Retirement is different today than in our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. More Americans are choosing to work during their golden years – because they want to or because they have to in these trying times.
Whether you’re choosing to work to keep the juices flowing or simply because you need the paycheck, working during retirement can be an exciting way to start a new chapter in your life and take on new challenges.
“As baby boomers reach their 50s and 60s, they are redefining what it means to retire. Many are still choosing to work or create a new life entirely,” says David C. Borchard, authorof the new book, The Joy of Retirement.
“Almost all retirees are seeking the same things,” he added. “First, they want more freedom to manage their lives and be more autonomous. And second, they want the freedom to do the things that interest them and be who they want to be – at home or at work.”
Put simply, retirement can be a great time for a change that allows you to reinvent yourself and work at things you enjoy, while reaping the benefits of keeping income flowing into your golden years. Here are some options to consider as you take on new work or a new career in retirement, as suggested by Borchard:Reflect on what roles interest you and will be meaningful. Options literally abound when you reinvent yourself, such as: entrepreneur, business owner, Peace Corps worker, bed and breakfast owner or manager, tour guide, skilled craftsman, crafts artist, politician, or even becoming a vintner or nightclub entertainer. It’s all about dreaming up your own future. Transitioning into a totally new and challenging career can be tough. For help, consider engaging the services of a career coach or counselor. Return to college to obtain a degree or certificate to initiate a career in a new area such as nursing, architectural landscape, French pastry chef, bike mechanic, massage therapist, bar tender, vintner or organic farmer. Find a niche to transfer a special knowledge, a natural talent or a unique personality asset into a new career direction, such as a tour guide for an attractionfor which you have an affinity, sportscaster for a local sports team, scoutmaster or public official. Find a new work challenge that puts your talent and full potential to the test. A good reference to find work to suit your talent is Career One Stop at www.careeronestop.org. Click on “Explore Careers.” Join the Peace Corps or similar types of organizations, such as AmeriCorps (www.americorps.org), Vista (www.friendsofvista.org), Cross Cultural Solutions www.crossculturalsolutions.org or Earth Watch Institute www.earthwatch.org. Develop a proposal and seek funding for a project you care about. Take on a challenging assignment - something you have never done. Seek an exchange assignment with a company where you would engage in different kinds of work activities. For ideas in this topic, try a Google search for “secondment.” Work with or start your own nongovernmental agency. For ideas, search the Internet for “NGO.” “Retirement can be a great time to find the happiness and freedom you’vealways wanted in new work challenges.
Indeed, deep personal interests can make for great second careers that actually make you want to get out of bed in the morning to go to work,” said Borchard.