Working in Retirement? 8 Great Part-time and Work-at-Home Jobs for Retirees

Staying Put at Home Tips for Senior HealthNow that you have retired and are settling in at home, you might discover that you left the workplace too soon. Maybe you need a little extra money to supplement your income and help out around the house. Maybe you miss having the structure and schedule that a job can provide. Maybe you just miss interacting with the public on a regular basis. There are a number of reasons why retired seniors may hope to re-enter the work force. In fact, roughly 74% of seniors are expected to pursue another job or career after retirement.1 For this post, Staying Put at Home will look at a few part-time or work-from-home jobs that are popular among seniors.

Potential Jobs for Retirees

  • Tutor: While transitioning into retirement, many teachers and professors become tutors. This work is not limited to those in the teaching field however, as many companies hire tutors who demonstrate aptitude in a given area. Tutoring can be done both in-person or online, making it as convenient as possible. One website that specializes in tutoring is Tutor.com.
  • Freelance Writer or Editor: One great thing about the internet is that it gives a venue for many more voices to be heard. People want content, and many companies are responding by hiring freelance writers to fill this desire. These companies also want this content to read well, so they hire editors to pore over each text to make sure it meets a high standard. Now is the time that you can put a life’s worth of experience into writing.
  • Library Assistant/Aide: Many local and university libraries need help with shelving books and answering questions. While some libraries ask workers to have an undergraduate or graduate degree in library science, many others don’t require such qualifications. Call or email your local library to find out more.
  • Translator: Do you speak another language? Translation services are almost always in demand, especially with hospitals and legal enterprises. Best of all, it can often be done from the comfort of your own home. Furthermore, the translation field is predicted to grow by 36 percent in the next five years, meaning more opportunities are sure to come.2
  • Bookkeeping: Many small businesses often look for part-time bookkeepers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that one-fourth of bookkeepers are part-time.3 If you worked with numbers pre-retirement, then a company could relish your experience. This is even truer if you have an advanced degree or a CPA credential. It’s worth noting that most bookkeeping requires being up-to-date with certain software, like QuickBooks.
  • Consultant: You have built up a solid foundation of knowledge about your profession over decades of work. Now that you have retired, however, you don’t want all that information to lay fallow. Consulting can be a good way to keep one foot in the career path you have cultivated over the years.
  • Customer Service Representative: After retirement, it is common for seniors to miss the frequent interactions they once had with the public. Being a customer service representative can help soothe this feeling. While some companies prefer representatives work onsite, others (like Hilton Hotels or American Airlines) allow customer service reps to work remotely. These jobs usually require you to have an up-to-date computer, high-speed internet, and a telephone headset.
  • Tour Guide or Museum Guard: If you’re comfortable standing on your feet and talking to crowds, then a tour guide or museum guard position could be a lot of fun. These jobs let you put all that knowledge that you’ve accumulated over the years to good use.

Government Programs and Agencies Can Help Find Work

Certain federal agencies can be a great resource for seniors looking to get back into the workforce. For example, the National Older Worker Career Center has job listings for seniors over 55 on their website. Websites like Go Government and USA Jobs can also connect seniors to potential jobs in the government. However, those sites aren’t limited to senior workers, so you’ll be competing against younger candidates for jobs. Don’t let that dissuade you, as experience counts for a lot in this labor force.

The US State Department also has a page that lists a plethora of job sites for seniors. If you’re just getting started on your job search, then this page can be a nice consolidation of a gaggle of helpful employment avenues.

Watch Out For Scams

While some of these opportunities are legitimate, a great many are too good to be true. The FBI warns that many work from home listings are just avenues for crooks to commit identity theft or swindle people into giving away money.

One scam that is perpetrated time and time again is the “Medical Billing Work” crime. The scammers will convince you about a growing market of preparing bills for doctors’ offices. They will then send you software and training manuals that cost hundreds or thousands. Once they have your money, they disappear and leave you with a bunch of worthless tools and no jobs.

Another common trick is the envelope stuffing scheme. Workers will need to pay an “investment” in the materials, which they will never see again. Remember to ask yourself why anyone would pay a person to stuff envelopes when they could hire a specialist business who would do it for much cheaper.

ALWAYS check the legitimacy of a company before contacting them or giving them any confidential information. Make sure that you ask plenty of questions. If you encounter a possible scam, then report it as quickly as possible to the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau.

Whether you need to earn a little extra cash or enter a field that you have always been curious about, there are numerous jobs out there for retirees. Just be careful about maintaining your security and NEVER provide sensitive information if you have the slightest feeling that a company is fraudulent. If you have any tips about career searches, then please share with the Staying Put at Home community in the comment section.

1. 10 Second Career Ideas for Retirees | Return to Text
2. The Hottest Jobs And How To Get One In Retirement | Return to Text
3. The New Best Jobs for Retirees | Return to Text

Better Safe Than Sorry: How to Avoid Common Senior Scams

Staying Put at Home Tips for Senior SecurityEvery year, thousands of seniors fall victim to scams that prey on their fears, goodwill and charity. According to the FBI, senior citizens are often the targets of these scams because they are less likely to report a fraud.1 This is usually because they don’t know who to report it to, are ashamed of being deceived or are unaware that they have been tricked.

For this post, we have identified a few popular scams that target seniors so that you know what to watch out for.

Telemarketing Fraud

The Department of Justice estimates that dishonest telemarketers bring in about $40 billion each year.2 Scammers will usually get seniors on the phone, and because many seniors may be lonely or don’t want to seem rude, they listen to the scammer’s pitch. Furthermore, seniors are more likely to make a purchase over the phone than younger people are.3 There are many tactics that a scammer may use, including:

  • Tricking a senior into believing that they have a family member who is in trouble and needs money immediately
  • Telling the senior that he or she needs to act now to get the reward
  • Telling the senior that he or she has won a free prize, but that the senior needs to pay for shipping and handling
  • Lying that the money is going to a charity (this one is especially frequent during the holiday season)
  • Callers will sidestep questions about their business (legitimate businesses will always be happy to answer questions)

If you think that the person on the other end of the line is not legitimate, then hang up as soon as possible.

Medicare Fraud

Medicare scammers will frequently pose as government agencies or other organizations over the phone in order to get access to your personal information. Do not trust calls from people who purport to be with government agencies. Medicare almost never calls. On the rare occasion that they do call, they will not ask for any financial or personal information. They also will not visit your home and try to sell you products.

A few tips to avoid Medicare fraud include:

  • Protect your Medicare number and your Social Security number. Be very careful about when and who you give it out to.
  • Use a calendar to record all your doctor appointments and what tests you get. Then check your Medicare statements to make sure that each service listed and all the details are correct.
  • Always make sure you understand how a health plan works before you sign up.
  • Don’t be swayed by any kind of advertising or salesmen that swear they have your best interest at heart.
  • Have all legitimate Medicare contact information handy

If you believe that somebody is committing Medicare fraud, then you should report that person immediately. When reporting somebody, make sure you have the following information:

  • The provider’s name and any identifying number you may have
  • The service or item you are questioning
  • The date the service or item was supposedly given or delivered
  • The payment amount approved and paid by Medicare
  • The date on your MSN
  • Your name and Medicare number
  • The reason you think Medicare should not have paid
  • Any other information you have showing why Medicare should not have paid for a service or item

Family & Friend Scams

We’ve already mentioned that some scammers might pose as family members in order to coax seniors out of their savings. However, a senior’s family or friends could be the ones perpetrating the scam. These people will usually try to manipulate the senior into giving them money. This is common if the senior is isolated or depends on the family member or friend. The friend or family member may also get power of attorney over the senior’s finances. With this, the scammer can access the senior’s savings and spend without restraint. This is especially dangerous if the senior has dementia or is otherwise incapacitated.

It can be hard for authorities to learn when this scam is happening. Many seniors are reluctant to turn in their friend or loved one. They may also feel shame or embarrassment about being scammed by a family member. The scammers could also isolate the senior, so others won’t learn about any financial exploitation. It’s important to remember that there are options to combat senior financial abuse from family and friends, and that the earlier the authorities are contacted and the scam ends, the better for everyone.

Repair Fraud

You hear a knock at the door. You open it to find a roofer, electrician or landscaper with hat in hand, telling you that they have been doing some work in the area and noticed that your house could use a touch-up. What might sound like a convenience and a good deal is likely a scam. Repair scams happen when these people do not perform the service they have said that they have done. When this happens, call the police.

Repair scam can also happen with the mechanic. A mechanic might look at a senior as an easy target, and grossly overcharge them or recommend repairs that a car does not need. If you believe that something is suspect, then speak to a younger loved one or get a second opinion on your car. Also, ask the person for their contractor’s license and references.

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are usually fraudulent emails that seem to come from legitimate organizations. These emails then get you to divulge private information, usually by directing you to a website that appears safe. Once they have your personal information, they are able to commit identity theft. Identity theft can be devastating, draining a person’s hard-earned savings and damaging credit scores. Repairing the damage wrought by identity theft can take years. Even opening a phishing email can result in computer viruses, which are costly to repair.

One way to avoid getting caught in a phishing scam is by not clicking on a link or downloading information unless you are absolutely sure that you know who the sender is. Also, do not email any personal or financial information. Keeping your personal information secure online is of the utmost importance.

Who to Call if You Suspect Something is Wrong

If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, we suggest you contact your local authorities as soon as possible. Even if it is a false alarm, it is better to be safe than sorry. Signing up on the FCC’s Do-Not-Call registry can also cut down on the number of potential scammers who will call you. This can be done over the phone at (888) 382-1222 or online at donotcall.gov.

Senior fraud affects millions of people across the country. Fraud victims should not feel ashamed if someone has taken advantage of them. Contacting the authorities is the best way to make sure these people can’t harm anyone else. If you have any tips for fighting senior fraud and scams that we haven’t touched on, please share in our comment section.


1. Common Senior Fraud Schemes | Return to Text
2. Elder Abuse: Financial Scams Against Seniors | Return to Text
3. Top 10 Scams Targeting Seniors | Return to Text

What You Need to Know About Medical Alert Devices

Staying Put at Home Tips for Home Safety Having the security of a medical alert device or personal emergency response system (PERS) in your home can help you feel more confident about Aging in Place, as you’ll have somebody available in case of emergency. In a 2005 survey, 75.6% of participants said they felt more secure with a medical alert device.1 This week, Staying Put at Home looks at what a medical alert device is and what you need to know before getting one.

What is A Medical Alert Device?

Are you afraid of falling at home? Are you apprehensive about staying in your house because of this? Medical alert devices are designed to address this concern. These appliances usually include a pendant that you can wear around your wrist or neck and a base station that is plugged into your wall. In case of emergency, you can push a button on your pendant, which will send a signal to your base station, alerting your dispatcher that you are in distress.

What Questions You Should Ask About a Medical Alert Device

Not all medical alert devices offer the same services. Think about what you are looking for in a medical alert device and make sure you get the one that suits your home and your needs. We’ve gathered a few questions you should ask to help find out which medical alert device is your best option:

  • Is my monitoring station open 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Who does it notify when my button is pushed? What is the dispatcher’s training? What is their response time?
  • Does my medical alert device use a landline or is it cellular? (This is important if you do not have a landline in your home.)
  • How far is the range of my medical alert system? Will my pendant work from anywhere in my home?
  • Do I install my medical alert device or does your company have someone who will do this? If you do have an installer, will you charge me extra to install it in my home?
  • Do I own my medical alert device? Am I just leasing it? What happens if my equipment is damaged? Is it waterproof?
  • Does my device come with automatic fall detection?
  • Is a mobile 911 phone included with purchase of the medical alert device?
  • Is it certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL)?

Cost

Most medical alert systems cost $25-$75 per month.2 Be wary of any company that charges less than this amount, as they may be cutting corners and not providing you with valuable benefits. Some companies will charge a setup fee, which usually costs $50-$200. Although Medicare will generally not cover the cost of medical alert systems, some state Medicaid programs will assist in payment. For example, HCBS waivers and Consumer Directed Services can be used to fund your medical alert system.3

Read the Fine Print

Inspect your contract carefully before you sign it. Many medical alert systems use long-term contracts that do not have an opt-out clause, trapping you with a system and payment plan you may not want. Some companies will charge you if your medical alert device’s button is accidentally pushed and triggers a false alarm. Other companies may not call 911 if the button is pushed, thereby leaving you stranded in case of emergency. Cancellation policies also differ between some companies, so you might not be able to cancel immediately. Make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for by checking www.fda.gov to find out if a medical alert system’s company has had any recalls or complaints.

Beware of Scams

In 2013, a story made the rounds about calls offering free life alert systems to seniors. If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. These scams will often cold-call seniors and pressure them to provide bank account and social security information. They will often use generic names like “Medical Alert USA” and “Medical Alert Systems” to trick people into believing they are legitimate.

In 2014, the scam returned. This time, though, it was an automated message telling seniors that they were entitled to a free device and $3,000 worth of coupons. They instructed seniors to press 1 if they wanted more information and press 5 if they wanted to be taken off the call list. If this happens to you, hang up. If you press 5, the scammers will know that your phone number is working, and they will bombard you with more calls.

We hope that this article has clarified some of the questions about medical alert devices. There are many medical alert companies out there, and we advise you to do your research to find out which one works for you. Did we leave anything out? Please let us know in the comment section!


1. Use of Personal Emergency Response Systems by Older Individuals with Disabilities | Return to Text
2. Medicaid and Personal Emergency Response Services / Personal Safety Monitors | Return to Text
3. Medicaid and Personal Emergency Response Services / Personal Safety Monitors – HCBS Waivers | Return to Text

Keeping Your Private Information Safe — Part 2

Staying Put at Home Tips for Senior SecurityLast week, Staying Put at Home detailed steps to take to protect your information on the Internet. Safeguarding your online security is essential to avoiding identity theft, but overlooking the offline tactics that scammers also use can still leave you vulnerable. It takes only one credit card offer for a crook to assume your identity and defraud you of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Opt Out of Financial Offers

Are you looking for a new line of credit? If not, credit card offers likely do little more than fill up your garbage. Unless a con artist gets to them first. Especially when you have an unsecured mailbox, a scammer can easily grab your mail without you ever knowing it. To stop receiving potentially risky offers, the Federal Trade Commission recommends going to optoutprescreen.com and adding yourself to its list.

Shred Confidential Documents

Whether it’s an unwanted credit card offer, old paystub or ATM receipt, never let any item with your name, social security number, banking account number, address or even phone number go directly into the trash. Once your bins are at the curb or bags are in the dumpster, con artists can fish through your garbage to find this information. Invest in a shredder and destroy sensitive documents you no longer wish to keep.

Sign Up for Online Billing

Do you still get your bank statements and bills through the mail? If so, you might be making it easier for an identity thief to swipe them for fraudulent purposes. Last week’s post discussed the importance of setting up secure passwords to protect your Internet information. As long as you take this essential step, though, you can reduce your identity theft risk by switching over to online billing and banking.

Lock Up Your Social Security Card

Your social security number plays a pivotal role in your financial security and identity. That makes it especially attractive to con artists. For this reason, never keep your social security card with your credit cards or ATM card. A single moment of distraction can lead to a scammer taking an unattended wallet or purse and leaving you to deal with months or even years of identity theft fallout.

Do you have more suggestions on how our readers can avoid identity theft? Please let us know about them in our comments section.

Keeping Your Private Information Safe — Part 1

Staying Put at Home Tips for Senior Security

Do you worry about becoming the victim of fraud? The unfortunate truth is that seniors are frequently the target of unscrupulous people. The National Council on Aging notes that scammers go after boomers because they often have significant savings and unsuspecting attitudes. As more seniors take to the Internet, fraudsters too are using it to gather and manipulate private information. Though the Internet can offer a wonderful alternative for simplifying daily tasks and contacting loved ones, it’s important to safeguard the information you send through it.

Protect Your Social Media Shares

Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter make it possible to connect with loved ones around the world. If you use these sites, though, be aware of your privacy settings. Some individuals may post updates without realizing that anyone with an Internet connection can see them. Unless you place restrictions on who can see your posts, you might inadvertently give strangers access to personal information that they can use to their advantage.

Look for Security Measures

When you make a purchase or payment—or just look at your bank account online—you are sending private information through the Internet that con artists could intercept. So prior to initiating a financial action, look at your address bar. The website URL should begin with “https.” This signifies that the website uses encryption to secure transmitted information. A lock icon also indicates a safe site; however, do not rely on this image alone to assess site safety. Scammers can add this icon to deceive users into a false sense of security.

Be Wary of Unsolicited Emails

Fraudulent emails, also known as phishing emails, run rampant across the Internet. Con artists create emails that masquerade as banks, credit card companies, or even the IRS—any trusted institution that might get your attention. These messages typically demand immediate action and provide a link to a fake website that requests confidential data such as your credit card number or account username and password. If you receive such an email, do not click on the link. Instead, contact the institution it claims to represent and check the veracity of the email.

Diversify Your Passwords

Even well-protected websites are not immune to data breaches. If you use a website that suffers an online security issue, fraudsters could access your username and password—or worse. If you use the same username and password for multiple sites, you may be giving up the information you have provided to each of them. To minimize identity theft threats, create a distinct username and password for each website. Also, choose difficult-to-guess words and phrases. While your middle name might be easy to recall, it can leave you exposed to scammers.

Have more online security tips for our readers? Let us know in our comments section.

The Grandparent Scam

Staying Put at Home Tips for Senior SecurityBetty Logan* was at home in California when she received a call from her grandson. A college freshman studying in Arizona, Steve had gone to Mexico with friends and now was being held on phony drug charges by local authorities. Fearful that his parents would be upset about his trip across the border, Steve asked Betty if she could forward the funds necessary to pay off the corrupt cops. Frightened for her grandson, Betty told him that she first wanted to tell his mother about the incident. Two phone calls later, the first to Steve’s mom and the second to Steve’s cell phone, both women learned that he was safe at school. Steve was not being held by the Mexican police, nor had he ever stepped foot in Mexico. Betty then realized that she was the latest victim of the grandparent scam.

What is the grandparent scam?

According to the FBI, the grandparent scam is a type of fraud that targets senior Americans. The imposters who commit these crimes typically pose as the grandchildren of unsuspecting victims. They gather extensive personal data about the young adults they impersonate and the seniors they target—and may even use information about extended family members—to convince their victims of their identities. Should they make contact via telephone, they sound young and bewildered, much like a grandchild in trouble would. Believing these very persuasive criminals, grandparents wire the requested funds, which can be thousands of dollars.

Who is at risk for the grandparent scam?

Though nicknamed the grandparent scam, anyone is vulnerable to the tactics of these fraudulent individuals. In some cases, it may be an older aunt, friend, or other loved one who gets the call or email. Some con artists also use accomplices to pose as authority figures so that their stories appear creditable, and all scammers prey upon the emotions of those they target.

How can you protect yourself from the grandparent scam?

These criminals collect as much personal information as possible so that their impersonations seem genuine. So to protect yourself from the grandparent scam, monitor carefully all confidential data. Never throw away mail with personal information on it without first shredding the documents. If you use social media such as Facebook or Twitter, be careful of what information you make public. Should you receive a call from a seemingly frightened and desperate friend or family member, avoid the urge to immediately comply with his or her wishes. Instead, hang up, call back the loved one in question and then contact the authorities.

Have you experienced the grandparent scam? Share your story in our comments section. The information you provide could possibly save someone else from becoming a victim.

*The names in this story have been changed for privacy reasons.