year, more than 20 percent of the American workforce will be over 50. If you’re in that 20 percent, there’s good news: More and more employers are seeking out older workers. Here are some of the top careers for people 50 and over.
All of those aging baby boomers are driving the need for more health care workers. Even if you don’t feel like going back to medical or nursing school, there are plenty of options that require a lot less training. Medical assistants, for instance, can become certified in as little as one year. Personal care aides don’t require any formal schooling, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that will be one of the fastest-growing careers between now and 2020. And the increased patient load will also mean a high need for receptionists, bookkeepers, and other office staff. In fact, the U.S. government predicts that the need for medical secretaries will increase by 41 percent between now and 2020.
Many retailers love to hire older workers because they perceive them to be more reliable and to have better people skills. The pay is often low, but it’s a great option for someone who’s looking for part-time work.
A lot of older workers choose teaching in order to share what they’ve learned throughout their careers and to give back to society. You don’t even need to get a traditional teaching degree. The alternative certification program was designed specifically to give older or retiring professionals a way to enter the teaching profession. The course work is less than that of a traditional teaching degree, and many of the classes can be taken online.
#4 Meeting and Event Planning
The U.S. government expects this field to grow by 44 percent by 2020, so it’s a great opportunity for older professionals with lots of project management experience. The hours can be long and irregular, though, so make sure it fits with your lifestyle.
#5 Freelance or Temporary work
If you’ve got years of experience in a particular field, consider striking out on your own. You can do the same work at your own pace, you can take on as little or as much work as you choose, and vacation planning is entirely up to you. Another option is working through a temporary agency. They call you when an assignment is available, and you decide if you want to accept it. There is no obligation to accept assignments, although you may stop getting offers if you continually turn assignments down.
If you’re over 50 and are wondering what’s next in your working life, there are a lot of options. You can take a job with a slower pace and less responsibility so you can enjoy life a little more, or you can start a whole new career. The choices are almost endless.