Utilizing your post-fed time can take on varied forms, with many federal retirees opting to travel, take up hobbies, or learn new skills. There are myriad ways federal retirees can take advantage of their newly wide-open schedules, but one of the most productive by far is part-time employment. I know exactly what you’re thinking, and no, this does not have to entail becoming a greeter at a big-box retail store. There are lots of unique and rewarding positions out there for retirees who want to transition to something different and exciting — and, of course, supplement those TSP benefits.
Every business, in any given industry, needs a numbers person. For fed retirees who enjoy balancing a checkbook, or are just highly detail-oriented, keeping the books for a company or non-profit is a great way to keep your mind sharp, while filling a vital need. Luckily, a background in business or accounting isn’t a necessity. Simply being math-savvy, and proficient with software like QuickBooks and Excel, is often enough to land you a rewarding bookkeeping role.
Retail work can be very satisfying, particularly if you have an interest in the products you’re helping to sell. Fed retirees with good people skills and a knack for salesmanship will often find plentiful opportunities in the consumer goods sphere. If you’re an oenophile, consider working at a wine shop. If you love gardening, look for a nursery that needs help. No matter your interests, you’ll likely find a retail job that will allow you to share your passions with others, while hopefully making a decent commission.
Earning a passive income lends flexibility to retired life, allowing you to supplement your FERS benefits while you sleep. And one of the best ways to make a passive income is by renting out your property on Airbnb. Airbnb connects travelers with hosts who have extra space. If you own a home, apartment, or even just a spare room in an oft-traveled locale, you can make a good deal of money by renting it out on the ubiquitous home sharing site. With median incomes close to $900 per month, and a painless listing process, fed retirees can start profiting off of their hospitality in no time.
If you communicate well, are detail-oriented, and have a knack for organization, being a receptionist is a productive way to use your post-fed time. Receptionist roles are generally available across a wide range of businesses and organizations. The necessary skills for these roles often include data-entry, written and verbal communication, and calendaring, along with proficiency with certain software programs like the Microsoft Office suite, or QuickBooks. The average annual part-time secretary salary is just under $30k/year — not bad at all for fed retirees looking to make some extra cash, but a steal for their employers, given how invaluable an efficient secretary is to a well-functioning office.
Youth Sports Coach
Fed retirees who have some coaching experience, or who just want to help teach young people the merits of organized sports, can do a lot worse than becoming a youth coach. Popular coaching options for retirees are tennis, golf, or swimming — but you can find roles in almost any sport as long as you have some experience. Salaries vary, but the rewards (staying fit, sharing your passion, teaching youngsters teamwork) are consistent.
When a passion for travel is a major requirement for your part-time work, you know it’s a great gig. Travel agents are primarily responsible for booking transportation, hotels, and tours for their clients, and are often able to work at home. The pay isn’t extraordinary, but helping to make people’s travel dreams come true is well worth it.
BONUS: Travel agents are privy to excellent deals on cruises and other vacations that may not be readily available to others, so fed retirees who want to travel more may want to consider this route.
Driving for Uber, Lyft, or any other ridesharing company can be a profitable, interesting, and fun way of making some extra income. The requirements can include a valid driver’s license, access to a 4-door vehicle, and a copy of your driving record, among other things. Drivers with intimate knowledge of the city or region in which they operate will generally be more desirable — and will have the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over, while potentially making hundreds of dollars per shift.
The ability to capture special moments at weddings, sporting events, or even out amongst nature is extremely valuable. Freelance photographers can make an excellent income, while traveling to new places, meeting new people, and shooting a variety of special occasions. While the initial cash outlays can often be hefty — a good digital camera, editing software, and a fast computer are necessities — the fees you’ll receive can be extremely high.
Utilizing the knowledge you’ve gained over a long fed career can be a lucrative way to spend your retired years. Companies are always looking to hire former federal employees as consultants, given that they know how to navigate the murky waters of federal regulation. Especially if you worked for the FTC, SEC, or similar agencies, your experience may be perfect for a role with a consulting firm, working in-house at a company or non-profit, or even starting your own consultancy. Consultants are valued for their expertise in a certain sector, so be sure you’re continually educating yourself on news and developments. Consultant work is also highly profitable, with even part-time salaries approaching an average of $80k per year, according to Glassdoor.
Those who can effectively pass down math, foreign language, science, or really any teachable skill will always be in high demand. Tutoring is an especially good part-time job for fed retirees who were at one point educators (or wanted to teach, and never had the opportunity). Tutoring is a great way to keep your mind sharp, while sharing the gift of learning with others, and bringing in some extra cash.