When the Social Security program was initiated in the US in 1935, the logic was to remove older workers from the workforce and make way for younger workers. But you won’t want to retire! So it’s time you evaluate your definition of retirement.
In 1935, the average life expectancy was 61 years old. Far fewer people made it to the ripe old age of 65. But today we are living longer. The CDC reports life expectancy in the US is age 78.8.
The idea that you’ll be happy playing golf, walking the beach, or playing cards for the remainder of your life seems absurd! More importantly, most of us won’t have enough money to carry us into our 90s given the costs of healthcare.
If you are in the workforce, at any age, it is time for you to think about what you want to do with the last part of your career- or if you prefer, your second act.
This post is part of Job Action Day. Act II: Finding Career Satisfaction After 50
Who am I to define what YOUR retirement will look like? That is up to you and I suggest you begin thinking about how you will spend your free time once you are no longer working full time, because you will have a lot of it!
Some baby boomers don’t want to quit working. But they do want to reprioritize their time. They probably don’t want to work 50+ hours a week. So what job will they hold? Will it be a role with less responsibility meaning less pay? Or will it be a consulting or per diem role? Or will there be a new type of income stream we have yet to define today?
Visualize Your Future
Visualization is an effective way to begin. Visualization has been used by athletes and professionals to define what they want their future outcomes to look like. Whether you write down what your day’s activities will be, hour by hour, or create a vision board, the act of creating something tangible that represents your future can be very motivating.
Assess Your Values
What will be important to you later in life? Will you want to volunteer, travel, or spend time with family? Your life post-retirement MUST center around your core values if you want to be happy. Write down these values and share them with your partner or spouse to see how they match and where they differ. Communicating with your significant other may bring stress but it may also bring peace. Be ready for either.
Focus On What You LOVE Doing
Throughout your career, you’ve done many things. Now is the time to focus on the functions and skills you enjoy using the most! Don’t waffle or waiver from what your gut tells you. Write these things down.
Connect The Dots
Talk to people who have retired, read about people who have created a second career. You’re going to need ideas and inspiration to help you realize that almost anything is possible.
Build Your Bridge to Retirement
The earlier you start thinking and planning for your future, the better. It could take time for you to build a bridge to your new career and make the transition- so don’t wait until you’re final year to begin the process and metamorphosis!
If you are looking for more ideas and information on Act II careers, please be sure to check out Job Action Day’s other contributing career bloggers here.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.