Retirement today is not that of a generation ago, we are living longer these days, and retirement is not what it used to be. Today, 60 (and beyond) is the new 50. Retirement is no longer a time to just garden and visit the grandkids, and healthier retirees want to stay engaged and stimulated. According to a recent survey about two-thirds of workers plan to work in retirement.
Entering retirement age doesn’t have to mean the impending end of a reliable regular paycheck. Even better, retirement could mean the start of doing something that you have always wanted to do and getting paid for it! It is time to really ask yourself, why do you want to work.
Determine the real reason you want to work,
advises Rich Feller, a professor at Colorado State University who specializes in career development. “Is it for financial reasons, are you seeking meaning, social connections or a way to build structure and fill time?” he asks. “If you don’t clarify that upfront, it’s really difficult to know where you’ll find satisfaction and meaning.
You May Simply Want to Work Part-Time Instead of Full-Time
Working full-time usually means structuring your whole life around your job, and this can become physically and emotionally draining. However, switching to a job with fewer hours and more flexibility offers similar rewards to working full-time, but provides flexibility and more free time.
Think about self-employment
“The best solution for many in these circumstances is to make a successful transition to self-employment,” says Michael Kennedy, president of coaching and consulting firm Your Future Reimagined. “My recommendation for people looking for part-time work in retirement would be to first explore opportunities to create their own job.” Consider building a business that accommodates other priorities in life, and also reflects the hours that you want to work, he says.
You might need new skills and increased knowledge to land the job you desire. Check out online and in-person classes, certification and degree programs. The American Association of Community Colleges’ Plus 50 Initiative has information on community colleges that offers courses for adults aged 50 and older.
Turn your hobbies into a career,
“monetizing” hobbies. Those who are considering this should be sure that they both excel at their hobby, and that they can make money from it. You can start by first testing a concept with potential clients before fully relying on this path as a source of income.
Researchers at Oregon State University analyzed data from a large, ongoing study of people age 50 and up. What they found was that people who continued to work past 65 had an 11% lower chance of death from all causes. And, interestingly, even people who thought they were doing it for the money, come around to realize that working improves their mental health. It keeps you connected to people, more current with technology, up to date on the news, and — generally — physically active.