Want to keep working – at least some of the time? Here’s how and some smart ideas

There are good reasons many want to keep working – full or part time – beyond their official retirement age. For some, it’s about wanting income to top up their pension. For others, it’s all about keeping active and engaged with others.

Whichever it may be, there are lots of opportunities and even an organisation dedicated to helping people find the right one.

The organisation is Rest Less, with a mission to help those 50-plus make the most of the years ahead in the area of employment. That includes helping people identify suitable jobs, highlighting age-friendly employers, and campaigning to promote age diversity in the workplace.

In support of their mission is a comprehensive website and a regular email updates on thousands of vacancies and opportunities. For the big picture see their website Rest Less.

On offer too is a free career guide for those usually deemed to be towards the end of their working life – full of tips and resources. You can find it at career guide.

Meanwhile, if keeping going is on your agenda, here are some job opportunities you may never have thought of, which all come from Rest Less.


If you have an abundance of compassion and empathy then working as a Doula could be ideal – helping those facing either birth or death feel secure and supported.

It may involve holding the hand of a woman in labour, cooking and cleaning, offering words of support or sharing in someone’s favourite hobby as they make the most of their final months of life.

No academic qualifications are needed to get started. And training courses can teach you all you need. Doula’s tend to be self-employed and offer services in their area, charging a price per hour.

Interested in working with women and families during pregnancy, birth or just after? Here’s a link to training courses. Or interested in becoming an end of life Doula? Here’s a link to training courses.

Prison Officer

A prison officer has a part to play as a role model, negotiator and educator – including motivating prisoners to make good decisions for themselves and others. No previous qualifications or experience are needed. But you’ll need to be fit, with and have basic maths and English skills.

The application process involves tests online and in person. If successful, you get a prison tour and a 12-week paid training programme before commencing the role. Interested in finding out more? Then go to Prison Officers.

Film or TV Extra

Here’s a flexible way to get paid just for turning up. And, at the same time, seeing behind the scenes and meeting a wide variety of people.

As a Film or TV extra you are paid just to be an extra body in film and/or tv productions. Check out casting agencies like Extra PeoplePhoenix Casting and Mad Dog 2020 that recruit extras around the country.

Food Taster

Fancy getting paid to taste and give your opinion on different foods? Then you can. Waiting for your taste buds are chocolate for some of the world’s leading brands through to a supermarket’s own-brand product.

No experience is needed as sensory training is provided. But you’ll need to be allergy and intolerance-free. You’ll also need good communication skill. As the next step check out food taster.


Here’s a flexible role driving individuals or groups in a car, van or limousine, making sure their ride is as smooth and pleasant. Each day can be different and usually very interesting as you engage with clients leading a range of lifestyles.

Required are a clean full UK driving licence and calm and confidence behind the wheel. Training is also available through the British Chauffeurs Guild. To learn more go to chauffeurs.

However, if you would rather volunteer rather than take on a paid role, check out the AfterWorkNet web pages on Serving. The cover everything from volunteering and using your skills in your church, your community and internationally. The link is serving.

What’s your experience of working on after your expected expiry date? Or being marginalised for your age? Please share it here or with the AfterWorkNet Facebook group. Thank you.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

The number of over-70s still working has doubled – in just 10 years. What’s going on? And why does it matter?

A very significant change is happening in our society. And those still working in their 70s are at its heart.

What’s significant is how many more of them now work full or part time. And, with the numbers growing year on year, even if you have yet to hit 70 it points to what is likely to be ahead.

Why is this ‘significant’? I’ll get to that. And also what’s good and bad about it all.

But first, here come the facts.

The number of people aged 70 and over still working full or part-time has more than doubled over the past 10 years.

We know this thanks to new data from the Office for National Statistics. It highlights that 10 years ago only one in 22 of those 70 and over were working. But now it’s boomed to one in 12.

This means almost half a million of us who are, or will be, in our 70s earning a crust either full or part time.

But there’s more.

The research discovered more than 53,000 over 80s are still working in the UK, with a quarter doing so full-time. That’s something unheard of in previous generations.

Why is this happening?

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less which commissioned the research and generates work opportunities for the over-50s, was quoted in The Guardian as giving two reasons. He said, ‘Many are looking to top up their pension savings while they still can. But there is also a growing understanding of the many health and social benefits that come with working into retirement.

Both of those reasons are worth exploring because of what they reveal.

Working to top up a pension

For many it is just a nice bonus to be able to add a little income in later years. However – for too many – doing so is an absolute necessity and is about much more than topping up pension savings.

According to Catherine Seymour, head of policy at Independent Age, ‘One in every six people – nearly two million – of pension age are now living in poverty and every day, another 226 people join that number.’

Sadly, this fact may have escaped the attention of affluent suburban retirees. However, Catherine notes, ‘Many now working in their late sixties and seventies are doing so out of necessity to pay the rent, heat their homes and afford their weekly shop.’

Should that not be a wakeup call to many, including Government?

And should it also add a perspective to those like me. Those able to top up our pensions through work because we can and not due to driven necessity.

If that extra income is important to you, check out some great ‘add to my income’ ideas at our recent blog 20 Ways to Earn More Money in Your Retirement.

Working because it’s good for us

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less also speaks of ‘the many health and social benefits that come with working into retirement.’ He could not be more right.

Whatever the motivation for someone working beyond the official retirement date, there’s good news in it all. To put it simply, the longer you keep your body and brain active the longer you are likely to live.

With this in mind, work – paid or voluntary – has a major role. It’s a way to have a purpose, be socially connected, and keep the brain and body on the go. And its benefits are backed up by solid research including –

  • A study by the University of Exeter discovered helping others on a regular basis could reduce early death rates by 22 per cent.
  • Researchers at Oregon State University warn retiring early could be a risk factor for an early death – with working even one more year likely to extend life.
  • A fifteen-year study of 83,000 older adults published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, suggested those working past 65 were about three times more likely to say they enjoyed good health and about half as likely to have serious health problems, such as cancer or heart disease.

For more on how keeping active contributes to the quality of life, see our blog The 6 keys to a longer and healthier life.

If you are interested in finding ways to keep working – either paid or as a volunteer – see the AfterWorkNet webpage on Opportunities.

There’s also help through the Rest Less initiative – the research sponsors. This helps retired people find a part time role and those over 50 change career.

They also list thousands of jobs from age-friendly employers including –

Metro Bank, looking for those with flexible hours to deliver their commitment to 7 days a week walk-in banking.

After-school nannies, an initiative of Koru Kids making it easier and more affordable for families to enjoy high quality childcare.

Now Teach, which creates a route for those with decades of experience to become teachers.

Financial Coaching, provided by Hatch and helping people manage their money more effectively.

A final warning

Beneath these new statistics on the multitude now working longer lurks is a very significant fact. It’s that men are twice as likely as women to be working in these later years.

Although the research doesn’t spell out why, it seems reasonable to make a simple and concerning assumption as to what’s going on.

The men are enjoying the benefits of ‘significance’ and ‘companionship’ that the workplace brings. Meanwhile, the women are most likely experiencing the very opposite – with their time taken up isolated and pressured delivering child care to their grandchildren.

We should not escape the stark difference that may be involved and the implications this has for the need to cherish the women involved.

What is your experience of working – full or part time, paid or voluntary – beyond the normal retirement date? Please share it here or with our Facebook Group.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s still working part time in his 70s, helping churches and resourcing inter-church initiatives. This is alongside enjoying his eight grandchildren, escaping to Spain and spending his kids’ inheritance.

Heading for the end of full-time work? You need the Ten Planning Commandments for Retirement.

Is retirement heading your way? If so, it’s far too big a transition to drift into. And, if that’s what you’ve already done, now’s the time to play catch up.

The way you normally ‘do life’ will impact the extent to which you’ll be ready in good time. If you’re a ‘lists’ person – who shops for Christmas at Easter – it will come naturally.

But, if you’re more of an ‘I’ll worry when it happens’ type, you’ll need what you are about to read more than most. So, whatever your style, here’s wisdom inspired by David Winter’s book The Highway Code for Retirement (CWR). In it he offers –

Ten Planning Commandments for Retirement

  1. Plan for it
  2. Check your pensions
  3. Thank about a part-time job or retraining
  4. Consider a pre-retirement course
  5. Consider the lifestyle in retirement that’s right for you and your loved ones – keeping in mind what God may have in store
  6. List those things to avoid
  7. Fight mental and spiritual rust
  8. Plan for the transition
  9. Consider a Gap Year or time out
  10. Use the final months of work to wind down rather than get wound up

That’s the bones. Now let’s add some flesh using David Winter’s thoughts from his book mixed with some of my own. And in no particular order.

With retirement on the way, make sure you –

Define the kind of life you seek: Ideally, make a written list of what would you love to achieve or experience. Learn a language, see the Northern Lights, take up a new hobby, explore your family history, or more?

This should include considering what God might have in mind for you. And this might involve using your time and talents in the service of others. Indeed, there are many voluntary roles crying out to be filled by those in their afterwork years.

The God-dimension could also encompass using your newly-released time for the kind of prayer, reflection and even theological study not possible in your past. Or see you pitching in on some short term church project.

What goes on your list may come readily to your mind. But for inspiration, look at the AfterWorkNet web pages on New Opportunities.

Identify the things to avoid: You are not the only one with plans for your retirement. In the wings will be those ready to ask you to run things and do things – from clubs to courses to rotas and more.

Some might fit your bill perfectly. However, saying ‘yes’ to one thing could mean having to say ‘no’ to something else. And that ‘something else’ may be on your treasured to-do list. Which means it’s wise, ahead of time, to set your priorities.

Plan to keep your mind active: As they say, ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’. So include a commitment to keeping the grey matter from freezing. There’s big stuff – like joining a chess or bridge club. And smaller stuff like doing a daily crossword, playing Scrabble against the iPad app, or reading a serious newspaper.

Take account of the reality: Leaving full-time work can be like a bereavement. And it’s as well to be aware of the emotional impact that may come your way. In particular, consider the issues of –

Loss of status – when the pass to the company door is no longer valid, and there is no one for you to give instructions to or take them from.

Stress – due to change of circumstances and leading to many finding themselves unwell either physically or emotionally.

Consider a Gap Year: Your kids may well have had a ‘year out’ between school and university eras. So what about a similar approach for those between the years of ‘work’ and ‘afterwork’?

There could be no better opportunity to take on a short term community project – including one overseas. To explore what this could mean see Serving.

Check where the money will come from: Hopefully you have not left the need to provide for your afterwork years until the last moment. But either way, it’s important to have everything in order for the sake of others as well as yourself.

For insight on getting it right check out Money.

Get the best help you can: It’s possible your employer will run or fund a Pre-retirement Course – covering the emotional, physiological and practical implications of retirement. If so, grab it. If not, ask them to arrange one.

Alternately, check out what’s available through organisations like LaterLife. As a result you’ll tap into specialist and wise advice that has already been the help to many.

Coming your way is the opportunity – and responsibility – to invest some precious years wisely. Plan now and enjoy the adventure when it comes.

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He uses his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, enjoy his eight grandchildren, escape to Spain and to spend his kids’ inheritance.

Would a little extra money help your retirement? Here’s 20 simple ideas.

For most people, the end of fulltime work means running a tighter ship where the purse strings are concerned. Which means a little extra income would go down well – to get by, spoil yourself or spoil others.

That’s why you might want to check out ways to add some income to your pension that don’t take you back to fulltime employment. And it’s worth keeping in mind that keeping active is likely to contribute to your health and wellbeing too.

Of course, what you can do depends on your age and state of health. But here are a few ideas to get you going, most of which come from the experience of those known to me.

  1. Delivering the local free paper
  2. Dog walking for those at work all day
  3. Light gardening maintenance
  4. Ironing – friends tell me this is in great demand
  5. Childminding – which will need complying with regulations so check with your council’s Child Care Officer
  6. Shifts at a supermarket or DIY store
  7. Catering for parties and events
  8. Book-keeping and/or tax returns
  9. Home tuition
  10. Music lessons
  11. Secretary to the parish council or local charity
  12. School lunchtime supervisor
  13. Take in a lodger
  14. Make money on eBay – clear your own ‘junk’ or unwanted items or pick them up at car boot sales
  15. Mind pets for those going on holiday
  16. Become a mystery shopper – check out the Mystery Shopper Providers Association
  17. Be a television or movie extra
  18. Teach English as a second language
  19. Be a doula – ladies only of course
  20. Self-publish a book

To explore any of the above just head for Google and search. There’s lots of help out there and also excellent advice from those who are already doing what you are thinking about.

If these seem a bit lightweight to you, you might explore something more demanding. Something like becoming a consultant or mentor, sharing your skills and experience with a new generation or to train as a life coach or counsellor.

You could even start your own online business. There’s lots of good advice out there and the tools to build your own website with automatic order taking and processing.

Remember, if you earn extra income it is likely to have tax implications. So keep not of the money you receive and any expenses involved. Possibly you many need to register as self-employed – to check with HMRC. And the Tax Office can make sure you receive the right tax-free allowance.

David Winter – adapted from his book The Highway Code for Retirement (CWR)

David Winter

David has retired three times from different settings, including as a Parish Priest and as the BBC’s Head of Religious Broadcasting. He was a regular contributor to Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ for more than 20 years.

Do you have your own experience of adding to your income? Then please share it here or our Facebook group. We’d love to hear from you.

Your money – 4 top tips for life after work

Along with the certainty of ‘death and taxes’ comes the other one – that our lives after full-time work are likely to mean having less to spend than in the past.
The best way to allay those fears is to take control of our finances, rather than just hope for the best.
More than that, we should also remember the words often used in church when the offering is presented, ‘All things come from you O Lord’. And the Bible’s wisdom that, ‘Whoever trusts in his riches will fall’ (Proverbs 11.28). Whatever financial resources we have, they are not primarily ours.
With that in mind, here are my four top tips when it comes to your money and your life after work.

1. Maximise your income: Have you had several employers during your working life. Then be sure to track down all your pension entitlements. Also, use the advice of an Independent Financial Adviser about consolidating your pensions – there’s admin costs and fees to save here – and making the most of them.
Recent changes allow the flexible drawdown of pensions. However, this is a complex and specialist area that calls for qualified and independent advice.
If you have little private pension income, investigate the benefits and help that may be available to you. Citizens Advice is a useful source of information on things like:

  • Council Tax Reduction, and Housing Benefit.
  • Utility companies that may offer special rates to those on a low income.
  • Disability benefit.

2. Think it through: With the help of your spouse or partner, if that is relevant, work through:

  • Where your income and savings should be kept, how they are accessed (sole joint accounts and passwords) and what the survivor’s financial position will be.
  • How long you may stay in your current home. Will it be easy to run as you get older? Will it always offer easy access shops and services? Will there be a time when you need some of the capital from your property?
  • Do you need the car or cars you have at the moment or are there savings to be made?
  • Splashing out or penny pinching – your early after-work years are when you are likely to be fittest and able to get reasonably priced travel insurance. So is now is the time to take adventurous trips or visit distant relatives.

3. Look for savings: Check out the concessions available to all ‘seniors’. Things like:

  • Free bus pass and reduced travel on Network Rail and via Senior Coach cards
  • Entrance to theatres, cinemas, sporting events and other attractions – it never hurts to ask
  • Retailer’s special discounts such as B&Q Diamond and High Street Opticians

4. Pay off debts: Take all possible steps to pay off any high interest rate credit cards, store cards, overdrafts, and personal loans.If your debts become seriously out of hand, seek the help of specialist Christian charities such as Christians Against Poverty , Community Money Advice or the charity I work with Frontline Debt Advice. All offer wise advice and practical help in circumstances like these.

Of course there’s more to money issues in your after-work life than these four key issues. To explore more see the AfterWorkNet web pages on money.
And if you’ve found a way to be wise with money please join our Facebook community and share.

Malcolm Lemon
Malcolm worked for 40 years in local and community banking. He has been Treasurer of a large church and for 6 years was Chairman of Trustees for Frontline Debt Advice, where he continues as a trustee and adviser. He enjoys baking cakes with his granddaughter, and eating them even more.

Time to face the challenge of decluttering? Then here’s some ideas.

My lovely husband once gave me ‘The Life-changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo? What was he implying I wonder!? This Japanese best-seller with its intriguing title actually became quite a page-turner for me, particularly as we downsize our home.

In these after work years there’s going to come a time when decluttering can’t be put off any longer. Several decades of acquisitions need sorting out. Possibly tens of thousands of objects!  Oh my!


You’ve got to want to do this! List your reasons. Think of the rewards.

  • Some are positively energised at the thought of reorganising, trips to the dump and lugging bags to the charity shop.

For others it’s an overwhelming prospect. If you’re in the second category do you know someone in the first who’d find a cry for help irresistible? Provided they promise not to be too militant about it, ask them round.


Marie, my Japanese tidying author advocates sorting things by narrow categories. Place all your shoes on the floor and decide each pair’s fate. Then do it with china or bed linen until you have gone through everything.

Others suggest tackling cupboard by cupboard, room by room.  Or there’s systems whereby you discard a number of items each day. Look online for inspiriation.

  • Get four boxes and label them: Chuck. Recycle. Sell. Keep.
  • The internet is groaning under the weight of good advice. Find sites that will pay you for unwanted clothes, old phones and other devices, magazines… Hold a car boot or garage sale.
  • Local authorities and community groups like Freecycle can help. Old spectacles, tools, computers, furniture – there are charities that want them. Make-up and toiletries – women’s refuge centres can use them.

A bit of research could result in the satisfaction of knowing your unwanted stuff has another life. And many of the items bound for the dump are recyclable and shouldn’t be sent to landfill.

  • Prepare to act on today’s decisions – place bags for charity shop and the dump by the door or into the car straightaway, ready to drive them away!
  • Even after a major purge there’ll still be stuff left! With more storage space you may want to put things away in better places

Physical decluttering makes you feel lighter. It’s the same with other unwanted baggage.  Perhaps we can apply similar principles to our emotional and spiritual lives…

Celia Bowring
Celia isn’t retired yet – although she’s recently changed from being office-based to working from home, so working out her own use of time. Celia writes the CARE Prayer Diary along with many other resources. She also chairs Pray for Schools. And loves being a hands-on grandmother!

The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years"

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife