More and more people passing the age of retirement are continuing to work full-time or part-time. A growing number are discovering the opportunities that the internet is providing for them to leverage, for financial gain, the skills and knowledge that they have acquired in their lives.
These skills however, are not limited to the workplace. Indeed, it is by sharing information about hobbies, sports, and life skills that are, that they are offering a real legacy to the next generations.
Baby Boomers – the generation born between 1945 and 1965 – are in the box seat when it comes to leverage their skills online. They are, in general, better educated that their parents, most have remained true to their occupation (amassing high level skills in the process), they have enjoyed a variety of lifestyle choices, and most have electronic communication skills.
However, it is their parents – those who remain with us – who have some old-school skills that it would be very sad to lose. And this presents yet another opportunity: for Baby Boomers to record and preserve their parents’ knowledge.
Believe it or not, there are young people today who would like to make a cake that didn’t come from a packet in the supermarket. There are people who prefer custom made furniture and would love advice on making the perfect dovetail joint. And there are researchers who would like first-hand accounts of life during international conflicts, of journalism and science in the 40s and 50s.
The internet presents an amazing opportunity for knowledge sharing on a massive scale.
Benefits of Working, Online or Offline, Beyond Retirement
Even with life savings, the increasing costs of living and longer life expectancies of retirees may render a retirement fund insufficient. Weak markets have taken their toll on investment properties threatening the liquidity of retirees. Working part-time or full-time ensures continuous income for retirees.
Doctors have long been aware of the important health benefits of staying active at an older age, particularly for mental health. Moreover, a study conducted by the University of Maryland suggests that older individuals who continued working, whether full-time or part-time, after retirement had fewer major diseases or disabilities than those who stopped working.
Lack of social activity has been linked to rapid decline in motor function leading some specialists to recommend regular social interaction for elderly people. Working presents opportunities for regular interaction with others and is recommended for the elderly.
Older people tend to pursue their passions in their retirement years, starting new career paths that they have always dreamed of or establishing new businesses. This promotes positive attitudes and feelings of happiness and well-being.
Working From Home For Older People
Internet technology and advanced computer applications have made it possible for many people to work from home. A reliable computer and good internet connection, and, preferably, a dedicated workspace, are that is needed in most cases. If video tutorials help to get techniques and messages across, a regular video camera (even the inexpensive Flip camera will do!) will be required.
Anyone who wants to succeed in working from home for an employer must have strong self-motivation and an openness to change, as traditional working arrangements take on alternative forms online. On the other hand, managers who wish to tap the valuable experience and expertise of older people need to consider flexible job structures and workloads and to offer training and mentoring as well.
Get Paid For Knowledge Sharing
2011 has heralded a new form of peer-to-peer teaching and learning, with the recent launch of learnable.com.
This online platform has made it possible for people with knowledge on just about any topic – from worm composting to writing code – to create information products and sell them to a worldwide audience of information seekers.
The beauty of learnable.com is that ‘teachers’ create their product just once, and it remains for sale in downloadable form, on the site for as long as the teacher chooses. It is the classic example of how to earn a recurring income.
Learning is a lifelong pursuit, so this site is ideal for older people to learn about different topics as well. The courses are inexpensive, ranging from around $10-50.
Your Own Website
Knowledge has value. In these days of instant gratification, young people who want information, want it NOW, and they are willing to pay to have it NOW. Their being able to find and access the information that you have to share is made easier by having a well architected website, that the search engines rank well.
Setting up your own website has become so easy, with services like SuperFastWebsites who can have a good looking, easy to manage, website up and running for you in no time – for just a few hundred dollars.
If you have trouble writing the website content to promote your products or services, it has never been easier to outsource content writing.
Armed with your product or service details, a website and a PayPal account, you can be selling online in a snap.
Preserving the knowledge of older people for future generations via an online platform is a powerful gift to future generations. Video hints and tips can create a bond between generations that has before now been impossible.
Creating a website as a means of preserving knowledge, e.g. A video of Grandma making the traditional family festive cake, or Dad pruning his prize roses, allows simple, yet priceless, skills are kept alive. Putting the video on a simple WordPress website can be extremly simple: easy upload to YouTube, then copy the embed code to your page or post!
Paid Employment: Work From Home
For those looking for paid online employment, there are many options – and the list grows daily, including:
Customer service representatives
This employee answers incoming calls, takes orders, tracks existing orders and handles customer complaints for clients. Most companies offer paid training periods which can benefit the elderly.
In the United States, attorneys who are working on cases need to obtain important feedback about the details of their cases by presenting them to online jurors who sit in mock juries. Digital files in various video and audio formats make this type of job possible without leaving home.
Companies have increasingly tapped the services of virtual assistants who perform various administrative tasks such as making travel arrangement, sending out letters and other support services that may be done through the phone or Internet. Anyone who wants to work as a virtual assistant may need knowledge in computer software applications, desktop publishing, project management, spreadsheets and database management.
Teaching students online is also a popular job that the elderly can do. Usual subject areas for teaching include world history, physics, science, math and English. Advanced learning programs may also offer tutorial sessions for helping students pass the SAT. Online tutors need to pass an exam for subjects they intend to teach.
Writing online includes many activities such as copywriting, article and press release writing, proof reading, technical and resume writing. To excel in this field, one must have a good grasp of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Other types of work that can do from home are consulting and mentoring where their long years of experience are an asset.
Online work opportunities for retirees abound in the Web but the challenge lies in determining which ones are legitimate and not mere scams. As a rule of thumb, anything that promises instant wealth without any effort or which charges a fee to obtain additional information about a job is not a legitimate offer and must be ignored.
Reputable work at home sites, where jobs are posted, include ratracerebellion.com, alpineaccess.com and Elance.com.
The Biggest Database Ever
The internet is the ultimate museum, library or employment agency. It is a way for any individual – regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, culture or disability to learn, teach and work. And it provides an unprecedented opportunity for older people to financially benefit from the knowledge that they have gathered over decades.
Seizing the opportunity for you, your parent, your grandparent or your charity to profit from that knowledge, is just the click of a mouse button away.