When our careers are in full swing, we don’t think about the importance of jobs for retirees. Either we assume that we will save enough money to live in comfort in the “best years of our lives” or we look forward to enjoying our freedom in retirement, without working, even if it means cutting back on luxuries. 

Then, we reach retirement age and our perspective starts to shift. The freedom that we craved for most of our lives finally arrives… but, it leaves many of us feeling like we are missing a sense of purpose.

Financially, the “small sacrifices” that we thought we would have to make in retirement start to look like the tip of the iceberg as healthcare, assisted living and other costs appear on the horizon. We need more money, meaningful activities and flexibility.

Our Love Hate Relationship with Jobs for Retirees

When I talk with other women my age, they tell me that they aren’t interested in working fulltime any more. Instead, they are looking for part-time job opportunities that allow them to earn a little bit of extra cash, while staying social and maintaining a sense of purpose.

Unfortunately, unless you worked in a professional career and have skills that transfer easily to freelancing, this set of requirements can be hard to find.

Either you end up looking at retail work, which doesn’t pay well, is hard on your body and doesn’t really do much for your sense of purpose. Or, you volunteer, which can be an excellent way to make friends and increase your sense of purpose… but, it won’t pay your bills!

Well, today, I had a conversation with my son that convinced me that being a nanny may be an excellent choice for many seniors.

Why Older Women Make Excellent Nannies

During our conversation, my son mentioned that he was reading a book called “Bright from the Start.” It is a book about how to help your child to get the best possible start in life. My son has an 8-month-old little boy, so, he is starting to think about kindergartens and other daycare options.

One of the surprising arguments that the author of this book makes is that structured daycare options, such as kindergartens, don’t necessarily provide better care than nannies. In fact, since a nanny can work with a child one-on-one, there is a better chance that she will bond with the child and will be able to give him or her the love and nurturing that he or she needs.

That said, it is not only the child who can benefit from having a loving adopted grandma in his or her life; as older women, we can also benefit from having a child in our lives.

We All Need to Be Needed

Think about it for a second. Regardless of whether we have grandchildren of our own, one of the most powerful things that we can do to make the world a better place is to play a positive role in the life of a child.

When we are needed, we feel alive, important and purposeful. Being a nanny is more than a job; it is an opportunity to make a difference in the world, while contributing to our own financial future.

Being a Nanny Isn’t for Everyone

I know quite a few older women for whom the idea of looking after a child would seem just about as fun as getting a root canal. These women either raised their own children and have no desire to repeat the process or they decided to avoid having children to focus on other priorities.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If you don’t enjoy being around kids, being a nanny is a horrible idea! But, if you enjoy being around kids and have plenty of energy, this might be the perfect job!

Finding Work as a Nanny is All About Relationships

In today’s digital world, most of the businesses that you could start require a great deal of online marketing. First, you need a website. Then, you need to be on social media. Next, you need to decide how to advertise to your potential customers. The list goes on and on!

Finding work as a nanny is all about personal relationships. As a result, it is a business that any of us could start.

Take the time to get to know your neighbors – and tell them that you are looking for work as a nanny. Leave a note in each mailbox in your neighborhood. Offer to help out, occasionally, in the evenings, to build trust. If you invest in your reputation, you will soon have burned out parents knocking down your door to stay with their children.

Being a Nanny = Extra Cash, a Sense of Purpose and Part-Time Hours

If you look at the three things that most women look for when it comes to jobs for seniors, working as a nanny checks all the boxes.

It is a way to make some extra cash, without having to work retail. It allows you to gain a sense of purpose by making a difference in the life of a child. And, it has the potential to offer flexible, part-time hours.

If you love kids, I hope that you will consider being a nanny. It really could change your life!

Would you consider being a nanny in retirement? Why or why not? What do you think are the best jobs for retirees? Why? Let’s have a chat!

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