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Beacon Senior News

Working after retirement doesn't have to feel like work

Jul 30, 2019 04:02PM ● By Melanie Wiseman

At 90 years old, sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth is not just giving advice about sex anymore. When asked if she thought she would ever retire, she said, “I will never retire. I tell everybody not to retire, but to rewire. I’m really interested in what everyone is doing.”

Staying connected like Dr. Ruth is one of the many reasons approximately 20 percent of retired Americans continue working. Other reasons include financial stability, health insurance, maintaining a sense of purpose, staying physically and mentally healthy, delaying receiving Social Security, taking on a different role or working part-time in a field you enjoy, or a desire to try a new line of work.

I fit in the latter category. It wasn’t until I retired that I had the time to explore my passion for writing. It’s not about the money, but the privilege of meeting many wonderful Grand Valley seniors and being able to share their stories.

Jim Faulhaber retired from juggling civil engineering design projects in 2006, sold his home in Denver and hit the road. He was a campground host for two seasons at Rocky Mountain National Park, and for six seasons at Highline State Park. He didn’t receive a paycheck, but his campsite was free.

“It was a lot of fun because I like to talk to people and everyone was happy because they were on vacation,” said Faulhaber. “I met people from all over the world and it was gratifying to help them out. Where else can you work where you are in the middle of a beautiful park?”

Since retiring as a teacher and principal, Anna Goetz works part-time as an educational consultant and now does academic coaching with Essentials in Learning. She and husband, Jim, turned both their Grand Junction and Florida homes into Airbnbs three years ago, loving the income as well as the people.

Some of my other friends do house or pet sitting, handyman jobs and part-time home health care or house cleaning. Interesting seasonal positions are available with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, City and County as well as local wineries, orchards and greenhouses. While most seasonal positions are during the summer, Enstrom's and other retailers beef up their staff during the holiday rush.

Besides writing, retirement has allowed me to spend more time on another “job” I thoroughly love. I consider myself such a savvy shopper that I often feel guilty for how little I pay for what I walk away with. It may not be a paycheck, but the savings each year are worth hundreds of dollars. Consignment shops are a great way to purge your home furnishings and clothing while reaping financial rewards.

Fun and flexible post-retirement work options are plentiful and still leave plenty of time for family, friends, exercise and volunteering.