Many retirees who want to earn some extra income without committing to a regular part-time job explore seasonal employment. For a couple weeks or months out of the year, you could try something new, put your professional skills to good use, see more of the world, connect with new people, and pad your nest egg in the process.
Here are 8 seasonal jobs that could add some variety to your retirement routine and improve your Return on Life:
Teacher, sub, or aide
Some states that are facing major teacher shortages have created accelerated certification paths that can get you in front of students faster. Teacher's aides and substitutes usually have a lower barrier to entry, more flexibility, and of course, less stress. Depending on your skill set, your school district might have openings for enrichment classes like art, music, theater, gym, or second languages. And the best part of all? You get summers off!
Holiday retail associate
No matter how much of our shopping moves online, strolling through the mall or camping overnight in front of a big box retailer will always be a holiday tradition for millions of people. Greeters, cashiers, and stockers are in high demand at the end of the year, and many retailers offer flexible shifts to choose from and discounts you can use for your own shopping list.
Online retailers always need extra help with shipments during the holidays. But if spending long hours in a warehouse packing boxes doesn't appeal to you, hit the road, and deliver those packages door to door. You might not even need to know how to drive a truck if you have your own vehicle. And check for similar seasonal openings at your local post office.
While youth sports coaches are mostly volunteers, some larger organizations and more competitive teams do pay. Coaches who have higher-level experience could offer one-on-one lessons to athletes or find jobs at golf courses or country clubs.
Retired CPAs and pros who have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number can lend a hand at larger firms in the run up to Tax Day. Or, start your own part-time practice in the spring for a select group of clients.
Club or resort worker
Take a trip ... and pay for part of it too! Escape winter for someplace warm where you can pick up shifts as a server, customer service rep, golf course starter, or maintenance worker. During peak tourist season many stores and restaurants near resorts need extra help as well.
National Park worker
The U.S. National Park System includes 423 parks in all 50 states. While jobs at top destinations like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon can be very tough to get, there's probably a smaller park closer to home that also needs help during the busiest months. Travel and hospitality companies that offer services around the National Parks usually have a large number of seasonal job openings as well.
An easy way to be your own part-time boss year-round. Gardeners can put their green thumbs to work planting, pruning, and watering. Haul your mower around the neighborhood and tackle a few lawns every other afternoon. And in the winter, hook up a plow to your truck and clear snow out of driveways. Nature and plant lovers can also find work during harvest season picking crops at farms and orchards.
Whether or not you need the income to make ends meet, don’t overlook how a part-time job – or two – could affect your tax picture or your federal retirement benefits. Before you slip on that Santa suit or head to Yosemite, contact me for help with this or any other transition in your life.