Retirement and Working From Home


No toilet paper or sanitizer on the store shelves? Kids can’t go to school? I must do all my work on a laptop in the dining room? Is it safe to walk in the park with so many others making the same choice?

Zoom allows me to see other human beings and keeps me sane. I had no idea how much I needed my weekly book club meeting until it was canceled. 

I complain about going to the gym, but I couldn’t wait for it to reopen.

If the last 15 months of a major disruption to our life has taught us anything, it is we must be adaptable.  From time to time we may grouse about our computer, tablet, or smartphone. We may cringe and swear at our Internet provider every time the rate jumps. Or, we worry that we have no privacy left; every bit of our life is for sale to the highest bidder. Being overly connected can be a problem, too.

At the same time, the links we have to the rest of the world have opened doors that didn’t exist for us before and became life-saving during the worst of the pandemic. In addition to the ability to stay connected with family and friends, stream movies, or read or listen to almost anything, we discovered we may not need an office to work. We learned how to create from home.

What? Work? Retirement means not working. Well, not always. Retirement can mean we have the freedom to work in all sorts of different ways. Sure, the traditional away-from-home employment picture is starting to brighten. You may decide that after being separated from people for so long, you want to reengage with the rest of the world and get paid for it.

Volunteering is becoming safer. The need to serve didn’t stop with Covid. if anything, it intensified our need to share ourselves in some way. Libraries are reopening, Food banks continue to operate at high capacity. Docents are coming back to museums or botanical gardens as we venture outside again.

Maybe the enforced severing of normal human contact has led you to a new idea for using your talents or hobby, or skill set to produce something that others want to buy. eBay, Etsy, or similar e-commerce sites are chock full of folks just like you, selling flea market finds, quilts, clothing for children, online tutoring lessons in computer skills, financial literacy, or any of a million interests that others have. 

Create your own website with simple, free web page builder services. Again, there are all sorts of people who would love to help you build a business online.

I have learned about a company in the business of hiring retired professionals in medical, legal, or mechanical fields to answer questions posed by those needing help. If this is you, check out There is even a company, called Swimply, that allows you to rent your swimming pool to others by the hour or longer. Who would have thought? 

Do you love the smell of sawdust as you create wooden tables, cabinets, or rocking chairs? Do your photographs always elicit praise and envy from friends? Those watercolor paintings stuck in your office actually look as good as some of what you see for sale at craft fairs or online. Let the world pay you for your creativity.

Guitar, piano, or violin lessons? Online is where people are now turning for your help. Cooking hints and tips? Do some easy-to-make video clips of you in the kitchen and post on YouTube. Have enough people click on what you are showing, and you have a business to promote and sell sponsorships.

Covid has turned the world on its head in many ways. One is making money and feeling fulfilled. We have had obvious evidence that the electronic tools we have in our home, the creativity we all possess, and our need to connect with others does not require anything more than a little space in our home, the time to dedicate to a passion, and the will to succeed in any way you define it.

Working from home may have very little to do with additional income, though who’d complain about a new money source? Maybe, more importantly, it allows us to feel competent, productive and involved. 

After a year of being literally on the shelf, your creative and entrepreneur self may be ready to blossom.

I’d be fascinated to learn about anything you have done to fill in the Covid-separation with some type of work, craft, or another endeavor that allowed you to make the most of your enforced time at home.