We all know translation can be a great career.
It is a great career for all of us.
But it’s not just a great career for people out of college.
It’s not only for people who are looking for a career change.
In fact, translation is a great gig for people entering retirement.
Maybe you hadn’t thought about that before but it’s true.
And here’s 10 reasons why.
No certification required
Translators don’t have to be certified.
At least that’s the case in the U.S.
You don’t have to seek permission from anyone before you start finding clients, translating, and earning money from those clients.
All you have to do is start.
Some translators think that you can only be a professional translator if you are certified by a national organization like ATA.
These translators that think this are just salty that un-certified translators are having more success than them.
(Guess what? You don’t need to be certified.)
If you’ve never translated before your retirement, that’s OK. You don’t need permission to start.
Experience valued over education
One of the reasons you don’t need a certification is because for translation clients, experience is valued over education.
If you have experience translating, that’s good.
However, if you don’t have experience translating but you have experience in a specific niche or speciality, and can discuss that area in two languages, that’s still good.
Now, if you have both experience and education (and when I say education, I mean education on how to translate), then that is the best combination.
But a lack of translation experience can be overcome. You can learn how to translate, and it doesn’t take as much time as you would think.
Almost no equipment needed
As a retiree, you don’t want to have to pay for and learn a bunch of new software or tools just to become a translator.
And you don’t have to.
You can be a successful translator with a laptop, an Internet connection, and a word processor.
That’s all you need.
If you can manage those three things, you’ve got everything you need.
Any translation tools beyond these three can improve your translation efficiency, but they’re not necessary.
Do it from anywhere
A freelance translation can work from anywhere.
As a retiree, you might not want to be tied to a specific location.
If you want to live somewhere more isolated where you don’t have to deal with people, you can and still be a successful translator.
If you want to travel in an RV across the country visiting your grandkids, you can do that and still be a successful translator.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics states that translators earn more on the coasts.
These are in-h0use translators.
The statistics don’t take into consideration freelance translators.
Work as much (or little) as you want
Just as you can work anywhere you want, you can also work whenever you want.
If you retired from a nine-to-five job you worked at for 30 years, you might not necessarily want to keep up that same schedule in retirement.
Maybe you have hobbies or other things you want to to during the day.
Work whenever you want.
Work only on the weekends.
Work from midnight to three in morning.
You’ve got the time so make it work for you. That’s how you’ll have success as a translator in retirement.
Suited for local and online clients
Many retirees don’t want to travel.
They would rather just stay in their local communities and enjoy their time at home.
That’s fine if you’re a translator.
As a translator, you have plenty of clients to go after.
You can go the online route and find clients that way.
But you can also stick with advertising your translation business to local clients.
A lot of translators ignore the possibilities in their own communities.
It’s even easier to get local clients if you’ve lived in the community for a long time and are well connected (or at least know) the people that own and run those businesses.
Keeps your mind sharp
Language work keeps your mind sharp, even as you age.
Here’s the abstract from one study from the Department of Psychology Centre for Speech, Language and the Brain from the University of Cambridge titled, Language in the aging brain: The network dynamics of cognitive decline and preservation:
And another one from the University of Edinburgh:
So there you go.
Want to maintain or even improve your cognitive functioning as you get older?
Keep using and improving your language game. And a great way to do that is through translation.
If you’re retired in the U.S. and have worked the whole of your adult life, you are most likely receiving social security.
It isn’t a ton of money.
But it’s something.
As a translator in retirement, you won’t have to be earning from $0.
You’ll have a little bit of a cushion.
This means you will be under less pressure.
And less pressure can lead to better results.
Especially over the long term.
Some retirees suffer from loneliness.
They don’t have families or their families live far away and don’t visit often.
Translation can be a replacement for that loneliness.
Translation is inherently an isolated career; however, there are plenty of opportunities for translators to connect with other translators and language lovers online.
For someone who is lonely, those online connections can literally be a life saver.
It can give you purpose and a reason to get out of bed and be productive.
If you’re in retirement or approaching retirement, and you’re wondering what you can do to keep yourself busy, take a look at being a translator.
Until next time.
P.S. If you want an easy way to start your translation business, get it set up online using Bluehost. They make it easy to do.