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Aging Well

Working Your Way Through Retirement

Many people who waited eagerly for the day they could stop working and enjoy a leisurely retirement find that the reality doesn’t match their dreams.

“Some people are not prepared financially or mentally to retire,” says Michael Bivona, a retired CPA and author of the book “Retiring? Beware!! Don’t Run Out of Money and Don’t Become Bored” (

He suggests a part-time job provides a possible solution for both deficiencies – giving a boost to your bank account and a mission to your daily living that another round of golf just isn’t supplying.

“I don’t think many people realize that they may live 30 to 40 years after leaving the workforce,” Bivona says. “The amount of money required to sustain a comfortable lifestyle is staggering.”

Meanwhile, boredom becomes an insidious enemy, even for retirees with a beloved pastime they hoped to make the centerpiece of their existence. Playing tennis or lying on the beach is relaxing and pleasurable when done once a week or a couple of times a month. But the novelty wears off quickly when it becomes a person’s primary occupation, Bivona says.

He suggests a few part-time job possibilities that could work out nicely for retirees, whether their needs are financial or they just want a place to go every day to mingle with co-workers:

•  Cruise ship employment. This is an ideal way to combine a part-time job with pleasure, Bivona says. The ships provide room and board and the use of their facilities when the workers are not plying their trade. Possible jobs onboard cruise ships include golf instructors, scuba diving/water sports instructors, bridge instructors, arts and crafts instructors, caricature artists, dance instructors and photographers.

“The opportunities on cruise ships are endless,” Bivona says. “Where else can retirees spend time teaching what they enjoy while traveling around the world, eating wonderful food and earning extra pocket money? I have a friend who has been a dance host on ships for six years, and plans on continuing for as long as his legs hold out.”

•  Librarian. Part-time work at the local library could be a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys being around both books and other people who appreciate them. The duties include answering customers’ questions, shelving books, helping patrons check out books, tracking overdue materials and cataloging and keeping an eye out for lost and damaged items.

•  Bookkeeper. If you have the right experience with bookkeeping and computer applications, then this can be a good possibility. Usually, the opportunities are with small businesses and entail a full sweep of financial record keeping. Duties may include establishing and maintaining inventory database systems, tracing accounts receivable and accounts payable, maintaining checking and savings accounts, producing financial reports and following up on delinquent accounts.


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