These Are the Best Jobs for Those Hoping to Work Past Retirement Age

an older woman crossing her arms and posing


Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec
June 19, 2024 at 10:57AM UTC
Millions of people 65 and older are still in the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 10.6 million people at retirement age and over are still working. 
In fact, over a quarter of people from 65 to 74 remained in the labor force – 26.6 percent to be exact. 8.9 percent of people over 75 had continued working, as well. 
There are many reasons that older adults decide to stay working past 65. For one, they’re delaying using Social Security and their retirement funds for longer, even if they’ve scaled back on the hours and intensity of their professions. Of course, some may wish to retire but haven’t saved sufficiently. 
Others want to continue keeping their minds sharp and themselves active by continuing to pursue the professions they’ve enjoyed all their lives. Some have shifted into second careers that let them chase passions they may not have been able to in their earlier careers. 
Still, some fields are friendlier to older workers than others. 61 percent of workers older than 45 have experienced some form of discrimination because of their age, says AARP. Some fields may be less willing to hire older workers or force them out at a certain age (while age discrimination is illegal, it can be difficult to prove). 
“Generally, the newest industries will have the youngest workers, making ageism more prevalent,” explains Marjolein Dilven for Ladders.
Some of the worst fields for older workers include: 
  • Business.
  • Finance.
  • Tech.
  • Marketing.
  • Hospitality.
  • Retail.
So, what are the best jobs if you plan to work past retirement age?
Whether you’re a worker over 50 looking for a career shift for two decades or a 65-year-old retiree seeking a second career, these are some of the best options for you. 

Elected official.

Local governments need elected officials like trustees, commissioners, and council members. One of the reasons these make great second careers for financially-independent people is they don’t pay particularly well but can add to your retirement fund. At the same time, they give you a sense of accomplishment in giving back to your community. 

Financial planner.

Individuals who have investment experience in their careers often find satisfaction and flexibility as financial planners. You could also consider pursuing this career as a semi-retired one where you can work as much or as little as you like . The industry is all about building relationships and sharing expertise, two qualities that older workers typically have in spades. 


If you’re looking for more flexibility in your current career, you could consider becoming a consultant in your field. A consultant is not an employee but rather a freelancer who provides know-how and expertise. Many prominent fields, like management, accounting, business, and IT, use consultants to design projects or mentor younger workers. 
You may even be able to consult with your current employer as you move into semi-retirement. 

Real estate agent.

Older workers feel at home as real estate agents because the median age for the profession is 54. So, since you’ll be surrounded by others around your age, you’ll be less likely to face discrimination. What’s more, women also dominate this field – more than 60 percent of real estate agents are women. 
Real estate is a great second career, as well. Real estate courses are necessary to earn a license, cost only a few hundred dollars and can be completed online. 

Occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy is one of the fastest growing fields as people with disabilities and Baby Boomers are living better, long lives but need more support. If you’re interested in joining this field, you could plan for your long-term future by pursuing a master’s degree. Or, if you’d like to get into this helping profession more quickly, you can become an occupational therapy assistant with a two-year degree from a community college. 

Personal trainer.

Older and younger adults are prioritizing health in their lives, meaning that many Baby Boomers are pursuing careers as personal trainers later in life. If you have a background as an athlete and would like to transition into this second career, you can pursue this profession with a personal trainer’s certificate.

Temporary worker.

If you’d like to dial down your responsibility but still want to get out into the world, you can pursue opportunities as a temporary worker. Temporary workers differ from consultants in that they usually work with staffing firms that find them short-term employment. This way, you’re not hustling for clients but can still find the work you’re seeking. You never know if you’ll discover an interest you never knew you had! 
“That means a strong job market for seasoned professionals who bring extensive experience to the table. Job counselors at staffing firms can help people determine the best positions for their skills, and workers are free to take or decline positions based on their needs and preferences,” said Maryalene LaPonsie.

Jobs for Working Past Retirement Age

Ageism is a disheartening form of discrimination that can affect many older workers. However, pursuing a job or career in one of these older worker-friendly professions will help you feel like your expertise and experience are valued. 
This article originally appeared on Ivy Exec

What do you think is the best job for those hoping to work past retirement age? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always