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International Jobs for Seniors

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Seniors in the 21st century are feeling younger and healthier than ever before. For some who are 50 plus, the concept of “retiring” to while away their remaining years is a foreign concept. Instead, they are leaving the cold and difficult economic times in the United States and heading overseas to work in Asia, South America, Europe and Africa. Work is available in any number of fields, and it has never been easier for seniors to find international jobs. With the Internet, it is possible for seniors in Milwaukee to match their skills online and find a position in Casablanca or Bangkok.


Some agencies -- Peace Corps, CUSO International -- offer seniors an opportunity to volunteer overseas. Generally, the seniors are paid the local wage -- not true of the Peace Corps -- and do the job more for the adventure and the “giving back” than for the salary. These international jobs also come with return tickets, health insurance and support while in the field.

Teach English

Native-speaker seniors can get a job teaching English overseas. While having a qualification-- such as a TESL certificate -- is helpful, it isn’t necessary for seniors who want to go overseas and try their luck. To secure a job while still in America; however, a teaching degree or certificate is advisable.

Executive Work

Seniors who want to earn American-level executive wages can register with an international headhunting firm or request an overseas posting with their multinational corporation. Because executive skills are valued overseas, seniors can find jobs that pay for relocation and offer bonuses for fulfilling the contract. These positions pay particularly well, as the cost-of-living overseas in, say, Bangladesh, is much lower than it is in the United States.


Seniors who have skills in a specific area -- such as mining technology or information technology -- can get jobs as consultants overseas. Like executive positions, these jobs for seniors pay well and sometimes come with perks, such as housing and a car. Seniors wanting to work as consultants are advised to register with agencies that specialize in international positions.


Seniors who freelance -- writing, designing web sites, playing the futures market -- can work anywhere there is an Internet connection. Seniors who are self-employed might be eligible for work visas in another country and eligible for tax breaks.

Business Startup

Another international job option for seniors is to identity a niche market and start up a business. Steve McCarthy, a 59-year old architect from San Diego moved to Santiago and started “Chile Tours and Transport” with a local couple. According to McCarthy, “We set up a business on 20 thousand dollars that would have cost at least 250,000 to do in America.”

  • Steve McCarthy, Owner, Chile Tours & Transport, Santiago, Chile

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.

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