We’ve all seen the investment firm commercials warning Baby Boomers they haven’t saved enough for retirement. And we’ve all heard the NPR reports about insufficient Social Security reserves and recession-ravaged 401ks.
But despite the fact that we’re bombarded seemingly everyday with reminders about the importance of saving for retirement, most people are still having difficulty making it happen. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that half of America’s working population have no retirement savings at all, and of those who do, two-thirds don’t have enough to maintain their standard of living.
This is why so many would-be retirees are working well past 65. In fact, people aged 75 and older are currently the fastest growing demographic for labor force participation. In 1996 about 5% of those in this age group were active members of the American workforce. By 2016 that figure grew to 8.4% and is expected to be over 10% by 2026.
If you’re considering re-entering the job market for an encore career, now is a great time to get started. We’re in the midst of the strongest job market in decades, and that means most skilled workers with a wealth of work experience can take their pick of what they’d like to do and where.
We were pleasantly surprised at just how true this is when looking at the top opportunities for encore careers. Using the ZipRecruiter Opportunity Index—which compares the number of job openings to applicants actively applying for those jobs—we looked at the roles retirees are best suited for and found the most opportunity happens to be in some of America’s ideal retirement locations.
These jobs all share the quality of having flexible, often self-directed hours and workloads. And they’re all sunny and warm.
Encore Career: Business Consultant
Retire in: Miami, FL
Average Annual Temperature: 77 degrees
Consulting is a great option for a retired business professional looking to make their own hours, be their own boss, and earn as much or as little as needed to maintain their standard of living. For every consultant in Miami right now there are 13 businesses hoping to hire them. There’s even greater demand here than in Washington D.C., which is typically considered the consulting capital of the world.
Encore Career: Real Estate Agent
Retire in: Oxnard, CA
Average Annual Temperature: 61 degrees
It’s no secret that the real estate market is hot. From disruptive tech companies to traditional brokerages, demand for real estate agents is through the roof (pun intended). Oxnard, CA, a small beach town about an hour north of L.A., currently has the highest demand for real estate agents in the country, according to ZipRecruiter data. Maybe the best news of all is how affordable Oxnard is compared to other coastal California towns. You can snag a beachside condo here for less than $450,000.
Encore Career: Vocational School Instructor
Retire in: Los Angeles, CA
Average Annual Temperature: 64 degrees
Ever since IBM CEO Ginni Rometty coined the term “new collar” to describe well-paying jobs that require specific skills but not necessarily a degree, vocational schools have made a serious comeback. Apparently instructors are in short supply in sunny L.A., where there are 13 jobs at vocational schools for every applicant on the market. This is a great opportunity for skilled retirees since, unlike teaching at a public school that requires a state certificate, the only requirement here is that you be a seasoned expert in your field.
Encore Career: Tourist Wrangler
Retire in: Austin, TX
Average Annual Temperature: 69 degrees
As the economy continues to soar and more Americans have disposable income to spend, the tourism industry has taken off. This is particularly true in Austin, TX, where there were an astounding 36 tourism jobs for every applicant in July. Between four-star hotels, the raucous rock n’ roll scene, and a burgeoning foodie culture, Austin is the place to be if you want to work in hospitality.
Encore Career: Supporter of the Arts
Retire in: Charleston, SC
Average Annual Temperature: 66 degrees
If you’re a Baby Boomer with an degree in the arts, now could be the perfect time to revisit your passion for creativity, especially if you also want to live in the epicenter of southern charm. Between the 14 art galleries on King Street in Old Town, an abundance of acting companies and theaters, and music festivals galore, it’s not surprising there were 25 jobs for every artsy applicant in Charleston as of July.
Compound interest is a beautiful thing when you have the means to save and invest. But if you’re behind the curve when it comes to your retirement nest egg, at least you can supplement your income on your own terms, and maybe have a little fun doing it.