It is never too early to start planning for retirement. This includes financially and also in terms of how you would like to contribute to society which includes continuing to utilize skills and experiences learned throughout your career. Known as an “encore career,” many retirees continue to work after retirement and most times in areas and industries many of them wish they could have worked in before.
People seeking encore careers are described as “industry professionals who are switching to a more humanitarian career”. The term encore career was first coined by author Marc Freedman, the CEO of Civic Ventures (now known as Encore.org) and is meant to be a new stage of work to fill the gap between a first career and retirement.
Encore careers have become a lot more common due to the increase in living age and also due to the recession. Many people are opting to either step out into their true passions because they were laid off or just simply plan for what’s next way in advance of that milestone of retirement. Resources such as encore.org assist those seeking to transition.
Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook, and Vice President of Encore.org offers the following tips when entertaining an encore career:
• Encore work means trade-offs. “You may trade money for meaning and flexibility,” she writes. “You may trade power and influence for a chance to work more closely with people you can help.”
• Transitions take longer than you think. You may go down several paths before you decide what you want to do. A detour can last months or even years, but don’t equate a detour with a waste of time.
• Learn to live with uncertainty. Transitions can be unnerving. Find ways to cope, she suggests — is there someone in your life you can turn to for guidance or spiritual support? You might hire a career coach to give you advice who has experience guiding others through similar processes.
• Investigate fields where the jobs are. Take a look at education (special education, math and science, in particular), social services, counseling and coaching, green jobs, the non-profit and health care sectors and government positions.
• It’s a process. Encore careers “are messy and hard,” she counsels. “But for those who muddle through the mess and build something worth building, encore work has the potential to be a true capstone of life.”
When speaking with your financial planner and making plans for retirement, one question should be posed to them and yourself and that is, “How old is too old to start thinking about and planning for an encore career?”