What is a Brownstone? Pros and Cons of Brownstone Apartments

A brownstone may look like other townhouses, but it’s got some unique qualities.

If you’ve ever pictured yourself living in cities like Chicago, Boston or New York City, you may have envisioned the iconic image of buildings and brownstone apartments lining the streets. Many large, East coast cities are known for the iconic brownstone facades that give the neighborhood a 19th-century nostalgic look and feel.

If you’re considering renting a brownstone, it’s important to know about the rich history of these types of buildings in addition to the pros and cons that come with brownstone homes. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about renting an infamous brownstone.

What is a brownstone apartment?

A brownstone is a row house made specifically from brown sandstone. The brownstone facade is key — it’s the defining feature that sets brownstones apart from other types of single-family homes. Other defining features of brownstone apartments include:

  • A stone stoop leading to the entryway
  • Ornate details carved or etched into the brownstone face
  • Many buildings in a row with no space in between
  • Three to four floors per building

Brownstone itself is soft sandstone that has a natural brown color, hence the name “brownstone.” The stone is easy to mold, cut and shape so you’ll often see ornate carvings on the face of brownstone homes, another feature that sets them apart.

Originally, the brownstone material was inexpensive and less desirable compared to other building materials like brick, marble or granite. Until the 19th century, buildings made of brownstone were cheaper because the brown color was unappealing. However, that changed during the Romantic era when the natural look became popular. Nowadays, brownstones are some of the most expensive apartments on the market.

Brick townhouses

Brick townhouses

What is the difference between a townhouse and a brownstone?

Brownstones and townhouses are similar in the sense that they’re both buildings with multiple floors, units and apartments for rent. They’re both attached to another building. For example, you’ll have your own unit or floor to live on but you’ll share a wall with your neighbors in these kinds of houses.

You can construct a townhouse out of any building material, but many are brick. However, a true brownstone uses brown sandstone building material, otherwise, it’s a regular townhouse. The facades of brownstones are the specific feature that separates them from other types of apartments.

Because many brownstone apartments are older, they may not have modern amenities like brand new buildings. The construction of many brownstones occurred in the early 19th century and living in these may require some maintenance to keep them up-to-date. Keep this in mind when you’re considering renting townhouses versus brownstones.

Things to know about New York City brownstones

While brownstones are in different cities, they’re especially prevalent in New York City. If you’ve seen any movie or TV show set in New York, you’ve likely seen the iconic brownstone homes in beautiful neighborhoods. True brownstones are in a few key neighborhoods of New York City — Park Slope, Upper West Side, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene and Brooklyn Heights — to name a few. You can walk up and down the street and see brownstone apartments in these areas of the city.

These houses with their steep stone stoops and ornate brownstone facade give the building charm. They’re often located in desirable neighborhoods, too. Because there’s only a set number of genuine brownstones in New York City, there’s often more demand than supply, so the prices are steep.

NYC Brownstone apartments

NYC Brownstone apartments

Pros of brownstone apartment living

As with anything, there are pros and cons to living in brownstones. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with a brownstone apartment.

Spacious living area

While some single-family homes in a big city are small, brownstones are typically larger. Traditional brownstones will have a parlor floor, which is the second floor from the ground floor. The parlor floor is where you’ll have your dining room and living room. The units usually have three to four bedrooms, but can also have as many as nine bedrooms in each brownstone.

Ornate décor

City brownstones are beautiful buildings. As we’ve mentioned, the appeal of a brownstone is typically the history, the idyllic community and the picturesque neighborhood. The construction of brownstones is ornate and the apartment is usually located on a tree-lined street. When you live in a row house, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the decorative brownstone.

Spacious outdoor area

Some people living in brownstone homes enjoy a nice outdoor space as part of their apartment. You’ll get more room and outdoor seating areas in a brownstone compared to other types of apartments. You can walk up from the ground level and enjoy the front stoop or enjoy private outdoor space in the form of a patio or garden area.

Great location

Most brownstones are in nice neighborhoods with tight-knit communities. Because the units are so close to each other, you’ll be close to the other people living in the same brownstone house. People like the brownstone community as most people end up staying in the brownstone for a long time. The units are often close to different restaurants, so you’ll enjoy the amenities of city life when living in a brownstone, too.

brownstone apartments

brownstone apartments

Cons of brownstone apartment living

For every good thing about brownstones, there are some negatives, too.

Expensive rent

Because brownstones are so desirable nowadays, you’ll pay high prices to live in one of them. In New York, brownstones can sell for up to $10 million. If you’re considering a brownstone, make sure the price is in your budget. If not, you can have a similar experience living in a townhouse without a notable facade.

Older buildings

The historic nature of brownstones makes them appealing but it also means the building is older compared to others. You’ll likely have more maintenance and upkeep in brownstones and may lack traditional amenities and features like air conditioning. Also, the steep stoop and staircases are sometimes problematic as they aren’t as accessible as other spaces.

Close to neighbors

If you’re looking for a place to live with lots of room to roam and privacy, a brownstone isn’t the right option as you’re incredibly close to the people next door. Because these buildings are in a row, you’re literally wall-to-wall with other people. Some love this closeness, while others want more privacy.

Finding a brownstone apartment for you

The intricate design and carvings of brownstone apartments are idyllic. You can’t deny that they look beautiful and conjure images of old-school living in cities like New York. Brownstones have a story and you’ll enjoy the natural look of these buildings. Before renting one, make sure that it’s within your budget as they’re pricy apartments.

Source: rent.com

Tampon Alternatives to Get You Through the Shortage

The reality of the tampon shortage is sinking in at checkout counters and in bathrooms across the country. Supply chain issues and inflation have teamed up to make an already complicated time of the month increasingly stressful.

You’ve probably noticed the roughly 10% price jump on your favorite tampons. Maybe your go-to brand is sold out all together and you’ve had to resort to a different variety. Or, perhaps you’ve driven from store to store in search of what you need. Even worse, if you’ve taken a peek at online tampon prices, you might have gasped along with the rest of us. Many products are unavailable online, too.

The price hike on tampons — when you can actually find them — is even more frustrating considering the so-called “pink tax.” The term refers to the markup on products marketed to women compared to similar items marketed to men. This includes hair care products, shaving cream, razors and deodorant, among other products used by men and women.

So, what can you do to see yourself through the tampon shortage? We’ve done the research on alternatives to tampons and came up with a robust list.

Some options, like the menstrual cup, have been around for a while and can save you up to $100 a year even in non-shortage times. Others, like period underwear, are relatively new and while an investment up front, they can be worth it for long-term savings.

5 Tampon Alternatives

We rounded up five alternatives to tampons and found the best cost-saving options, so check out this list for ideas to see you through the tampon shortage. You might actually opt to stay with the new product and continue to save money.

1. The Menstrual Cup

A menstrual cup is a reusable bell-shaped cup, typically made of rubber or silicone. While the cup seems to be catching on fast, some versions of this period hack have been available since the 1930s.

Easily ordered from Amazon or directly from companies like Saalt, Lena, Intimina, Super Jennie, and Moon Cup, these eco-friendly cups could completely change your period experience. When properly maintained, most cups last for 10 years.

Plus, with prices ranging between $20 and $40, they are a cost effective alternative to tampons. We did the math, so you don’t have to.

A 36-count box of Tampax brand tampons is currently selling on Amazon for $30. According to the FDA, tampons should be replaced every four to eight hours so that’s three to six tampons in a 24-hour period. Say a period lasts (on average) four days. That’s 12 to 24 tampons.

By month three, you will have saved between $10 and $20 with the menstrual cup. If you change tampons more often or have a longer period, your savings kick in earlier. Multiply those savings over 10 years and, well, you can clearly see why the cup is cost effective.

2. The Menstrual Disc

The menstrual disc is a saucer-shaped disc usually made from silicone. While smaller than its cup cousin, the disc is no less mighty. In fact it has an even higher capacity and a few other characteristics that can make it a more flexible choice for some women. And you guessed it, it’s also reusable.

Expect to pay between $35 and $40 each if purchased directly from companies like Lumma, Flex, Cora, and Hello Disc, but some discs sell for less on Amazon.

Since these little saucers are reusable, they are an excellent cost effective alternative to tampons. We noticed that compared to the cup, the recommendation for disc replacement is far shorter, some in as little as two to three years. Still, a cost saving alternative to tampons.

Getty Images

3. Period Underwear

Period underwear looks like normal bikinis, boxers or boy shorts but feature a built-in pad. After some rinsing, they can be laundered with the rest of your clothes.

This alternative to tampons might appeal to pad wearers who want a reusable option but aren’t interested in inserting cups or discs.

Per pair, period undies are $12 to $38 from companies such as Knix, Thinx, TomboyX, and Period. We also found this highly rated Innersy 3-pack for $21.99 direct from the company or $25.99 from Amazon.

Since you’ll likely need multiple pairs for each period day, period underwear is on the pricey side but the investment may be worth it over time.

4. Cloth Pads

Cloth pads are reusable menstrual pads made from natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo and hemp. They often come in bold colors or lively prints, adding some lightheartedness to an otherwise not so enjoyable time for many women.

Prices range from $12 to $20 per pad, available from Aisle, Party Pants, Glad Rags, and Tree Hugger.

This alternative to tampons is great for people with sensitive skin since reusable pads are made without chemicals or synthetic fabrics.

5. Disposable Pads

Ah, the old standby where many of us started our period journeys. Disposable pads are typically made from synthetic or semi-synthetic fibers.

Available in a wide range of sizes with characteristics like ultra-thin, maxi, overnight, scented or unscented, wings or wingless and anti-bunch — disposable pad prices are as varied as the options.

Packs of 32- to 48-count can be found for between $7 and $10, making disposable pads the most cost effective alternative to tampons in the short term.

And with sustainable brands like Cora and Joni you can still feel good about disposing of your pads.

Which Tampon Alternative Is Right For You?

A few handy quizzes can help set you on the right path and some of the considerations will be how much money you want to spend, your individual preferences and what is most convenient for your lifestyle.

Put a Cup In It offers product comparisons and this useful quiz to help you identify the right cup for you. Period Nirvana has some easy to read charts comparing menstrual disc versus menstrual cup and offers a quiz to help you find the perfect cup or disc for you.

With any tampon alternative you use to get you through the shortage, read the directions and be sure to properly care for reusable products.

Even after the shortage is resolved, we might not go back to costly tampons because we love to save money on menstrual products. Period.

Save even more money on feminine hygiene products by making your own pads or getting help from services that offer free supplies. 
Cloth pads, disposable pads and a mensural cup are shown as tampon alternatives.
Getty Images

What You Need to Know About Tampon Alternatives

Here are three things you should know before buying tampon alternatives.

1. Tampon Alternatives are (Mostly) Cost Effective

Even without a shortage driving up the cost of tampons, most alternative menstrual products are cost effective right out of the gate, while others require an investment up front but pay off over time.

But especially right now, the most popular alternatives are sure to save you money.  This is not only because of the cost of tampons, but also due to the possibility you might have to drive to two or three stores to find them. With gas prices on the rise, you want to avoid that and do what you can to save money on gas.

2. Tampon Alternatives are Safe

Some alternatives function similarly to tampons (if you use tampons, you get what we mean) but are made from medical grade plastic, rubber or silicone. And some function like pads, but are washable and consequently, reusable.

While most of us have been using tampons for years, it might surprise you that alternatives can actually be safer because they are less likely to harbor bacteria. When used and maintained as directed, they are a safe and healthy choice.

3. Tampon Alternatives are Environmentally Friendly

It’s always nice to know that in addition to saving money, you’re helping reduce waste. Most alternative menstrual products are reusable which makes them not only a smart choice for your wallet, but also for the earth.

Although some reusable alternatives are made with plastic, they can last up to 10 years. So, instead of throwing away three to four menstrual products a day made with materials that can contain up to 90% plastic, which takes years to break down, you’re reusing one product (or a handful of products) with far less environmental impact.

Contributor Veronica Matthews writes on lifestyle topics from North Carolina.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

7 Ways to Show Proof of Renters Insurance to Your Landlord

No one wants to have an apartment break-in happen to them or lose their personal belongings to an unexpected tornado but sometimes life happens. When the unexpected occurs, everyone wants financial coverage and know that they have a backup plan or safeguard in place.

That’s where renters insurance comes in. While property owners will have insurance policies covering the apartment complex and building in place, it’s often up to the tenants to provide their own renters insurance where the policy covers personal belongings. In fact, most landlords are requiring proof of renters insurance to rent their property before signing the lease.

We’ll help you understand the fundamentals of a basic tenant insurance policy and provide ideas on how to show proof of renters insurance if your landlords require it.

What is a renters insurance policy?

Simply put, insurance is protection against financial loss. Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that’s specific to tenants and renters only. Unlike homeowners insurance, renters insurance does not usually cover the structure of the building, but it does cover the renter’s personal property that’s housed inside the apartment.

Renters insurance exists to protect you and your personal belongings should an incident — like theft or fire — occur while you rent. The insurance policy would then pay you for the damage caused to your belongings. Renters insurance also protects renters from liability in case someone gets hurt within your apartment.

Renters insurance covers property from a burglary

Why every renter needs renters insurance coverage

Landlords are requiring tenants to provide proof of renters insurance. This helps safeguard property managers from liability, but it also protects renters. People who have renters insurance can breathe easy knowing it protects their personal property. Here are a few reasons you need to purchase renters insurance:

  • Offers protection of your personal items from theft or natural disasters
  • Covers you from personal liability if someone is hurt within your apartment
  • Often required to sign a new lease
  • Sometimes required for lease renewal
  • Can save you money should something happen to your personal belongings
  • Provides peace of mind to tenants
  • Helps expedite the rental process and avoid waiting periods if you already have a policy

Regardless of the reason you purchase renters insurance, it’s smart to have it when you live in a rental unit.

What exactly does renters insurance cover?

We’ve talked about the benefits of having renters insurance, but what exactly does renters insurance cover? Your coverage will vary based on your insurance company and policy, but in most cases, renters insurance policies offer these types of coverage:

Personal property coverage

Personal property coverage includes repairs or replacements for lost or damaged property, such as furniture, electronics and clothing. Depending on the policy, it may cover the costs of things like jewelry, but you’ll have to check with your insurance provider to see how much coverage comes with your plan.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage protects the tenant in case an injury occurs to someone within the apartment and needs medical attention. There’s often a cap on how much liability coverage there is, so read your policy carefully.

Renters insurance will cover a hotel room if you

Additional living expenses coverage

Additional living expenses coverage includes the cost of hotel or travel bills should your apartment become unlivable due to an incident that occurs on-site. This part of a policy will not cover property damage to the building itself — that’s usually the landlord’s responsibility — but it will cover your hotel bills while you find a new place to rent.

You’ll likely have increased premiums when you purchase more coverage and it’s up to you to determine how much renters insurance you need and how much coverage your landlord requires. Do your research to select the best policy for you.

How to show proof of renters insurance to your landlord

We’ve mentioned that landlords require proof of insurance to rent a rental property. But how do you show proof of renters insurance to a landlord? Here are several ways to show proof of renters insurance.

1. Provide the declarations page to your landlord

Every renters insurance policy will have a declarations page that outlines the details of your coverage. The declarations page will include things like your name, the policy number and how much coverage you purchased. You can send a digital copy directly to property management as proof.

Send a digital copy to your landlord.

2. Share a digital file with the landlord

You can show digital proof of your insurance by emailing the landlord a copy of the entire policy or the declarations page itself. When you send electronic proof, you have a digital footprint that shows your communication with the landlord. You can even ask your landlord to store this electronic copy on their property management software so you have a record of it.

3. Show them the physical copy of the renters insurance policy

If you’re more old-school, you can print out a physical copy of the policy as a way of showing proof of coverage. Print out a copy for your records and print out a second copy for the landlord to have, as well.

4. Have your insurance agent contact your landlord to confirm

If your landlord will accept verbal confirmation, you can ask the insurance company to call the landlord directly to show proof of insurance. Let your landlord know when your insurance agent will contact them so they can prepare for the call.

5. Add the landlord as an interested party to the policy

On any insurance policy, you can add an interested party to the policy. This is one way to show proof that the tenant has insurance. When the insurance agent is writing the policy, they will add the landlord as an interested party and then, notify the landlord upon completion of the policy.

6. Share the policy number and insurance agency with your landlord

Another way to show proof when renting is to share details of the policy with your landlord. You can share things like the number of the policy, the name of the insurance company and agent or the amount of coverage purchased.

Simply tell your landlord you have renters insurance.

7. Give verbal assurances of your renters insurance policy

Depending on the property managers, you can show proof by giving verbal confirmation of coverage. While this is only as good as your word, some landlords are OK with this type of proof. Keep in mind that there’s often no digital or written record of verbal assurances, so it’s not the most concrete or secure way to show proof of renters insurance.

These are some of the most common and accurate ways to show proof of coverage when property owners require proof.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive and ranges from $15 to $20 a month, or $180 to $220 per year. The cost of the policy will depend on how much coverage you purchase. Some landlords will even require that you have a certain amount of coverage, but that varies by location, by the landlord and even by state. When you’re analyzing your budget, it’s important to include renters insurance with your other utilities.

Keep in mind that most policies renew annually and if you don’t automatically renew your policy lapses and you may temporarily lose coverage. You also need to pencil in the cost of compensation for the agent, if they charge a fee to draft a policy.

Signing the renters insurance policy.

How to get a renters insurance policy of your own

If you’re trying to rent an apartment and can’t sign the lease until you have proof of renters insurance, then it’s time to find a policy for you. There are ways to find an insurance agency who you get you set up:

  • Ask your new landlord for a recommendation
  • Use your existing insurance agency and bundle it with your car insurance, for example, to save money
  • Use an online comparison tool to find an insurance company
  • Do an online search to find an insurance agency
  • Ask your neighbors who they use
  • Go to your local insurance broker

Proof of renters insurance is key

Once your policy is in place, you’ll be happy to know that you can then sign the lease, move into your new apartment and feel secure knowing you’re protected from the unexpected.

Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Make an Apartment Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger – Apartminty

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A beautiful kitchen boosts your moods instantly you walk in, while dark and cramped rooms dampen your spirits. Due to the growing recognition of the social aspects of the kitchen, people prefer big spaces. However, aesthetics and functionality are the top considerations when designing a kitchen.

Life in urban areas offers more opportunities and attracts a considerable populace. This makes space scarce as demand outstrips supply. If you land an apartment with a small kitchen, follow these hacks to create the impression of a bigger space. 

Go White!

White is the best color for a small kitchen for many reasons. It is loaded with benefits of visual effects, and according to experts in the design field, white spaces tend to clear your mind. This tricks your mind into creating more space. 

A white background also makes it easy for you to seamlessly incorporate other hues for furnishings, décor, and more for a perfect space.

If you love character and effects, consider using several shades of white in a small kitchen apartment. Contrasting textures will keep your room from being sterile. The color will make the wall recede and enhance a sense of space.  

Light, and More Light!

A simple way to make your small kitchen look bigger is by taking advantage of natural light. Keep window treatments minimal and if you want more privacy, use blinds to make your space private without blocking light. Natural light will make your kitchen less confined.

Consider placing a large mirror opposite a window to maximize the daylight. Adding the mirror effect reflects the natural light in different directions. 

Reflective surfaces like stainless steel, marble countertops, and ceramic tiles amplify the effects of both artificial and natural light, making small kitchens larger. 

Ensure that your kitchen has adequate lighting to improve functionality. Pendant lights under the white cabinets add a pleasant ambiance and make your kitchen look bigger than the actual square footage.

Plan your Kitchen Layout to the Latter

When you have a small space to accommodate the numerous functions of the kitchen, plan the layout to the last detail. If you are planning for a kitchen redo, try engaging a professional. 

Provide sufficient countertop space and enough space for seamlessly moving around the room. Great movement flow will make your kitchen look spacious. 

Small kitchens pose storage challenges that make it easy to crowd countertops. Collectible and cookware cramp working space and overwhelm a small kitchen making the room small and busy. Provide space for everything and consider clever kitchen storage ideas. Use cabinets to conceal things away from the sight. 

Clear everything from the counters, cabinet tops, windowsills, floor, and even on top of the fridge! Keep most things behind closed doors, and clean the counters immediately after use. Small kitchens need a minimalist approach to enhance the size. Sleek cabinetry with flat-panel doors will add flair and illusion for more space. 

Integrate Appliances 

Integrated kitchen appliances are kind to the eyes due to their seamlessness, making your room look bigger. The machines only take up room that the cupboards would use, hence their immense space-saving properties making them super effective in kitchens with limited space. 

Another benefit of this style is the sleek, clean finish which enhances small rooms. Integrated appliances create a fuss-free clean finish to your entire layout, which gives a sophisticated appeal.


An inviting kitchen is a game changer regardless of the size. A study suggested that homes with pleasant kitchens eat home-cooked foods promoting healthy families. Use these tricks and hacks to make your small apartment kitchen appear bigger without bringing down walls.  

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.


Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Make an Apartment Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A beautiful kitchen boosts your moods instantly you walk in, while dark and cramped rooms dampen your spirits. Due to the growing recognition of the social aspects of the kitchen, people prefer big spaces. However, aesthetics and functionality are the top considerations when designing a kitchen.

Life in urban areas offers more opportunities and attracts a considerable populace. This makes space scarce as demand outstrips supply. If you land an apartment with a small kitchen, follow these hacks to create the impression of a bigger space. 

Go White!

White is the best color for a small kitchen for many reasons. It is loaded with benefits of visual effects, and according to experts in the design field, white spaces tend to clear your mind. This tricks your mind into creating more space. 

A white background also makes it easy for you to seamlessly incorporate other hues for furnishings, décor, and more for a perfect space.

If you love character and effects, consider using several shades of white in a small kitchen apartment. Contrasting textures will keep your room from being sterile. The color will make the wall recede and enhance a sense of space.  

Light, and More Light!

A simple way to make your small kitchen look bigger is by taking advantage of natural light. Keep window treatments minimal and if you want more privacy, use blinds to make your space private without blocking light. Natural light will make your kitchen less confined.

Consider placing a large mirror opposite a window to maximize the daylight. Adding the mirror effect reflects the natural light in different directions. 

Reflective surfaces like stainless steel, marble countertops, and ceramic tiles amplify the effects of both artificial and natural light, making small kitchens larger. 

Ensure that your kitchen has adequate lighting to improve functionality. Pendant lights under the white cabinets add a pleasant ambiance and make your kitchen look bigger than the actual square footage.

Plan your Kitchen Layout to the Latter

When you have a small space to accommodate the numerous functions of the kitchen, plan the layout to the last detail. If you are planning for a kitchen redo, try engaging a professional. 

Provide sufficient countertop space and enough space for seamlessly moving around the room. Great movement flow will make your kitchen look spacious. 

Small kitchens pose storage challenges that make it easy to crowd countertops. Collectible and cookware cramp working space and overwhelm a small kitchen making the room small and busy. Provide space for everything and consider clever kitchen storage ideas. Use cabinets to conceal things away from the sight. 

Clear everything from the counters, cabinet tops, windowsills, floor, and even on top of the fridge! Keep most things behind closed doors, and clean the counters immediately after use. Small kitchens need a minimalist approach to enhance the size. Sleek cabinetry with flat-panel doors will add flair and illusion for more space. 

Integrate Appliances 

Integrated kitchen appliances are kind to the eyes due to their seamlessness, making your room look bigger. The machines only take up room that the cupboards would use, hence their immense space-saving properties making them super effective in kitchens with limited space. 

Another benefit of this style is the sleek, clean finish which enhances small rooms. Integrated appliances create a fuss-free clean finish to your entire layout, which gives a sophisticated appeal.


An inviting kitchen is a game changer regardless of the size. A study suggested that homes with pleasant kitchens eat home-cooked foods promoting healthy families. Use these tricks and hacks to make your small apartment kitchen appear bigger without bringing down walls.  

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Use Resume Keywords to Get Past Online Screeners

When was the last time you printed out your resume and handed it to an actual human being?

These days, many job seekers don’t interact with a real, live person until they get past an electronic screening round.

More companies are using automated applicant tracking systems (ATS), also known as talent management systems, to find job candidates.

While ATS systems are efficient, they eliminate resumes that are missing important keywords. That means you might get passed up for amazing job opportunities simply because your resume and cover letter aren’t optimized for an algorithm.

We asked career coaches and HR experts for tips on how to ensure your resume gets past auto-screeners programmed to look for certain keywords.

We’ll also cover other ways to make your digital resume stand out in the world of online job searching.

Play to the Resume Keywords

Resume keywords are specific words or short phrases that describe the skills, abilities, credentials and qualifications hiring managers are looking for in an ideal candidate for a particular position.

They are buzzwords, action verbs and concise language that pops on a resume and lands you closer to a job interview.

But how do you pick the right words and key phrases?

Here are a few tips.

Different Types of Resume Keywords

There are two main types of resume keywords employers and computer software programs look for: job-related skills and action verbs.

Job-Related Keywords

Job-related resume keywords describe your primary soft skills and hard skills.

This includes your certifications, industry knowledge, credentials, abilities and previous work experience.

  • Examples of soft skill keywords: communication skills, team building, detail-oriented.
  • Examples of hard skills: technical reporting, computer science, accounting, legal, sales, Microsoft Office Suite, WordPress, financial analysis, Quickbooks.

Action Verbs

Action verbs detail what you did or how you did it. They help describe your skills and accomplishments.

Here are some solid action words to use in a resume:

  • implemented
  • maximized
  • communicated
  • operated
  • streamlined
  • managed
  • integrated
  • overhauled
  • facilitated
  • orchestrated
  • navigated
  • improved
  • executed
  • optimized

Scrutinize Job Listings

You have a better chance of getting an interview If your resume uses keywords from the job description of your desired role.

It makes sense: Hiring managers want candidates with relevant skills that match the position.

You can take two different approaches:

  1. Examine job descriptions that are similar to the positions you’re applying for and identify patterns of keywords to incorporate into your resume.
  2. Tailor your resume to each job listing you apply to, using specific keywords and language from that job description.

If you draw inspiration from several job listings, make a list of common keywords and phrases. Refer back to the list as you revise your resume.

If you write a targeted resume, it should include precise language from the job ad. For example, if the company uses “BA,” you should too. If they say “bachelor’s degree,” go with that resume keyword instead.

Never plagiarize entire sentences or copy whole sections from job ads verbatim.

If you borrow too much content from the job description, your resume might get auto-rejected. Go for a more natural approach and sprinkle keywords from the job ad throughout your resume.

Review the Company’s Website for More Resume Keywords

You can learn a lot by reading a company’s About Us page.

How does the company describe itself? What’s the culture like? Which core values does it emphasize?

Reviewing a company website for keywords is a great way to personalize your resume and increase your odds of landing an interview.

You can also look for resume keywords on: 

  • The company’s LinkedIn page.
  • Employee LinkedIn profiles.
  • Industry organizations and trade websites.
  • Competitor websites.
  • Google “[industry] resume keywords” for more specific suggestions.

Searching Google is a great way to find resume keywords that align with your background and experience.

To find more inspiration, try searching for resume buzzwords based on:

  • The position (i.e. content creator keywords, journalist keywords, nursing assistant keywords)
  • The industry (i.e. advertising resume keywords)
  • Seniority (i.e. management keywords, entry-level position keywords)

Tips on Using Resume Keywords

You’ve found some great keywords — but now what?

Relax, you don’t need to rewrite your entire resume from scratch. Instead, here are a few tips to keep in mind when optimizing your resume.

Be as Specific as Possible

If you’re a pro at Photoshop or WordPress, call the programs out by name instead of saying “photo editing experience” or “worked with content management systems.”

Sprinkle Them In

Don’t just cram as many keywords as possible into the skills section of your resume. Spread them throughout the document. Integrate them naturally into your resume summary statement and past job descriptions. You can also create a separate “relevant skills” or “core competencies” section that lists out relevant keywords.

Don’t Lie

This is obvious, but don’t include keywords unless you have the skills and experience to back them up. You might sneak past the ATS, but lying on your resume won’t fly with the hiring manager.

Mix It Up

Include a variety of job-related resume keywords and active verbs. Consider mixing in synonyms of keywords you’ve already used. For example, instead of writing “created weekly production reports” twice, you can try “facilitated technical paperwork.”

Add Keywords to Your Email and Cover Letter

It never hurts to use some power words and industry buzzwords in your email and/or cover letter to the hiring manager. If a job posting instructs you to include a specific phrase in the email subject line, absolutely do it. Your resume may get screened out otherwise.

Adding a skills section is another good way to call attention to specific talents and tools recruiters are looking for during the hiring process.

The Old One-Page Rule Still Applies

Remember in high school when you first learned about resumes? Rule No. 1 was keeping your resume to one page.

That still applies, says Michelle Quinn, placement director for HireMinds LLC, a hiring and placement agency in Boston.

The one-pager, she says, is the first test of a person’s “ability to clearly articulate a wealth of information on a limited canvas.”

But, she says, if you think the stuff you leave off is still important for a hiring manager to see, put it on your personal website and add a link to it.

Readability Is Critical to Both Humans and Algorithms

Whether it’s reviewed by a hiring manager or an applicant tracking system, your resume must be easy to read.

Indeed.com suggests using a font like Arial or Times New Roman in size 10 or 12 for maximum readability. Skip fonts that look like handwriting or scripts.

If you want to showcase your design ability and work samples, the best place to do that is via your online portfolio. Make sure to include a link to it on your resume.

No matter what resume format you choose, don’t overload it with extra, unnecessary information. Tailor it to the specific job listing you’re applying for.

Also: Be aware of how much white space is on the document itself — too much makes your experience seem sparse, too little is overwhelming to the reader.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. Freelancer Elizabeth Carr contributed reporting.



Source: thepennyhoarder.com

What Is Market Overhang?

Market overhang is a market phenomenon whereby investors hold off trading a stock that’s seen a drop in price, because the expectation is the price will drop even further.

A market or stock overhang can be precipitated by the awareness that a large block of shares — say, from an institutional investor — is about to hit the market, potentially driving a stock’s price down. But it can result from other factors as well. Although the event has not happened, investors may hesitate to sell or buy shares in anticipation of price drop — and this can further depress the stock price.

While there is also a business use of the term “overhang,” we’ll primarily focus on how market overhang works in finance and what it means for investors.

Market Overhang Definition

In its broadest use, an overhang describes a somewhat artificial market condition brought on by an anticipated shift in supply and demand (a.k.a. the price of a stock). Market overhang has a couple of uses in the business and finance worlds, and in an IPO market as well.

What Is an Overhang in Business?

An overhang in a business context can refer to the practice whereby a company, typically an industry leader, delays the release of a new product in order to stoke greater consumer demand for that product.

A familiar example might be the release of a new technology product or video game. The anticipation of the new release may cause consumers to avoid buying other products as they wait for the arrival of the new one. The overhang may result in lower purchases for existing products — and higher purchases of the newly released product. While this practice can be considered manipulative, it’s not uncommon.

What Is an Overhang in Finance?

More commonly: An overhang in finance is used to describe a dynamic that’s specific to how investors’ expectation about supply and demand can impact a company’s share price.

A market overhang is when a stock’s price declines because investors expect a further price drop on the horizon. Thus, some shareholders may hesitate to sell their shares, because that could further drive down the share price. Other investors may also hesitate to buy shares because of the anticipated price drop.

The business use of the term and the finance use describe different situations, but the common element is how investors’ anticipation of a future event can impact a company’s revenues or share price.

Needless to say, a market overhang can cast a shadow over a company’s performance, influencing share price, liquidity, and more, especially if the situation is prolonged. In many cases, though, market overhang is relatively short-lived and temporary. The difficulty for investors is knowing when the overhang, like bad weather, is finally going to pass. To that end, it helps to know some conditions that can cause a market overhang.

How Market Overhang Is Created

There are a few conditions that can lead to a market overhang. Often these conditions can overlap.

A Stock Decline

The first is where a stock is already declining, perhaps owing to a change in key economic indicators or market conditions, and there is a buildup of selling pressure as investors hesitate to let go of their shares in a down market. This type of market overhang may be resolved once there are signs of price stability (even if it’s at a lower level).

The Role of Institutional Investors

Another type of stock overhang can be created by institutional investors — or companies that manage investments on behalf of clients or members of a firm. Institutional investors tend to have a larger stake in a particular stock compared with individual investors. This means that when the institutional investor plans to sell a large portion of their shares, a market overhang could kick in when investors become aware of this possible sale.

The anticipation of a large block of shares entering the market could drive prices down, and thus investors might hold off trading this particular stock — impacting its price, even before the institutional investor has made a move.

The stock overhang might be worse if it occurs during a price decline. In that case, investors may see the decline in share price, become aware that a large investor may sell a block of shares (which could further depress the price), become even more wary of buying or selling the company’s shares.

IPOs and Market Overhang

A third way that market overhang may occur is after an initial public offering (IPO). An IPO market can be a hot market, after all, and a company may get significant press coverage as its IPO approaches, which can drive up the stock price.

But if the IPO isn’t a big hit, and the share price isn’t what investors hoped (in IPO terms), there might be a bit of an overhang as investors wait for the lock-up period to end. The lock-up period is when company insiders can sell their shares, potentially flooding the market and further lowering the price.

Understanding the Effects of Market Overhang

Market overhang can last for a few weeks or even months — sometimes longer. The chief impact of a market overhang is that it can artificially depress the price of a stock, and if the market overhang is prolonged, that can have a negative impact on company performance.

As noted above, a market overhang typically ends when a stock price stabilizes. Unfortunately that often occurs at a lower price point than before the shares began to decline.

Example of Market Overhang

While some consider the market overhang phenomenon more anecdotal than technical, it’s something to watch out for. It could present an opportunity. And it doesn’t require a complicated, technical stock analysis to understand.

For example, let’s say a large tech company is trading at $300 a share. But there are reports that the company has been facing some headwinds, and it may undergo a rebranding and repositioning. In the face of this change and uncertainty, it’s natural that it might impact company performance and the share price might wobble a bit. But then, if enough investors are concerned about the company’s “new direction,” there could be a bigger shift in trading behavior that might further depress the share price in advance of the company pivot — creating an overhang.

While this isn’t ideal for current shareholders, a market overhang like this could be a “buy” opportunity for other investors. It depends on a number of factors, and it’s always important to understand market trends as well as company fundamentals. But it’s possible that some investors may view the company as a good prospect, despite a currently undervalued share price, and buy shares with the hope they might rise to their previous levels.

Why Market Overhang Matters

Market overhang is a valuable phenomenon for investors to be aware of, largely because it reflects many of the basic tenets of behavioral finance, which is the study of how emotions can impact financial choices. A market overhang could be viewed as the result of loss aversion and herd mentality — two well-documented behavioral patterns among investors.

Loss aversion is, as it sounds, the wish to avoid incurring losses. Herd mentality is, not surprisingly, the tendency for investors to behave as a group: buying or selling in waves. You can see how these two very human impulses — to protect oneself from losses, and to follow the herd — might create a market overhang.

The good news, though, is that investors are capricious and markets can be volatile, which means the market overhang will usually pass, and the stock will regain its normal momentum, whatever that may be. As an investor witnessing the changing weather, so to say, it’s up to you whether a stock overhang might present a buy opportunity or a sell opportunity — if you need to harvest some losses, for tax purposes.

What Market Overhang Means for Shareholders

Market overhang affects different shareholders differently. Since institutional investors tend to be the ones who create market overhang, they also tend to have the upper hand on what it means for their investments.

Regular investors might worry that some of their shares are losing value. But with the ebbs and flows of the stock market, a price can rise and fall at various times throughout the year — even throughout a given day. Fluctuation is normal and this is part of the risk in investing in the stock market. Consider waiting out the storm to make an informed decision. There’s a chance the stock could rise to new highs and your investment will be worth even more.

The Takeaway

What is a market overhang? While this type of trend is considered more behavioral in nature, it’s worthwhile for investors to keep it in mind when a stock isn’t performing as expected. In some cases, when investors anticipate an event that could drive down a stock’s price, they may hold off on trading that stock, further depressing the price and creating a market overhang.

In that sense, a market overhang can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Institutional investors can create a market overhang, for example, when they contemplate selling a large portion of their holdings. This might spook other investors, who likewise decide not to trade their shares, creating a sort of temporary downward spiral in the share price. But because two common investor dynamics are at play here — the fear of losses, and the desire to comply with what other investors are doing — the emotions are usually temporary, and the market overhang passes. And just because a price decline might upset some investors, it could present a buying opportunity for others.

If you’re ready to start your own portfolio, consider opening an Active Invest self-directed brokerage account with SoFi Invest. You can set it up easily on your phone or laptop, and start trading stocks, ETFs, crypo, IPO shares, and more. SoFi members even have access to complimentary financial advice from professionals. Get started investing for your future today!

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2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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Source: sofi.com

The Best Apartment Flooring Options When Living With Pets

Choosing the right flooring will help ensure a smooth rental experience for both you and your pets.

Pet owners know it’s important to consider units with pet-friendly floors. For most pet owners, the damage from pet claws and pet stains are their biggest concerns. Choosing a pet-friendly flooring to resist pet stains and is extremely scratch resistant is ideal. Be sure to read your lease agreement as many landlords often add a clause about pets. It’s worth taking the time to find the best pet-friendly apartment possible.

Here are some things a pet owner may want to consider when choosing the best floor option for both you and your furry friends in kitchens, family rooms or living rooms.

What’s the best flooring for living with pets?

Finding flooring types with a scratch-resistant finish for our furry friends isn’t easy, especially if you’re seeking the best flooring for dogs since they’re generally more active than cats. A dog’s nails, even when they’re clipped regularly, can do damage to wood floors. Other things to consider are stains caused by liquids, whether it’s urine or water from a water bowl.

Each type of flooring has a list of pros and cons. Dog owners might choose waterproof flooring options because they’re easier to clean after they walk their dogs while a cat or dog owner may look for the right flooring based on how easy it is to wipe off pet hair.

hardwood floors are the best apartment flooring when living with pets.

hardwood floors are the best apartment flooring when living with pets.

Most common types of floors in apartments

Most apartments have hardwood floors, luxury vinyl flooring or laminate flooring in the living room and dining room areas. Kitchens usually feature ceramic tile, vinyl flooring or porcelain tile because these are more water-resistant than hardwood flooring. Water and wood don’t like to mix so you’ll want to avoid using a mop with water or soap-based cleaners on any type of wood floor.

Not as common but also found in homes are cork flooring, bamboo flooring, luxury vinyl plank, concrete floors and natural stone.

Choosing the best type of flooring based on pet use

To help minimize the way scratches appear on floors, consider lighter stains, woods with more grains or lighter-colored tiles if leaning toward vinyl, laminate or ceramic options. The disadvantage of lighter colors is they might show more dirt trekked in from the outdoors.

Think about your pet and how they navigate their spaces in your apartment. If they can go weeks with unclipped claws and scratches are a bigger issue, go lighter. If trekking in dirt from walks is a problem, go with more patterns or darker colors.

dog on hardwood

dog on hardwood

Are solid hardwood floors good for pets?

Not all hardwood is the same. Homes can feature different types of wood species, grains, styles and thickness levels. It’s best to consider your budget and the look you want before buying or installing this type of flooring.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it’s possible for pet owners to enjoy having a solid hardwood floor with some considerations. If you’re a wood floor lover, make sure you trim your dog’s nails regularly and you wipe up any messes immediately — whether accidents or muddy paw marks.

The organization also recommends engineered hardwood flooring with the most scratch-resistant finish available as one of the best flooring for dogs if you want that wood floor look. Another recommendation by AKC is to choose the hardest wood you can find, such as teak, mesquite or hard maple, if you’re adding new flooring. “Wood with a matte or low-gloss look will do a better job at hiding scratches,” the organization notes. “And be sure to finish your floor with a scratch-resistant finish.”

Hardwood floors offer a few benefits from a general lifestyle and use perspective. You can usually include them in any décor, whether traditional or modern and installed in most spaces. You can buff or refinish them multiple times before you’re left with a thin layer and need to replace the entire floor.

Refinishing damaged hardwoods

The manufacturing process of some engineered hardwood floors allows you to refinish after sanding. For best results, it’s best if the wear layer is thick. Ideally, you want the wear layer at least three millimeters thick, otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the floor to the point that you’ll need to replace it.

Still, even in high traffic areas, a simple buffing can usually remove unsightly scratches without needing to go through the expense and trouble of refinishing.

Some negatives of hardwood floors: water and wood don’t like to mix so you’ll want to avoid using a mop with water or soap-based cleaners on any type of wood flooring. Instead, use cleaners designed for wood and keep a duster nearby to clean up any messes. Also, wood can get expensive to buy and install. Finding options that are more readily available, such as walnut or ash, can help keep this flooring option more affordable than opting for exotic hardwood species where you’ll be paying a premium.

Other flooring options besides hardwood floors

Another option? Go with distressed or reclaimed wood. While not pet-proof, these flooring options look scratched and well-loved so any marks from pets’ nails aren’t noticeable.

Not a hardwood floor since it’s technically a grass, bamboo flooring has similar features to hardwood and between the two options, is usually slightly more affordable flooring of the two.

Is laminate flooring stain-resistant?

Laminate flooring is the favorite thanks to its stain resistance and durability. It’s also less expensive than hardwood, luxury vinyl tile, ceramic tile and natural stone. When paired with a strong sealant layer, it’s relatively scratch-proof, making it ideal as flooring if you have pets at home.

Laminate flooring can get slippery for pets so finishing it with some texture will help keep those paws from skidding all over the place. Like any flooring, you want to wipe off any surface moisture and keep towels handy by doors where pets walk in and out to clean up any excess moisture or dirt that trails inside.

cleaning floors

cleaning floors

Caring for floors when you have pets

Not everyone has a say in which type of floor comes with their apartment or home. The best types are the ones that make it easy to keep clean and you’re not stuck giving up your security deposit because the floors need refinishing or replacing.

If you have any type of tile, such as porcelain, luxury vinyl or ceramic tile, keep in mind you’ll need to clean grout lines, as well as the tile when things get wet or dirty.

If you find an apartment you love but the flooring will be an issue with your pet, be proactive and think of solutions that will make everyone happier. Some pet owners throw down a thin-piled rug on hardwood, for example, to make it easier for their pets to walk around. Others will add that little mat beneath their pet’s food and water bowl to catch any spills and not let water sit on the floor for too long. If a room has thick or shag-type carpet and your pet can avoid that room, cordon off the room with a baby or pet gate.

Best floors when living with pets

Pets make our lives fuller and more fun and according to the Humane Society, 72 percent of renters have pets. Since more of us have pets than don’t, choosing apartments that are a good match to our lifestyle will go a long way toward an enjoyable rental experience. Taking the time to consider an apartment based on its amenities, whether that means the building includes a pool or a dog run, is one thing. But it’s overlooked details like flooring that sometimes get missed when looking at a place.

If you have pets, it’s a good idea to review apartments based on how your life, and the life of your pet, would be easier and more enjoyable. While flooring isn’t obvious, choosing the best flooring when living with pets will help you both enjoy the place and be as stress-free as possible.

Source: rent.com

Rising Health Care Costs and the Impact on Soon-to-Be Retirees

Over the past few months, Americans’ concern over inflation has steadily increased. A Gallup poll coordinated in March noted that 17% of Americans believe the high cost of living and inflation is a significant problem, up from just 8% in January. For individuals who may be nearing retirement, there are planning considerations to be mindful of as prices continue to rise – most notable, given the significant cost to retirees, is health care.  

While inflation may result in higher prescription and medical supply prices in the short term, health care costs typically outpace inflation over the long term, regardless of market conditions. This means soon-to-be retirees need to be forward-thinking and include health care costs in their broader financial plan.

Estimate costs

According to a model Vanguard developed with Mercer Health, even with Medicare, average health care costs can reach over $5,000 per year. In my work with clients, I typically focus on health care planning when an individual or couple is five to 10 years outside of expected retirement. This advanced planning can enable someone to develop a thoughtful approach to preparing for — and ultimately paying for, future health care costs.

A few years before retirement, start thinking about retirement timeline logistics. For example, if an individual is planning to retire at 62 but won’t be eligible for Medicare until 65, they’ll need to determine how they’ll cover health expenses for three years. For some, they might consider joining their partner’s health insurance plan (if the partner is not retiring at the same time), going with COBRA or finding a short-term insurance plan to cover the gap. Otherwise, it might mean tapping liquid assets or an HSA to pay for health care expenses before Medicare coverage kicks in.

Next, map out anticipated expenses early on and develop a corresponding savings plan to meet future objectives. Medicare.gov provides helpful information on eligibility and premium estimates. Vanguard also provides Personal Advisor Services clients, for example, with a Health Care Cost Estimator that forecasts health care and long-term care expenses.  

Evaluate family history

Of equal importance to timeline logistics is health considerations, such as family medical history, longevity expectations, and current health status, as those factors could influence your Medicare coverage choice. Of course, the concept of planning for a potential health scenario can be emotional. However, a forward-looking approach, and one that is guided with a financial adviser, can limit the need to make abrupt and challenging decisions amid a health crisis.

An additional possible expense — not covered by Medicare — is the need for long-term care. The leading conditions that often spur the need for long-term care include dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and osteoarthritis. Assess family history well before retirement and determine whether long-term care may be an expense worth accounting for.

The need for long-term care can be a financial “wild card” since some clients may not require it in their lifetime. I work with clients to think through hypothetical situations as it can determine proper health care objectives tied to a financial plan:

  • “Are you planning to relocate in retirement?” Some locations (such as the West Coast and Northeast) can have higher health care costs.
  • “Will someone care for you as you age?” If the answer is yes, that will offset costs. However, without a spouse or child’s support, it likely means the need for outside resources, which can be costly.
  • Where will I feel most comfortable as I age?” That could be the difference between in-home nursing, a shared room at a nursing home or private resources at a more expensive facility.  

Remember financial ‘trade-offs’

In addition to assessing family history and calculating potential future health care costs, it’s important to understand the financial trade-offs that will come into play throughout different decades. For example, many retirees in their 60s see a portion of their retirement income funding travel or newfound hobbies. As retirees age and this activity decreases, there is a natural trade-off in expenses – the money that was once funding a golf habit may now be allocated toward prescription costs. This financial give-and-take is important to keep in mind, as retirement income will naturally fluctuate through different seasons of life.

Health care is just one piece of the retirement planning puzzle. And, as prices continue to rise in this space, it’s critical to develop plans years before retirement to ensure long-term financial security.

Senior Financial Adviser, Vanguard

Julie Virta, CFP®, CFA, CTFA is a senior financial adviser with Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. She specializes in creating customized investment and financial planning solutions for her clients and is particularly well-versed on comprehensive wealth management and legacy planning for multi-generational families. A Boston College graduate, Virta has over 25 years of industry experience and is a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia and Boston College Alumni Association.

Source: kiplinger.com

20 Great Jobs For Retirees for Flexibility and Extra Cash

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Who even knows what “retired’’ means anymore?

You might have left the career you had in the 40-hour-a-week workforce. But now you don’t exactly want to be glued to your couch watching puppy videos. You want to be active, you want to work, and you want to make a little money to support your fun retirement plans.

While “retirement income’’ or “retirement job” might seem like oxymorons, they are a more reasonable pursuit today than in years past due to advancing life expectancies and improved health among older citizens.

Many people reach so-called retirement age and are in no way done with being productive. Many continue in freelance jobs and part-time gigs, whether in a brick-and mortar setting, from home, or even outdoors.

There are plenty of ways to bring in some extra money to augment pension, social security, or other retirement funds. We’ve rounded up 18 ideas for good jobs for retirees that offer part-time opportunities, flexible hours, or both.

20 Part-time Jobs for Retirees

Most of the examples here require your physical presence on-site, but there are remote jobs, too, such as virtual assistant and customer service work that can be done from the comfort of your home.

As you browse these possible jobs for retirees, keep in mind one warning: If you are collecting Social Security, you can only earn a certain amount each month before your benefits are reduced.

So let’s get to work, shall we?

1. Substitute Teacher

Substitute teachers have never been more valuable than today. Covid has increased the chances that a teacher might be out of the classroom either awaiting test results or recuperating. When that happens, their students need someone to teach — and that could be you.

Most school districts have lenient requirements for substitute teachers, often requiring just a bachelor’s degree with no teaching experience.

To be successful, you need to be ready to deal with a room full of 20 or so children of varying ages. But it could pay off. School districts in Chicago, for example, pay as much as $200 a day for a full day of work.

If you have an advanced degree, you may also qualify to be an adjunct instructor at a community college or four-year university.

2. School Support Worker

Most schools are always looking for crossing guards, recess supervisors and other positions. A call to your local elementary, middle or high school could lead you to a good retirement job that would fit your schedule. Even better is searching online for jobs at your school district. This will give you a range of what’s out there.

This is a classic retirement job that gets you out of the house, allows you to have contact with neighbors, and lets you provide security and safety with another set of adult eyes on the children.

3. Tutor

There are hundreds of tutoring companies in the U.S. who work with kids of all ages to enhance their school education or prepare for college entrance exams. If you sign up with one, they’ll match you with work and you won’t need to market yourself as a tutor.

The hourly pay for these companies ranges from about $13 to $25. Requirements often are limited to a bachelor’s degree, although exam-prep work might require a recent ACT or SAT test score, or might require you to retake the exam for verbal or math instruction.

If you are interested in online tutoring, there are many good paying gigs out there. Match your skills to the openings.

A senior woman drives a school bus.
Getty Images

4. School Bus Driver

School bus drivers can earn up to $20 per hour. They have regular hours with the opportunity to earn extra for field trips or outings. Some states require a specific license (a commercial drivers license, or CDL, for example) or require you to pass a driving test to qualify.

Recent news reports indicate there are many job openings for school bus drivers.

The job is likely to include more than just driving, however. You may be asked to supervise students on the bus, and you may be called upon to discipline rowdy students or those who are making the trip unsafe. A tolerance for children of all ages is probably an important requirement.

5. Shuttle Bus Driver

There are dozens of different types of shuttle bus driver jobs. Most hotels have shuttles to and from airports. Senior citizen homes, churches and community centers often offer shuttles to shopping areas or grocery stores. Hourly pay for shuttle bus drivers can average above $13 per hour, and that’s not including tips from satisfied riders. Like school bus drivers, shuttle bus drivers have regular hours.

Depending on the particulars of the job, a commercial driver’s license might be required.

There are different state laws regarding licensing for shuttle bus drivers. A specialized license might be required if the bus holds a certain number of people or is a particular size. Your state motor vehicle website will tell you what’s required in your state, and any potential employer will know, too.

6. Tour Conductor

Tour guide is one of those jobs that, when you see someone doing it, you think, “Well, I could do that too!”

Businesses, organizations and sites that host tours come in many shapes and sizes, from historical sites to museums, from outdoor walking tours to behind-the-scenes workplace tours. They can be an everyday part of a business or scheduled by appointment. What do they all have in common? A tour leader.

These jobs require knowledge about the subject and the ability to tell a good story — often while walking backwards.

Tour guides make an average base salary of $20 per hour. Plus, they are often offered tips by tour participants.

This could be a dream job for someone who knows the topic well and likes to retell stories about history, natural science or architecture (among many other possibilities).

If this appeals to you, don’t overlook a special area of knowledge you’ve developed during all those years in the workplace. Know a lot about the manufacturing industry? Maybe you’re just the person to lead tours at a cheese factory.

Looking for a fun part-time side gig? Here’s how you can earn money visiting theme parks as a Disney nanny.

7. Patient Advocate

The job of a patient advocate is to assist someone who is struggling to cope with the healthcare system. A patient advocate deals with paperwork and appointments, and communicates with healthcare providers to get information on diagnosis, treatment and followup procedures.

Advocates might also be asked to work with insurance companies to understand coverage and costs. Many are asked to help a client obtain assistance with financial or legal issues. The range of duties can be as varied as the patient’s needs.

Being a patient advocate does not require any particular educational degree, but it is possible to become certified in this role.

These positions can be part- or full-time, and they pay well, averaging $18 an hour. So if you plan to collect Social Security benefits, make sure to check how your wage impacts your benefits.

A senior citizen plays with two children outside that she's babysitting. They are chasing each other with water guns.
Getty Images

8. Child Care Provider

Child care might be a bit of a political football these days, but rarely has it been more necessary. Single parents or two-parent families that require or want two incomes are likely to need child care, and that could take the form of a nanny or frequent babysitter.

A babysitter sits in a home with a child or children. A nanny is responsible for getting children to day care or other activities; they are a substitute parent in many cases.

Craigslist, Next Door or other neighborhood job sites are great ways to search for these positions, but your best bet is to work with your personal network. Let people know that you would be willing to work as a nanny or frequent babysitter, and, with the proper recommendation, you could have a very gratifying retirement job.

There are no actual nanny or babysitter licenses or certifications in the United States, but many families require that nannies be bonded, which is a guarantee of service. It is a protection against someone failing to show up for work; one such failure forfeits the bond and that area of work is no longer available to that nanny.

Taking classes in CPR or other emergency response techniques, which offer certifications upon completion, can improve your chances of being hired.

Nannies are likely to make $15 an hour on average. Babysitter earnings vary widely by affluence of the neighborhood. Check out The Penny Hoarder’s tips on how to get paid up to $21 an hour babysitting.

9. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are independent contractors who offer business services virtually. Those services can include website management, website design, marketing assistance, social media postings, blog writing, email correspondence or any number of clerical duties that can be carried out with a computer and phone. This kind of work is often well-suited to flexible hours.

As of this writing, ZipRecruiter showed more than 221,000 virtual assistant jobs, suggesting that a virtual assistant could make up to $60,000 a year, depending on the work required.

You are more likely to work on an hourly wage determined by your experience and amount of work you are required to perform. There are also job firms that provide virtual assistants; you can sign on with them and accept work as it is offered to you.

Any task that can be done virtually via computer is likely to be requested by a virtual assistant. Firms would rather pay a freelancer than an employee to do the work.

10. Bookkeeper

You have a good head for numbers. You are in charge of your own finances, and you perhaps worked in an accounting role at a previous job.

Many small or civic organizations cannot afford, nor do they truly need, a full-time bookkeeper or accounting service. They are not in it for the money. Often, they are charitable or non-profit organizations. But they need occasional bookkeeping, often with an eye towards tax advantages.

A part-time bookkeeper job often requires simple financial recordkeeping or upkeep of other financial records. Part-time bookkeepers are usually former accountants or have experience as a bookkeeper. They may be asked to track invoices, but most companies use financial services for paychecks.

The average salary for a part-time bookkeeper is around $20 per hour.

11. Umpire and Referee

This is a perfect retirement job if you have a sports background and the ability to withstand criticism.

Competitive sports programs need officials for their games. Baseball, basketball, soccer and football all have leagues at various ages that need officiating. Depending on where you live, the work can be constant. If you get certified for multiple sports, you can work all weekend long and often during the week.

While high-level programs require officials to get licensed or certified, lower-level and youth group programs require just a basic knowledge of the rules. Look around your community for sports leagues in need of umpires or referees.

Pay is often dependent on the age of the players and the competitive level of the organization, but officials are likely to make at least $25 per game. At higher levels where certification is required, you can earn $100 per game.

A man walks a gaggle of dogs at his dog walking job.
Getty Images

12. Pet Sitting and Pet Walker

For between $10 and $15 an hour, you can earn money by pet-sitting in a home or, if the pet happens to be a dog, you can walk the animal. Pet-sitting is a good job for retirees who want to work outdoors without a lot of physical requirements other than being able to walk while pulling or being pulled.

Pet sitter/walker is also a good line of work to get into because one job can lead to another. Pet owners tend to concentrate around each other, and they will give recommendations to other pet owners about a reliable person who can watch Fido or Fluffy while they are on vacation.

If you are going to house-sit the animal, you will likely get paid more for also keeping an eye on the property while the owner is away.

13. Freelance Writer

Although freelance writers no longer provide articles — it’s called “content” now — freelance writing is a gig that can offer the freedom to accept the assignments you want. There are firms that will connect freelance writers to people or companies in need of blogs, resumes, cover letters, marketing content and more.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for a freelance writer is a bit over $20, but you are often paid by assignment or by word, so the pay varies. If you have knowledge in certain topics like science and medicine, the pay can be higher.

Writing skills rarely diminish, but the requirements for writing change over time. A knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is going to open more doors. Many jobs that use job search websites like Indeed ask for candidates to take a writing test, but many of those are simple grammar or proofreading tests.

While there are occasional situations where someone needs a one-off writing assignment, freelance writer jobs often offer consistent, if sporadic, work. A retiree who can write could have a client for years. Check out this Penny Hoarder article on places hiring freelance writers.

14. Call Center Employee

Just to be clear, we are talking about taking calls from customers, not making calls. A call center representative answers incoming calls from customers or potential customers and either answers questions or sends the caller to someone else who can answer.

As much as this is a remote job, it is definitely a people-person retirement job. You are likely to be talking to someone who is upset or unhappy, and you are the first line of communication for the company you are representing. You need to be capable of being friendly and helpful in the face of unpleasant conversation.

As such, typical hourly pay is $15 as a call center representative.

15. Freelance Bartender

Freelance bartending doesn’t require bartending school and can earn you good money working at large events or small, private parties. Hourly pay for freelance bartenders can be anywhere from $20 to $50 even before tips.

If you can memorize lots of cocktail recipes, if you have an outgoing personality and a steady hand, and if you’re willing to cut people off if needed, this could be a fit for you. Your best bet might be starting out tending bar for people you know and then building a network of referrals.

Plan on some up-front costs, such as a portable bar (if the host doesn’t have one) and basic bar tools. The host is expected to supply the alcohol and mixers. And to protect against possible liability you might want to consider an annual liability policy.

16. Shopping Specialist

Is it the shopping or the buying that you enjoy? If it’s the shopping, then you might consider becoming someone’s personal shopper.

The job title describes the job. You are given a shopping list and the means to make the purchase, and you chase after the items.

Certainly, many people already have personal shoppers and don’t know it. When they contact a grocery store and provide an itemized list of goods they want, someone does the “shopping,” and the items are then delivered.

But true personal shoppers are more likely to purchase clothing and accessories than groceries. A personal shopper often finds items and then sends photos and descriptions to the person who hired them to get approval.

Some high-end clothing stores offer personal shopper services as well. These positions might be a little less “personal,” as they might be a one-day relationship. But the concept is the same.

Personal shoppers who go after groceries or staples are likely to make typical hourly pay of $14 to $20. Those who work for a service are likely on a wage or salary determined by the service rather than by the client.

There’s also money to be made as a mystery shopper. Mystery shoppers are sometimes called evaluators or secret shoppers and often work on their own time. Their job is to document their shopping experiences and report back to the owners to help them improve customer service.

Got what it takes to be a mystery shopper? We’ve rounded up five companies that are hiring retail sleuths. 

17. Security Guard

A security guard who does not carry a weapon serves as a presence to discourage inappropriate behavior. While many large businesses like Target or Wal-Mart hire security personnel from a service, small employers such as charitable or service organizations are likely to hire someone who is reliable and gives the appearance of authority.

The responsibilities of a security guard depend on the needs of the company being guarded. There may be requirements that go beyond just being a presence, but the differences depend on the needs of the company.

Hourly pay for security guards without weapons training is likely to be between $10 and $17. Night-time security guards are likely to make more than daytime ones.

This is a good job for retirees who do not mind a bit of boredom.

Security guards who do carry weapons require special training and weapons licensing, and is an entirely different job pursuit, perhaps not as well-suited to a retirement job.

18. Seasonal Job Employee

Remember when you had a summer job as a teenager or a part-time job during your winter break from college? The same logic can work when you’re thinking about some extra retirement income.

Many seasonal jobs are defined by the weather, which is defined by the time of year and the climate where you live. Seasonal jobs are popular, never go out of style (except when the season changes), and can actually be a fun job to look forward to.

Ski resorts in the winter and water parks in the summer are two great examples of places that require seasonal employees. It is not necessary to be a ski instructor or a lifeguard, either. These places require assistance in areas outside of their main purpose: security, transportation, customer service. Even the National Park Service hires seasonal temps.

Also included in seasonal work are holiday positions during the months of October-December. On-site customer service, truck unloading, shelving of new goods, and custodial services are among the positions for which big box stores are likely to need employees. For example in 2021, we tallied more than 1 million seasonal jobs at national retailers and delivery services.

Some stores hold hiring events in October to fill these positions, but they often continue searching for employees throughout the final three months of the year.

A man takes out a croissant out of a display case for a customer who is purchasing it.
Getty Images

19. Baker/Butcher

Perhaps you grew up baking your own bread, and your cupcakes were legendary at your kid’s school events.

Perhaps you know your way around a rump roast, or can identify all the various cuts of meat they offer at your local butcher.

You could turn your lifelong interest in food preparation into a part-time job, and you are likely to be welcomed because you don’t need as much training as a newbie. Your local grocery store would be a good place to start, letting the hiring manager know that you have some background as a butcher or baker.

These are speciality skills, and as such get paid better than some other positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a butcher’s hourly wage is approximately $17.15 an hour. Payscale.com lists the average hourly wage for a baker at just under $13 per hour.

20. Specialty Store Employee

You know which hardware store to go to to get advice from someone who has fixed a toilet in their life. You know which fabric store to go to where the employees know the difference between chiffon and silk.

You could be one of those employees.

During your life, you have become knowledgeable about some aspect of household or everyday life. People with your knowledge are hired by companies to help people who do not yet have that experience. Stores that serve a specific type of customer would love to hire someone they don’t have to train extensively.

According to payscale.com, the average hourly rate for a hardware store employee is just under $13. Indeed says a sales associate at a specialty store will make an average of just over $10 an hour, maybe more now that minimum wages are increasing across the country.

Pro Tip

The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home Jobs Portal makes the remote-job hunt easy. Our journalists scour the web for the best gigs, vet the companies and aggregate the latest listings in one place.

Kent McDill is a veteran journalist who has specialized in personal finance topics since 2013. He is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com