The modern retiree isn’t all about sitting at home and watching television or hitting the beach. Many retirees find success in retirement means more work. Sometimes, your calling in life extends into retirement, and you’re ready for that second performance.
Cue the encore career, where retirees seek challenging, interesting and rewarding work during retirement. Another job could help grow the retirement nest egg or make extra income to pay the bills.
Often, an encore career is taken to pursue a dream placed on the backburner or contribute to something meaningful in the community, while getting paid in a challenging position that’s different from the past few decades.
Just because you retire doesn’t mean your career is be over. One survey revealed nearly 75 percent of American workers are expecting to work for as long as they can, and 39 percent of those surveyed are doing it because they like working. Another third plan on continuing work for financial need.
If you’re entering retirement age and are interested in what an encore career might look like for you, take time to weigh your needs and interests.
What Do You Desire From an Encore Career?
What does success look like for you when taking on a second career in retirement? What do you want to feel or achieve? How important is the money factor?
Balance dreams with your needs. Your goals or desires may ideally involve:
- Flexibility. What hours suit your new lifestyle? Are benefits a necessity? Would full time or part time be best?
- A New Social Life. An encore career might get you involved with interesting folks. When you are thinking, consider — what types of people do you work with best? What do you want to learn?
- More Activity. Was your first career fulfilling? If you opted for money over a dream, maybe now is time to chase that rainbow. What is fulfilling to you? Are there specific tasks you see yourself performing?
It’s like asking yourself, what do you want to be when you grow up or what do you want to major in at college? Every life phase has a fresh start, and it’s important to embrace that zeal and sense of adventure when pursuing an encore career.
Research Various Encore Careers: Dig Deeply Into What Calls You
Embrace this new phase of life and research various encore careers. When an option calls you, dig deeply into the career to learn the various ins and outs.
You’re not the odd ball out because nearly 4.5 million retirees aged 50 and 70 are pursuing encore careers, and 21 million have started planning theirs. Most want to pursue a second career in something meaningful with societal impact.
If you’re looking to give back or have an empathetic nature, consider being a caregiver where you monitor shifts in health of a client and provide companionship. Duties may require errands and assistance with basic care and household duties, among others.
If interested in learning more about different types of careers, check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook to analyze salary, job outlook, work environment and educational requirements. Stop by your local bookstore or library to acquire books about discovering your passion, such as What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles. You’ll need to make sure the career choice is a fit for your dreams, goals and needs.
Talk to People to Learn More
It’s one thing to read about something, but it’s another to talk to the individuals living out your interests.
If you still feel at a loss about a specific career choice to investigate, talk to other retirees in your community about volunteer work or encore careers they have take on. Ask relevant questions to gauge if it’s a field you’d be interested in and to get insight into factors you may have not considered, such as the need for more education or relocation.
When you have your eye on a career choice, start developing your career network. Talk to people of all ages and experiences within that field. Outline questions you want to ask in an informational interview in advance:
- What is a typical workday like for you?
What skills do you need to do this job on a daily basis?
- What’s the corporate culture or work environment like?
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job?
See if you can shadow a professional for a day to get a feel for the job. Your network will also help with the career shift and keep you alerted about job vacancies.
Revisit Your Retirement Plan With an Encore Career In Mind
Once you’ve conducted your research and know an encore career is right for you, revisit your retirement plan. Look back over your assets, analyzing your projected retirement income, retirement accounts and taxes, and then factor in the projections and plans for incorporating your encore career into the retirement mix.
As long as you’re not overworking yourself and are meeting your needs, the implications and effects on your retirement will be primarily positive. Use retirement calculators online to help you analyze the financial impact of a job in retirement on your future.
Pursuing an encore career is rewarding and fulfilling for many retirees who don’t want to sit around in their golden years. Keep in mind that this career shift will have its challenges. Make sure you are willing to accommodate those within the framework of your own needs and other life goals.
Let your passion lead you, and don’t get in an “I’m too old for this” funk — you’re not. Believe in your knowledge and experience, and that people are always learning. You’ve got much to contribute in an encore career.