A home-based job can be ideal for a grandma who has raised children and perhaps even retired from another job. Advantages include lower costs on eating out and a lower clothing budget since a work wardrobe won’t be needed.
Car insurance rates will also be lower. One of the key questions an auto insurance agent asks is how far a client must drive to work each day. Obviously, the best answer for the lowest rates is zero miles each way. Here are the five best at-home jobs for women in their older years:
1. Accountant, Bookkeeper or Tax Preparer
You don’t have to have an accounting degree to do this type of work, but an attention to detail, good basic math skills and an interest in financial principles is important. It is also good to become familiar with tax preparation software like TurboTax and bookkeeping programs like Quicken or QuickBooks. Clients can range from individuals wanting help with taxes to small businesses needing a bookkeeper to handle their billing and payroll.
If you can get a CPA certification, your market increases even more. Many individuals with complex tax returns or who are self-employed turn to CPAs to help them sort through the details.
One benefit of this type of work is its flexibility. Unlike a store-front business which requires your presence whenever the store is opened, you can usually arrange the work around your schedule. If you concentrate on taxes, do plan to be extremely busy for a few months leading up to April 15. This job also has flexibility if you have physical limitations. You can even work from a computer set up in a recliner.
2. Day-Care Provider
With large numbers of mothers working outside of the home, reliable day-care services are in great demand. As a grandmother, you have many years of child-care experience from raising your children. In this role, age is an advantage as long as you are in reasonably good physical condition.
Most parents much prefer an older adult to a teenage babysitter and will pay more for your experience.
To further boost your credentials, take a Red Cross CPR certification course. Check with your state government to see if you need a license for the number of children you wish to enroll.
3. After-School Tutor
Many older adults have received a very good education themselves and can pass this on to struggling students. In addition, some subjects that have gone out of favor are making a comeback in a few schools. If your school taught you how to diagram sentences or conjugate various Latin declensions, you may be a lifesaver to parents who have thrown up their hands in despair.
If you understand the higher-math subjects of algebra, geometry, trigonometry or calculus, you will probably have so many high school students that you need to start a waiting list. Another subject that students often struggle with is chemistry.
When deciding what subject to tutor, don’t assume that because you struggled with a subject in school that you can’t tutor it. You may actually be the ideal tutor in that subject. If you have mastered a subject that you found difficult, you will probably find it easier to empathize with students’ struggles. You should also be able to explain it in a more step-by-step fashion than someone for whom the subject is second nature.
4. Music Teacher
If you play a musical instrument or have had voice training, you can make money as a music teacher. Like school subjects, some musical instruments have experienced a comeback, and that can put you in high demand as a teacher. The violin used to be an unpopular instrument since beginners sound screechy and it’s not a marching-band instrument. With the advent of home schooling and other alternatives to public schools, classical stringed instruments like the violin, viola and cello have become popular again.
Percussion instruments often have a shortage of teachers. Most drum players are men, but very few men give after-school music lessons. If you have a music background and want to add drums to your repertoire, you should have no shortage of students.
Piano is a perennial favorite among music students. Since many adults move frequently, fewer people have heavy and bulky pianos in their living rooms. Consequently, there are fewer adults who are equipped to give piano lessons.
5. Seamstress and Custom Drapery Maker
Since fewer young women take home economics in high school, many grow to adulthood without knowing how to take tucks in a jacket that doesn’t fit correctly or hem a pair of pants. At the same time, looking professional at work requires properly fitted clothes. Baby clothes are another product with a strong market, especially if you know how to do smocking.
Custom draperies are also in demand. One reason is that lined and pleated draperies are back in style after years of minimalist window treatments. Another reason is that many houses have high ceilings, and curtains hung closer to the ceiling are in vogue. This requires very long drapery panels, but most ready-made draperies are only 84 inches long.