Real Life Retirement:  what real people are doing after age 55 


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Get Paid While You Visit Resorts and Famous Sites

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Retiree "travel jobs" are often jobs where you are behind the counter--as a sales clerk in a gift shop or at the front desk of a resort at your favorite destination.  Or even behind the scenes entirely.

Or you may be able to land a job as a guide for tourists.

Often these are jobs you never considered before in locations you may have already visited as a tourist yourself.  Or they may be in locations you want to visit now that you are retired.

Many are in the hospitality industry--in hotels, resorts, ski resorts, lodges, shops, and restaurants.  And many of them are seasonal, lasting only a few months in summer or winter or whatever season the tourists arrive at that destination.

Keep in mind that as a retiree you will compete against other people who want these jobs:  college students and post-college young people, locals, and immigrants who come to the U.S. on special Visas to work in hospitality jobs.

So here are some suggestions for being able to spend time living and working at popular destinations.   You can also start with suggestion Number 1.

4. National Parks.  Every year the National Park Service hires thousands of people to work in the parks from Alaska to Florida.  So pick your destination of choice and apply for one of dozens of jobs they have listed.  Perhaps you want to be a front desk clerk at a National Park lodge.  Or keep the inventory of supplies the Park buys.  Or be a bartender for a few months.   The jobs are basic to the hospitality industry--only the locations are amazing.  Each National Park's website has a listing of Employment Opportunities.  You can also do volunteer work in some National Parks and park your RV for free.

5.  Tour Guide.  You need the stamina of a team of horses and the patience of Job to be a guide for tourists visiting a location in the U.S. or overseas for several days or longer.  And the pay is not all that great.  Before you pursue this type of work, consider having to deal with tourists' health emergencies, really tired and demanding tourists, and being on-call 24 hours a day for days or weeks on end.  And in overseas locations, you may have to deal with problems and emergencies in a foreign language.  Be honest with yourself: are you really up to these kinds of demands?

A Real Life Retirement:

Snowbirds Bob and Liz travel in an RV from their permanent home in Minnesota to spend several months near Phoenix each winter.  But they do not arrive empty handed.  Their RV is packed with things they have made with garlic -- salad dressings, jars of mixed spices, a variety of foods, even garlic soup.

Once they settle in near Phoenix they sell their unique items at open air markets and to fellow residents in the snowbird park. By the time they return north, they have paid for much of the expense of wintering in a warm climate with their garlic goodies.

Being a tour guide for a local tour company near where you live can be a lot more fun; for a few hours you ride along in a bus or van and tell the visitors about local sites. Then you go home and get on with your life.  Contact your local tour companies to find out more.  They may also do regional tours that would take you from your home to other great destinations in your area.

6. Airlines.   Our friend Elaine retired in her mid-fifties and went to work for an airline doing passenger security, then moved up to being a reservations clerk.  With no children at home, she was willing to work from 5 p.m. 'til midnight and for that she got to fly all over the world for next to nothing.  These jobs are not as available today.   But nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Go to the airlines websites and check out their Employment Opportunities.  And be willing to work odd hours or on holidays.

7.  The Peace Corps.  There is no age limit for joining the Peace Corps and doing good, valuable work in countries around the world.  Currently the oldest member of the Peace Corps is in his 80s.  Go to the Peace Corps website for details. 

More retirement jobs: 

Teach at college/university           Teach children or adults

Teach at trade schools          

If you are looking for part time work simply to pick up some extra cash or pocket money or work based on your hobbies or personal interests, we have different suggestions for you.

NOTE:  All names on this site have been changed to protect individual privacy.  
The stories are real, the names are not. 

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