Gig jobs could boost your bottom line in retirement

Personal Finance

Ella Tyler found a few surprises in retirement that led her to return to the work force.

But like many retirees, the work she’s doing now in no way resembles what she used to do in her professional career.

Tyler, 67, had quit practicing law when she moved to Texas after she got married. But then her husband died. And after Tyler remodelled her house, she realized she needed more money.

That prompted Tyler to look for jobs to pick up extra work.

She noticed an ad for tutors for the Law School Admissions Test with Varsity Tutors, an online education platform. Now, Tyler keeps busy teaching classes for the LSAT exam, as well as English as a second language and business writing, for up to $27 per hour.

The extra money, plus the ability to still use her professional skills, has given Tyler new confidence.

“As you get older, you wonder if you still have it,” Tyler said. “And yes, I do. So there’s a little bit of an ego satisfaction to it.”

Tyler is not alone. About 31 percent of workers who only work in the gig economy are baby boomers, according to a 2017 Prudential Financial survey, and 34 percent of those workers are retired.

For boomers, this work can involve overcoming the belief that there’s a stigma attached to contract work and understanding that they need to be immediately available and familiar with technology in order to compete, according to Olga Mizrahi, author of the book “The Gig is Up: Thrive in the Gig Economy, Where Old Jobs are Obsolete and Freelancing is the Future.”

“Even if you’re hired offline, I think that immediacy and being able to respond right away is really paramount for success,” Mizrahi said.

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