Have you seen DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket commercials featuring retired Denver Broncos’ quarterback, Peyton Manning?
One of the most beloved athletes in history, Manning is dressed in his bathrobe and can be seen doing typical things such as grocery shopping, lounging at home, and, my favorite, which features the former superstar sitting on a park bench when a stranger slowly turns to him and deadpans: “I’m retired. I just sit here watching nothing. If I were you, I’d work as long as you can.” (See the commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WsKUpA75qAi)
Americans are now working longer than any generation of the past 75 years. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that for the first time (since it began tracking these stats), the average age of retirement is no longer in decline, but rising. (It’s currently age 63.ii) Perhaps more importantly, a full 75 percent of people are planning to work in some capacity after the age of 65.iii
But here’s the catch: we’re not continuing to work at our careers, and we’re not working full time, or strictly for the money. According to AARPiii, we’re working for the quality of life and to stay active and involved.
We are living longer, and therefore the duration of our retirement is significantly longer than 50 years ago. Today, a healthy 65-year-old woman has a 25 percent chance of living to age 96 (while it’s 93, for a man).iv
Retirees now view this chapter of their lives as “an opportunity for reinvention.”v People are clearly looking for more flexibility (73 percent report this as a priority), and, in support of this, a recent study found that working retirees are 3X more likely than pre-retirees to be entrepreneurs.vi
What is the “gig economy”? Not everyone is cut out to run a business. In response, the gig economy provides work for thousands of people who complete projects or tasks, often coordinated through a digital marketplace, and who are subsequently paid for one project at a time. One recent study estimates that by 2020 as much as 40 percent of the U.S. economy could be comprised of independent workers with short-term contracts.vii
The gig economy can be a great opportunity for retirees looking to continue working. In fact, the private taxi service Uber recently brokered a partnership with AARP to tap into the 50-and older workforce. Today, nearly 1 in 4 Uber drivers are over the age of 50.
Freelancing also provides older workers greater flexibility, opportunities for learning and growth, and an income stream to stretch your retirement dollars into the future.
Here’s the good news: If you are looking for creative ways to fill your time, and make some extra money in the process, you can use your skills, experience and flexible schedule to thrive in our new “gig economy.” What follows are six ways to take advantage of the gig economy:
Want to learn more about the new face of retirement? Here are 3 resources to help you learn how you can make the gig economy work for you: