Baby Boomers Choosing a Second Career Over Retirement

By Bill Whitehurst | Small Business

There is a glut of Baby Boomers getting ready to retire. In fact, according to some AARP statistics upwards of 8,000 ‘Boomers will reach retirement age every day for the next 18 years. But just because the U.S.’ largest generation hits the 65 year mark, doesn’t mean they are always keen on retiring. One Gallup poll estimates that one in 10 eligible retirees who are currently working don’t plan to ever leave the workforce.

However, while many are simply not ready to call it quits, they must still bid adieu to their present jobs and look for additional sources of income.

Though there are a litany of factors which ultimately contribute to the decision to keep working, not everyone decides to stick it out solely for financial reasons. For starters, advances in health care have enabled us to live longer lives. As of 2011, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was just shy of 79 years. Moreover, The Society of Actuaries has estimated that for a married couple in their mid-60’s, there is a 45% chance that at least one of them will reach 90 years of age and a 20% chance one will make it to see their 95th birthday!

Baby Boomers Choosing a Second Career Over Retirement image iStock financial planning 300x198Baby Boomers Choosing a Second Career Over RetirementYet no matter their age, studies show that engaged workers tend to have higher well-being including better health as compared to their disengaged counterparts. It makes sense that with their good health and mental tact lasting well past their 60’s, many retiree candidates do not want to quit work entirely, instead favoring a career that would enable them to take advantage of their 30 to 40 years of business experience- this goes double if they had the option to work from a home office.

Fortunately, there are many areas of business consulting that enable the ‘Boomer to use his or her skill sets and experience without having to navigate a ‘Corporate America’ environment.  Areas of consultancy exist in corporate and individual coaching with additional openings for training younger executives. Opportunities in the realm of deal making such as real estate brokerage and business sales are also wide open for those that are interested in charting a career post retirement.

One potential roadblock many retirees face is the reluctance to learn the advanced set of skills required to build their new career.  However, it is important to remember that, generally, a “negative” bell curve exists while learning a new business model.  To be successful, the retiree would do well to look within his or herself and mentally prepare for the learning curve head. By keeping this in mind as they begin their search, career seekers can ward off any potential discouragement.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to keep working for mental, physical or financial reasons, it’s important to remember that you do have options. Don’t let the threat of ageism stand in your way. Your experience in the workplace is highly valuable!

Happy hunting.

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