Agri Leader

Many retirees are looking to work again

There are many reasons that today’s workers are postponing their retirements, or maybe not even taking them at all. While some of it is due to the lagging economy, finances aren’t the only reason many are opting to keep working.

Some enjoy a routine in their days. Others like the camaraderie of a workplace environment and still others enjoy the satisfaction of being employed. The choice doesn’t have to mean the same old job at the same old place. Instead, this can be a time to approach a new career, or make adaptations to an old career, as was the choice of Carl Bartenhagen, a Nebraska resident.

Before retiring, Bartenhagen was employed with Monsanto for 31 years where he worked in their manufacturing, human resources and sales divisions. In 1992, he retired and began seeking consulting jobs in the agriculture industry. He now works 30-40 hours a week as a consultant. Bartenhagen enjoys the fact that he is staying active in the agriculture industry and offers a few suggestions to those who are approaching retirement, or are newly retired, and are seeking employment.

“Look for things you like to do while you are still working. And look for opportunities to create relationships,” said Bartenhagen.

There are many skills that can apply to a new line of work, such as communication skills, problem-solving skills, organizational skills and managerial skills. And when it comes to creating and continuing those vital relationships, well, that means more than just sticking somebody’s business card in your back pocket. These days, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are becoming more and more commonplace for all, including retirees, to use as networking tools.

For other networking opportunities, one can also consider joining a committee, a group or by volunteering. For example, the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners has a list of committees:

The Sebring Lions Club is one local group:, as is the Orchid Society of Highlands County:

Finally, offers a wide selection of volunteer opportunities.

While some jobs are found by word-of-mouth, most jobs are posted online on sites like, and, where workers can search for jobs and post their resumes. For those in the ag industry, is an excellent choice, as they also offer industry conferences, workshops and events.

Some job-hunting sites are devoted specifically to those looking for jobs in their later years, such as,,, and

Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State offers an extended list of career resources for seniors at: Lastly,, sponsored by the

U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, helps seniors, and others, find jobs, and offers job-hunting assistance and employment training through their Older Worker Program—SCSEP.

Many jobs for seniors are designed to fit their needs, such as offering part-time workweeks, flexible schedules and less physically taxing requirements. Consulting work, like Bartenhagen’s choice, may be a good choice for many who are retiring.

“Consulting is an excellent option for retirees to stay involved in their careers,” said Bonnie Johnson, marketing associate,

Johnson explained that many consultants enjoy their careers because they are able to pick and choose what projects they want to work on, as well as choose the amount of time they want to put into them. In the agricultural industry, the top industry types with job opportunities posted on are: poultry, agronomy, dairy, crop protection/chemicals, seed, feed and turf/green. Those types of industries often can be perfect opportunities for consulting, and many offer flexible schedules or part-time work.

There are jobs available now; however, the bulk of the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964), is fast-reaching retirement age.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will be approximately 88.5 million. Currently, that number is 38 million.

While the job market may become even more competitive, due to a higher population of retirees, if you are good at what you do and enjoy what you do, you can usually find work. That is, even when you are “supposedly” retired.