You need your own bag of tricks if you are over 50 and want to keep working, find a job, or start a business. In some ways there are more opportunities than ever before, but with the evolving economy and workplace, there are also more choices, challenges, and uncertainty.
Baby Boomers are expected to work longer according to National Institute on Aging, “Growing Older in America: The Health and Retirement Study.” But are they working better? Some are and some aren’t. As workers move into their 60’s the workplace and sometimes retirement options may get even more difficult.
Working after retirement age
There are many reasons people continue working after the typical retirement age of 65. It may be either because of necessity or choice. If a person loves their work, feels valued by what they do, or feels needed at work they may want to continue working as long as they can.
Alternatively if a person has no retirement benefits they may need to work longer than they would like to at the same time hoping their health lasts long enough to work as long as needed and social security lasts the rest of their lives. They may need to depend on family or support systems as they get older. While working full time may take a lot of time and energy, it is important to take time to make a plan, make time for relationships and family, and look at options.
There are those who retired early to save their retirement income because of changing retirement tiers. Retiring in their late 50’s or early 60’s leaves years of retirement for many with choices about what to do in their retirement years.
Those who had enough retirement income to live a frugal relaxed retirement, had a stressful working environment when working, or had health issues may decide to volunteer or work seasonally when needed.
Some were forced to retire with little or no retirement and find them selves looking for work in an employers market. They may end up taking work they don’t enjoy to make ends meet. Keeping an optimistic cheerful attitude at work can improve the working environment and taking time to walk in nature, exercise, have a hobby or visit friends and family will promote a happier healthier life and work.
Retirees who have a large nest egg may choose to travel, work when they want to at something they love to do, volunteer, or start a business. The freedom to do what you want and follow your passion may be the ideal retirement, but there are many ways to find smaller pieces of time to nurture your interests.
Flexible Work Schedules
Retirees who can afford it often look for flexible work schedules so they can travel and visit friends and family.
A part time business allows those with a creative entrepreneurial spirit to experiment with their creativity and try something they never had time to do previously.
Retail is a hot market for seniors providing full time, part-time, flexible, or seasonal work.
Sales of Technical and Scientific Products is an example of a career for the over 50 group that offers a healthy compensation for those with a college education and technical experience.
Retail Sales Workers also have a bright future with less compensation and less education needed, but seasonal or part-time work hours allow time for extra activities while earning an income.
So Many Choices
For some it may seem like they are locked in a box of working with no way out, while others bask in freedom, but you make choices at make at every age. Your career is a patchwork of choices that make a pattern for your life. Choose your pattern and make your choices count. You will rearrange the pieces, mend the raveled edges, add and take away parts as you develop the pattern of your career. Do your research, hire a career or financial professional, talk to friends and family, and create a beautiful picture of your life and work.
Nancy Miller is a Career Counselor and Coach who received a Master’s Degree at age 50 and went on to write her first book, “Fire Up Your Profile For LifeWork Success” and her first children’s book, “Vegetable Kids in the Garden” after age 60. Plan your career development, watch for unexpected opportunities, and enjoy every decade of your life and work.
I would love to hear your stories of work over 50. I will be writing and sharing more on the topic. Contact Nancy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You won’t want to miss the many articles on November 2nd, Quintessential Careers Job Action Day 2015. They will be available to browse on the website.
Certified Life Coach
Coaching for Career, Writing & Creative Problem-Solving
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