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


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Earn While You Travel

It is the dream of many retirees to get a job that allows them to travel the world--or maybe just travel the U.S.   It is not an impossible dream. 

It may, however, consist of getting jobs that you never considered before in locations you may have visited as a guest or tourist.

Many "travel jobs" consist, in fact, of employment in the hospitality industry--in hotels, resorts, ski resorts, gift shops, and restaurants.   

And many of these jobs are seasonal, lasting only a few months in summer or winter or whatever season the tourists show up.

Keep in mind that as a retiree you will compete against other people who find these jobs attractive:  college and post-college students, locals who live there year 'round,  and immigrants who come to the U.S. on special visas to work in hospitality jobs.

So here are some unusual suggestions for being able to spend time living and working at popular destinations.

1.  Dance Man.  Some of the Cruise Lines hire single men to dance with the many single women who take cruises.  The pay for this job is zero in cash, but the cruise is free and for some Dance Men there is an alcohol allowance.  Check out the various Cruise Lines to see what their Employment Opportunities are. There may be other jobs that do not require dancing skills.  

2. Dude Ranch.  Okay, you couldn't lasso a horse even if your life depended on it, but you love being outdoors in the American West.  So maybe you can make the beds for guests and clean up around the place and do the dishes in a Dude Ranch.  To find these jobs, Google "Dude Ranch employment".

3. Gift Store Clerk.  This is definitely a job where locals will be competing with you.  Every tourist destination in the country has one or two or ten gift shops.  And the owner cannot be in the shop 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  So they hire clerks, often to work short hours or odd hours or only a couple of days a week.  You should pick a location where you want to spend several months, then simply go from shop to shop applying for work.  As with all job interviews, be sure to dress appropriately and if you have a related background, tell the owner.  Also you will have to convince the owner that you are reliable, trustworthy and will stay for all of the tourist high season.

For more travel jobs go here.

A Real Life Retirement:

Louise, trying to make an interesting retirement for herself landed a job at Yosemite as a cashier for a consessionaire (a company that supplies services to the National Parks.)  As a 'fringe benefit' she has a room she shares with another employee.  It costs her $25 a week!  Her meals are discounted by 50%.  She has been doing this for three years and said she is actually saving money which she knows she'll need in the future.

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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