Retirement Careers

Increasing numbers of Americans are finding themselves transitioning to retirement careers instead of quitting the workforce altogether, making the leap from long-held jobs into different – and often more fulfilling – work. The fact of the matter is Baby Boomers are healthier and more energetic than their parents, meaning you may take “early retirement” at 55 and still have another twenty years of productive time to offer the world. The biggest question you will have to ask is what you want to do with it. After being told where to go and what to do for so long, you might find it challenging to see all your options, but rethinking your retirement planning can open your eyes to exciting days ahead. Wondering where to start? Here are some pointers to get you going:

 

Do some dreaming

As the idea of a different job begins to take root in your mind, what do you see? Sure, you have built up a certain set of skills over the years, but what would your “perfect” day be? How would you spend your time? What affect would you have on others? It may seem like pie in the sky, especially when you’ve spent decades doing one thing in particular, yet there is tremendous value in exploring your desires. When you take the time to play some “What if,” you greatly increase the chances you will find something that satisfies your financial and psychological needs.

 

Look for small steps

For most of us, suddenly quitting our jobs and searching for the dream opportunity isn’t an option. Even if the mortgage is paid off and the kids are out of college, you can begin to sample your new life by searching out opportunities to volunteer in the industry. This will help you make contact with people who will know of openings, while simultaneously allowing you to see if it’s a good fit.

Plus, if you’re considering a shift into a field that will require some schooling or another degree, you may get insight into the best programs available before you invest more time and some of your hard-earned money. Though there are several reputable online programs offering certifications and diplomas of all kinds, getting to know people who are already “out there” will give you a way to learn what they look for – and keep you from wasting hours studying when it’s really of no benefit.

 

Practice patience

Don’t get frustrated if it takes some time to figure out what you would like to do and get moving in that direction. The transition will be a process, as you will probably have to redefine what success looks like as you change – the corner office and long hours that come with it will be a thing of the past. As you develop momentum, you will come across obstacles and find out what you don’t know more often than not, but that’s the case any time you do something new. Persevere in the pursuit of your goal and you will be met with an uncommon pleasure in a (second) job well done.