Retirement Jobs Stir New Passions for Older Adults in the Bay Area

Great Retirement Jobs for Seniors in the Bay Area Attending my sister’s wedding this summer was heartwarming for many reasons—one thing that really stood out was the celebrant who officiated the union. An older man, Richard, facilitated the ceremony beautifully, bringing everyone to tears. Turns out he was a retired financial adviser who started officiating weddings when his son got married a few years ago. He loved the experience and started getting referrals by word-of-mouth. Hearing Richard’s story reminded me that just because your loved one retires from their lifelong career doesn’t mean they need to quit working altogether.

Why Your Loved One Might Want a Part-Time Job

Many older adults who pursue a part-time job after retirement experience an increased sense of self-worth, independence, and agency—no wonder more people over the age of 65 in America are continuing to work after they retire. Some common reasons why your loved one might enjoy working a part-time job can include having greater financial stability, a more structured daily routine, and staying mobile and active. Additionally, there are a number of emotionally-driven benefits that might also encourage them to start a job post-retirement.

  • Being intellectually challenged
  • Fueling personal development
  • Exploring a brand new career
  • Pursuing a passion they previously didn’t have time for
  • Getting regular socialization and feeling connected
  • Feeling valued for sharing their skills and knowledge

Post-Retirement Part-Time Jobs in San Francisco

San Francisco, in particular, is a great place for older adults to work part-time because of its booming economy and healthy mix of older and younger generations. With so many great job options to explore, your aging loved one might even find themselves with too many to choose from!

Start a Small Business

Creating a small business—especially one with minor or no costs upfront—can work well for many older adults in retirement.

  • Tutor
    If your loved one enjoys working with children, tutoring online or in person can be very rewarding. This can provide socialization, along with intergenerational benefits—your loved one may find themselves tutoring elementary, high school, or even college-aged students.
  • Consultant
    For older adults with specialized skill sets or former professional careers, consulting can be potentially quite lucrative and enjoyable. Your loved one can pick their clients, charge what they want, and work however much they like. Since San Francisco is a hub for technology, startups, and business, experience in any of these fields can translate into a new career.
  • Chef or baker
    For those handy in the kitchen, retirement is a great time to get back into cooking. Maybe your loved one wants to bake cakes to sell to a local bakery or make healthy soups to sell at a neighborhood deli. San Francisco has plenty of foodies, so artisan products often sell quite well here. Cooking is also great for those who enjoy working with their hands and find relaxation in the soothing routine of the kitchen.

Work for a Good Company

Working at an established company offers a myriad of perks, such as store discounts, good healthcare, and paid time off.

  • Starbucks
    In addition to their great work environment and friendly staff, Starbucks provides their employees with a wealth of benefits. Older adults who work about 20 hours per week can have access to excellent health care packages, disability leave, and shares in the company. And with over 80 Starbucks locations in San Francisco, there’s a good chance there might be one near your loved one’s home.
  • Whole Foods
    Part-time employees at Whole Foods are granted a 20% store discount, paid time off, and access to stock options after a certain amount of time. If your loved one is a health food enthusiast who enjoys customer service, this might be a great job for them. Note that medical insurance is not available for part-time staff.
  • Target
    If your loved one works at Target for more than 6 months, they’ll be able to get very good medical care, as well as insurance. Better yet, you only need to work 2.5 days per week to be eligible for this, as well as free vaccinations, access to nurses, and more.

Exercise Your Creative Passion

Your loved one’s retirement years are ideal for exploring their creative side—especially if they have regrets about not pursuing an artistic dream due to practical reasons. Now’s the time to seize the day.

  • Actor
    There are many acting opportunities for older adults in San Francisco, whether in local theatre productions or as an extra on film sets. Extroverted older adults might really enjoy being a part of a friendly acting community, too. Voiceover acting is another fun job, and one that relies solely on one’s voice (as opposed to age, looks, or mobility level). If your loved one has a great voice, this can be an exciting way to earn some money.
  • Artist or writer
    Whether your loved one likes to paint, make pottery, or write books, there are many ways to monetize arts and crafts these days. They can try selling their creations on Etsy or at local markets—you never know when something will take off. Likewise, older adults interested in writing can self-publish their books relatively easily through sites like Amazon or Blurb. San Francisco’s creative community is a supportive place to play around with artsy ideas. Projects like these can be especially well-suited to older adults who are more introverted or less mobile.

Work from Home Online

For older adults who are tech savvy, online jobs offer a huge amount of flexibility, and can be perfect for those with limited mobility. And thanks to the internet, your loved one can access jobs from around the world, in addition to local companies.

  • Virtual assistant
    If your loved one has previous experience working in administration or as a secretary, becoming a virtual assistant could be a smooth transition. There are many sites that pair employers with virtual assistants—all your loved one needs is a home office with some basics like a computer, phone/fax, or printer.
  • Blogger
    Your loved one might already love to write, but not have a platform to share their work. While blogging likely won’t bring in much money, it can be extremely fulfilling. Expressing their point of view, becoming part of an online community, and expanding their social network are all perks that can come from blogging.

As caregivers, you can support your aging loved one’s part-time job by helping figure out what’s most important to them (flexibility, fun, benefits, money, etc.) and scouting for job options in their fields of interest. With so many great job opportunities—and volunteer positions—available both online and locally throughout the Bay Area, the post-retirement period can definitely be an exciting time for your loved one. It can help them rekindle a long-lost passion, feel more valued, and use their skills to help others—not to mention, earn a bit of extra money. This might just be the beginning of a wonderful new chapter in your aging loved one’s life.

If you’re unsure how to support your aging loved one in living their best life, Institute on Aging is here to help with a range of services, programs, and resources. Connect with us today to learn more.


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Institute on Aging

Committed to offering thoughtful discussions and resources to older adults, their families, and their caregivers.

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