Congratulations! You made it! Or did you? If you are retired, that is certainly something to celebrate. But, it’s also the time to think about your “Act 2.” Many retirees find that they miss the camaraderie, schedule and challenge of their career. Or, they find that the economy wreaked havoc on their nest egg and retiring completely is not yet an option financially.
With today’s longer life span, retirement looks a lot different than it used to. Today’s retirees are active, healthy and looking for a challenge.
That challenge might be a consulting gig in your area of expertise. Perhaps your own workplace would appreciate your expertise in mentoring newer colleagues. Sometimes working part-time can be the perfect transition from a hectic, but rewarding, full-time career to the unfamiliar feeling of “time on your hands” that results if you abruptly stop working. Even though you might have dreamed of doing nothing but sleeping late and pursuing your hobbies, many retirees find it a shock when it finally comes to pass and a part-time opportunity at your former employer or another company in the industry can be a perfect fit.
Another option is to turn your passion into volunteer work. Perhaps there is a community organization need or group that is dear to your heart, whether it’s mentoring at-risk youth, helping in your local food bank or driving cancer patients to appointments. If your interests run more toward wanting to volunteer in the business sector, investigate an organization like SCORE that mentors small businesses. And, don’t overlook local schools who would love a “grandparent” helping with reading or other work in the classroom or workroom.
The third path is to forge a completely new opportunity for yourself. Maybe there’s a way to turn your avocation into a vocation – taking your hobby and making money from it. Do you love to do art? Maybe you can sell it online or at fairs. Do you write? Perhaps you can sell articles to your local paper. Have you always wanted to own a neighborhood coffee place or other local hangout? This might be the time.
It’s also important not to let retirement mean that you retire your inquisitiveness about the business world. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to write computer code – there’s more than likely a class for that. Check out community colleges, computer stores and even senior centers to see what options are available. This might be the perfect time to learn a new skill that will keep your brain firing and allow you to meet new people and find new interests.
Because the hope is that you will continue to live a long, full life even after you have retired. Keeping the brain sharp and your mind and skills fresh will contribute to your health and happiness.
Whether that challenge is in consulting, volunteer work or a second career, retirement can be the “golden opportunity” to rewrite your life story with a vibrant second act.
Articles on retirement:
- Letting Go of the Idea of Retirement: Retirement Isn’t the Goal
- 5 Great Telecommuting Jobs for Retirees