Top 11 Lucrative Careers for Retirees Seeking Extra Income

Samantha Miller

Many retirees find themselves wanting or needing to return to work after retiring. While some may go back to their previous career, others look for jobs that offer flexibility, less stress, and decent pay.

Here are 11 of the highest-paying jobs for retirees who want to head back into the workforce:

1. Consulting

Becoming an independent consultant can be a lucrative option for retirees with extensive experience and expertise. As a consultant, you can provide advice and counsel to companies in your industry.

The work tends to be project-based, allowing you control over your schedule. Hourly rates for independent consultants can exceed $100 per hour. The key is having specialized knowledge and skills that companies are willing to pay well for.

Past managers, executives, and subject matter experts are prime candidates for consultant roles.

2. Freelance Writer

Retirees who have a flair for writing can earn income by working as a freelance writer. Online magazines, websites, and blogs all need content and hire freelancers to write articles, blog posts, copy, and more.

Experience writing marketing materials, journalism pieces, or other professional content make ideal backgrounds. Freelance writers typically charge per project, word, or hour.

With some networking and consistency, six-figure incomes are possible. The ability to work from anywhere with an Internet connection is a major perk for writers.

3. Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is vital for small businesses and involves skills that retirees with accounting or financial backgrounds possess. As an independent contractor, you can provide services like accounts receivable/payable, payroll, expense/income tracking, and other finance-related tasks for clients.

Average hourly wages for contract bookkeepers range from $30 to over $50 per hour. You do need to be meticulous, skilled in programs like QuickBooks, and comfortable working independently. Bookkeepers usually work part-time schedules to suit their lifestyle.

4. Tax Preparer

Retirees who understand tax codes can earn substantial income by preparing taxes for individuals and small businesses. During tax season, demand ramps up for tax prep services.

You’ll need to get training and proper IRS certifications like becoming an Enrolled Agent. Tax preparers can charge over $150 per return, with additional fees for complex returns.

Flexible schedules and average part-time hours make tax preparation ideal for retirees looking to add income during tax season.

5. Resume Writer

Updating and optimizing resumes is a task many professionals need help with. As a skilled resume writer, you can rewrite client resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and bio sections.

Having expertise in evaluating resumes, understanding critical keywords, and showcasing qualifications is key.

On average, resume writers charge $150 to $400 per project. Retirees with human resources, career counseling, or executive experience make great resume writers.

6. House/Pet Sitter

For retirees who don’t mind housework and taking care of pets, house sitting can be a part-time gig. Home and pet owners need caretakers when they are away and will pay for services like bringing in mail, watering plants, feeding pets, and general house upkeep.

Average pay is $25-$45 per day. Retirees can set their own schedules, only watching homes when it fits their calendar. Some house sitting can even be done while homeowners are at work during the day.

7. Tutor

Retirees can leverage their knowledge and teaching skills by tutoring students. Subjects like math, sciences, history, reading, writing, test prep, and more are always in-demand.

Tutoring center jobs offer steady income while private tutoring provides higher hourly wages but requires more networking.

Rates range from $20-$50 per hour based on tutoring subject, experience level, and student’s needs. Retirees skilled in a topic and with past teaching roles are prime candidates for tutoring jobs.

8. Customer Service

Good customer service and communication abilities are talents some retirees possess. Providing customer service on a contract basis allows retirees to work flexible hours.

Many companies hire remote customer service reps to handle phone calls, online chats, email support, and other contact center tasks.

Hourly pay averages $15-$25 per hour. Part-time schedules consisting of 20-30 hours weekly are common. For retirees with the right temperament, it can be a steady stream of income.

Read More: Can You Really Retire on $1 Million These Days?

9. Tour Guide

Leading tours helps retirees share their love of history, local culture, or a popular tourist site. Retirees make ideal tour guides given their knowledge and enthusiasm for topics.

The ability to memorize and clearly convey information is important when leading tours. Pay averages $15-$25 per hour depending on the company, location, and tour type.

Guides may be part-time, working during busy tourist seasons. Public speaking and outgoing personalities are definitely assets for the job.

10. Golf Caddy

For retirees who enjoy golf and being outdoors, caddying offers part-time work and exercise. Caddies carry bags and offer players advice on courses they know well. Pay is typically $50-150+ per round depending on the country club.

Caddies often work weekend and weekday mornings when courses are busiest. Caddy schedules align nicely for retirees looking for a few hours of part-time work several days per week. Knowledge of golf basics is important when assisting golfers.

11. Online Instructor

Teaching online courses allows retirees to impart knowledge from anywhere with an Internet connection. Colleges and learning platforms like Udemy hire online instructors to teach professional development and continuing education courses for adults.

Subject matter expertise and teaching experience are prerequisites. Instructors earn $2,000-$5,000 per course. While curriculum development takes time upfront, course delivery is flexible and part-time.

Retirees skilled in teaching both online and/or in-person make ideal candidates for online instruction.

The Bottom Line

Working in retirement provides benefits beyond extra income. Staying active mentally and socially, trying new challenges, and structuring your time are also positive aspects.

With today’s need for skilled, experienced workers, retirees can find rewarding and well-paying jobs that match their interests and abilities.

Consulting, writing, tutoring, golf caddying, and more offer the income potential and flexibility desired in retirement work. Seek opportunities that allow you to add income while also pursuing personal passions and meeting great people.

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Samantha Miller is a business and finance journalist with over 10 years of experience covering the latest news and trends shaping the corporate landscape. She began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported on major companies and industry developments. Now, Samantha serve as a senior business writer for, profiling influential executives and providing in-depth analysis on business and financial topics.
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