A Retiree’s Job Description

When reflecting on core areas where I spent my time during my work life, compared to how I now spend my time in my retirement, I thought it would be fun to compare ‘job descriptions.’ I began by quickly checking to see what the internet had to offer.

I Googled ‘Retiree Job Description.’ Nothing pertinent. I tried again. Still nothing at all. How could this be? Isn’t Google the storehouse of all ideas no matter how unique, obscure or wild and crazy they may seem?

Perhaps it was due to my diminishing research skills (say it isn’t so!), but I came up completely empty-handed in my search. I then decided to write a basic ‘Retiree’s Job Description’ myself. How hard could it be? Besides, I had almost written this job specification previously, but that post got carried away in a different direction. With a solid network of retirees/bloggers/creative thinkers out there, I am hopeful that others will jump in and add their suggestions (both serious and otherwise). Here goes!

Job Title:


Reports to:


Job Purpose:

Leaving one’s career/employment to pursue passions such as leisure, travel, hobbies, volunteerism, etc., and of course, family, health, and balance.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Envision and take responsibility for your own schedule
• Initiate and plan activities
• Prepare budget and monitor expenditures
• Set your own hours
• Invest in your friendships and relationships (especially with your spouse/partner…you’ll likely be spending significantly more time together than you did when working)
• Experiment and take (smart) risks that will help you enjoy this position to its fullest
• Stay physically and mentally fit. Regularly engage in exercise and new learning. This is a core responsibility of retirees (If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!)
• Expect the unexpected….and be prepared to deal with ‘wildcards’ that may be thrown your way


In their book, Retire Right – 8 Scientifically Proven Traits You Need for a Fulfilling Retirement, Drs. Fraunfelder and Gilbaugh list the following as key traits of retirees who have indicated successful transition into retirement.
• Ability to plan ahead
• Positive attitude
• Acceptance of change (willingness to adapt and adjust)
• Support network of family and friends (and pets)
• Healthy lifestyle
• Sense of purpose
• Engagement in a variety of enjoyable leisure activities
• Spirituality


• Conviction to view this position as a door opening as opposed to a door closing
• Ability to suspend ‘overthinking’ and enjoy this luxurious position that is denied to so many
• Willingness to give back to others/leave a legacy (How do you wish to be remembered?)
• A versatile skill set will greatly assist with the ‘monitor expenditures’ requirement for this role
• Healthy (but not over-inflated) sense of self-worth
• A genuine sense of gratitude

Working Conditions:

You will be responsible for setting your own hours, priorities and agenda. Do not assume that the position of retiree is ‘obligation free.’

Direct Reports:

At any time, you may be asked to oversee others who require your support and Caregiving. This includes, but is not limited to, grandchildren.

Approved by:

April 2017

So, what did I miss?

60 Replies to “A Retiree’s Job Description”

  1. As always an enjoyable read! Pretty well sums it up! Just forgot one thing I enjoy is. PJ day with a good book…never feel that something has to be done today!

    1. Thanks, Ally. I totally hadn’t realized this. I just reread the JD, and you are correct. Many of the ‘duties and responsibilities,’ ‘requirements’ and ‘assets’ do apply to bloggers as well. Thanks for sharing this!

    2. Ally beat me to it. I was thinking the exact same thing as I read it — that this could apply to being a blogger. For some reason ten years prior to my retiring, I decided that I could only have a blog after that fateful day finally arrived. I’m not sure why I couldn’t blog during my career, but that’s how I felt. Funny.

      1. Hey, Marty – your comment is no longer hiding in my spam folder! The WP gods must have been listening!!
        Before Ally’s comment, it would not have occurred to me that a ‘Retiree’s’ JD and a ‘Blogger’s JD’ could be so similar — but it’s true! Like you, I also never considered running a personal blog while working — I would never have had enough bandwidth … or enough hours at the end of the day!

    1. I totally agree, Kate. Although I can ‘overthink’ with the best of them, ‘obsessive introspection’ about retirement drives me crazy. Letting go and embracing simple joys is the best gift to give oneself. Thanks for adding this.

    1. ‘Sleeping in…and not feeling guilty about it’ is a great point to add. Although it did take me a while to do this (and, to be honest, I am still working on it)!

  2. Well done! Only a couple of things to add:
    – learn to sleep through the night without waking to an alarm
    – spend long mornings with a second cup of coffee while reading a book or newspaper
    – learn to relax and “go with the flow” – enjoy the moments!

    1. Hi, Cathy – I love your additions — especially the second cup of coffee with a book/newspaper! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

        1. Hi, Cathy – I loved my career (also in education) every single day from the first to the last. But I also LOVE the ‘job of retirement’ and have no regrets about leaving the workforce (….at least not currently)! Thank you for adding this comment. I greatly enjoy getting to know my readers better!

    1. Thanks, Carol. I agree! How did we ever have time to ‘go to work’??! I also agree that transitions into retirement are interesting…and seldom as straightforward as we think they will be.

    1. Thanks, Joanne – Not only am I using and refining more skills than I realized, I am also learning and depending on new abilities that I never realized I would need. This has been just one of the many ‘surprises’ in retirement!

    1. This is a very thought-provoking comment, Joanne! I was just thinking (with some surprise) how I really am the exact same person that I was when working. I’m very curious to know in what key ways you think you are different. (Without getting overly personal, of course!)

  3. I’ve tried a couple of times to write a response to your question, but it just kept getting way too long.
    The general rule of thumb is that when a comment starts to get too long, it’s time to write a post. Now that I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve ever written about this, so I think you’ve inspired me 🙂
    Joanne Sisco recently posted…Practicing What I PreachMy Profile

    1. Great minds think alike, Joanne! Why I asked this question is that this is the topic that I’ve planned for my next post. I love ‘simultaneous blogging’ so can’t wait to read your version of this subject. (I will publish my version next Wednesday…she says with confidence!)

      1. I just may get on this “simultaneous blogging” train too, if that’s OK (and if I can actually fit it in)! I guess the topic would be something like: “Are you the same person you were before you retired, or have you experienced any significant transitions… or both?”
        Janis recently posted…GratiTuesday: A Reunion of FriendsMy Profile

          1. I’m looking forward to Part 2!! It will be so interesting to read your version and Janis’

            All of our journeys are different … and yet, in the end there is often so much similarity.
            Joanne Sisco recently posted…I’m A New MeMy Profile

    1. Yup, the salary can be disappointing…but you can’t have everything. And I wouldn’t (currently) trade this position for one with a better financial compensation! 😀

    1. Hi, Stephanie – Since I know that you are doing what you love, and setting your own rules, then I say ‘go for it’! We all benefit from the results!

  4. Good post, Donna. I’d add “learning new things that broaden your perspective and, occasionally, challenge your beliefs.” That will keep us sharp, vital and open as we age. At least I hope!

    1. Hi, Karen. I am a big advocate of learning new things…especially as we age. I can’t believe that I left that one out. Thanks for catching this!

  5. I came to read this via Joanne and am glad I did. Am forwarding it to a close friend on the brink of retirement… as in ” wait and work one more year? ” or, “do it now?”

    This is a great list. Perhaps I would add, “don’t do anything that doesn’t make you happy, if you can help it.” We all have to go to the dentist etc. but other than that kind of obligatory stuff.


    1. Hi, Peta – Thank you for the excellent JD addition.
      I greatly appreciate you stopping by, and forwarding this post to a friend.
      Your blog title “Empty Nesters on a Green Global Trek’ has totally captured my attention. I can’t wait to read more!

  6. Hi Donna, although I am not retired I read your post with great interest. I am, however, self-employed and a lot of this applies to me as well. What an absolutely engaging and relatable post! Thanks for putting this out there on the internet and welcoming additions to your list of the various components of a Retiree’s Job Description. Another category would be Job Benefits (Perks if you will)…that would include not having to go anywhere in bad weather since there is no clock to punch or office requiring your attendance at a set time.

    1. Hi, Susan – Thanks so much for stopping by. Your idea of Job Benefits is a good one, esp. not needing to go anywhere in bad weather. I love that one!

  7. I think you need to add in “must have lots of fun, laugh, smile and shout out “Yipee!” every morning when getting out of bed.
    Also, to try and workout and help all other retirees find the answer to ‘where on earth does all the free time go?’ I don’t know about you Donna, but I seem to be busier during retirement than I was when I was working full time (and that’s even with getting up early every morning because I’m an early bird rather than a night owl).
    Hugh Roberts recently posted…On The Horizon #photography #haikuMy Profile

    1. I LOVE this, Hugh! Shouting out “Yipee!” each morning definitely belongs on the job description. I greatly appreciate you stopping by and adding these points.

        1. Hi, Hugh – Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know this. That is very thoughtful of you…and very timely! I just commented on your recent post asking how to post to a ‘smart’ Flipboard magazine (as opposed to a ‘standard’ one). I do have a Flipboard account but am aware that I am not using it as productively as I could be.

          1. Hi Donna, I found this about smart magazines.


            It looks like you select a subject and then Flipboard find the stories for you and add them to your magazine. From what I can see, this can only be done on the Flipboard App. I think your Article was picked up by Flipboard when Terri created her ‘Smart’ magazine. I’ve just created a ‘Blogging’ smart magazine and Flipboard added articles written by Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging! How cool is that? It also added a blog post from Terri’s Flipboard account called ‘So You Want To Be A Blogger?” I’m going to have to investigate further. 😀
            Hugh Roberts recently posted…How To Use FlipboardMy Profile

          2. Thanks so much, Hugh! This is very helpful. I will give your suggestion a try. I will let you know how it goes! 😀

  8. Ha! I so needed to read this job description today. Here I am standing on the threshold of retirement asking myself: “What is my purpose?” “What will I do all day?” It is great to have wise guides like you and other blogging retirees.

    Dr Sock recently posted…Cute Shoes and a Shopping BanMy Profile

    1. Hi, Jude – I’m glad that this post was helpful to you. I am positive that you will have no problem at all finding your ‘purpose’ in retirement. Actually, I bet a lunch-out on it!

    2. When retired, just take each day as it comes. At first, enjoy sleeping without waking to an alarm. Have that second cup of coffee while relaxing with a good book or newspaper. Then, go for a walk or do some form of exercise, before starting your day. Next, get some household chores or gardening done. Dig out some of your old hobbies and make dates for lunch or coffee with friends or family. Or, maybe do some traveling. When this routine gets boring, then look into some volunteering; but be careful where you commit your time. Sometimes, things find you, so just “go with the flow”!

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