What Are the Best Jobs for Retirees?

A well-planned and successful retirement entails saving enough money to live on. After that, retirees can relax, set their own daily routine, and pursue their passions, such as travel. Sometimes, however, things aren’t as comfortable as they look, and consequently, seniors may have to look for part-time work. Yet this isn’t necessarily an unfavorable scenario. The best jobs for retirees allow them to deal with financial, medical, and lifestyle problems while they maintain a comfortable and convenient retirement.

Firstly, what happens if you live longer than expected? That is to say, you may need more money saved up. Equally as important are your medical costs, which could increase during retirement in an unpredictable manner. Secondly, even when you have enough funds for these expenses, doesn’t leisure matter, as well? In other words, travel, time in the outdoors, and/or other recreational activities will only make your retirement happier and healthier. However, this costs money.

If you are wondering what the best jobs for retirees are, they are the ones that enable you to attain all of the above. To clarify, ideal employment entails flexible hours and a relatively competitive wage. While this may seem too optimistic, retirees can find many opportunities that fit this criteria. Moreover, these jobs are accessible regardless of where you live.

Physical Labor: Handy in Many Ways

Working as a handyman (i.e. manual laborer) can get you more than what you bargained for. The wages are well-above average, to begin with. Additionally, employers across the country, in small towns and large cities alike, offer many part-time physical labor jobs with flexible hours. To illustrate, here is an example: American workers, across all states, industries, and sectors, earn an average of almost $24 per hour.

Meanwhile, manual laborers are paid the following rates:

  • Handymen or Repairmen/Repairwomen: $40 to $90 per hour
  • Machine and Equipment Operators: $31 per hour (or between $26 and $35 per hour)
  • Millwright: $28 per hour (or $23 to $33)

In short, this type of employment suits many retirees who want an additional source of income but, at the same time, maintain a comfortable and obligation-free lifestyle. As a matter of fact, manual work, specifically, helps you remain physically active and in good shape for years. Consequently, your medical expenses become lower and your overall health thrives. Managing these costs, alongside other ones, is crucial.

To clarify, here are some facts:

  • Total medical expenses are $280,000 per couple during retirement.
  • On average, 14% of a retired household’s income goes towards health care. In comparison, most Americans only use 5% to pay for medical bills.
  • About 25% of retirement-age consumers will see their 90th birthday. If a person retires at 65 and wanted to live on $40,000 per year, they need one million dollars to sustain themselves until age 90.
  • Meanwhile, the average American worker retires when they turn 63.

Needless to say, manual labor professions are amongst the best jobs for retirees in both the short and long-term future.

A Healthy Retirement

One concern that people may have about physical work is the potential for injury. That is to say, seniors and the elderly might have more complicated medical conditions than their younger counterparts. Building corn mills (as a millwright) and handling equipment could pose several risks. However, many manual labor jobs only entail soft tools and relatively minimal physical work.


Firstly, a repairman or repairwoman could manage simpler tasks and avoid ones that involve a long ladder or very heavy lifting, to name a couple of examples. Secondly, the type of work that retirees take on depends on their individual and specific circumstances. For instance, a person with ankle or knee problems may struggle when they stand for long hours at a time. Therefore, operating machinery, such as a truck, could be a suitable job since it doesn’t require a lot of foot/knee activity.

A retiree that has asthma or a lung condition, on the other hand, shouldn’t handle a farming vehicle to avoid the fumes and debris. Having said that, they could work as a handyman if their joints and muscles are in healthy shape. In fact, almost any profession that keeps you active and physically engaged is good for your health. This is why the manual labour field offers some of the best jobs for retirees.

Independent Contractors and Freelancers

There are two benefits to this type of work. Firstly, the hours and schedule structures offer a lot of flexibility. At times, retirees might be able to work from their home. Secondly, many of these jobs are easy to get, especially if they are commission-based. While positions that don’t pay an hourly wage can be stressful, there is still plenty of commission-only work that makes it easy to make money.

Since independent contractors aren’t costing the employer or supervisor per hour, they have the freedom to set their own schedule. Retirees could, for example, take an entire month of if they met their sales/commission targets. Alternatively, you may also make appointments with potential buyers based on how many hours you want to work. Examples of independent contractor jobs include selling retail products, real estate/property, nutritional services, and insurance policies, amongst others. In some cases, you can earn thousands of dollars from a single sale.

Moreover, thanks to digitalization, retirees may even work from home as freelancers. There are many websites that connect sellers with potential buyers. Each platform caters to certain niches, such as homemade products, food, arts/crafts, transportation, and professional services. While freelancing and independent contractor jobs don’t entail a lot of physical activity, they keep your brain and social skills engaged. More specifically, you develop salesmanship skills, interact with different buyers, and maintain an active mind.

The Best Jobs for Retirees: Flexible and Well-Paying


Manual labor, freelancing, and independent contractor work are ideal for retirees. This is because these jobs allow you to conveniently set your own schedule. They also provide you with competitive wages, which could largely offset medical expenses and other costs.

Going forward, consider if you want to learn a new skill or take advantage of existing ones. Either way, whether you work independently or with a company, it is important to keep your mind, body, and social life healthy and vibrant throughout retirement. In other words, you will live longer and, at the same time, comfortably afford it.

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