The times they are a changin’.
Ah yes, retirement. It used to be you would gracefully exit your career at a ripe old (but respectable) age, accept your gold watch and spend your remaining years engaging in leisurely pursuits and hobbies. Golfing, knitting, tennis, oil painting, gardening, boating, playing with the grandkids. These were “the classics” of yesterday’s retirement lifestyle.
That was then. Today, retirement has many faces and endless possibilities. For a growing number of mature adults, retirement doesn’t necessarily mean “slowing down.”
If you’re in a good situation financially, you’re free not only to dream, but also to do!
So if you’ve accumulated a substantial nest egg, have tapped into the equity in your home through a flexible reverse mortgage, or have ongoing investments, your retirement—AKA “second act”—can be active and fulfilling. You can finally focus on pursuing the things you’ve kept on the sidelines due to responsibilities to your work and family life.
Today’s retirees are chasing down and crossing off those once-in-a-lifetime “bucket list” activities and adventures. Skydiving? World travel? Sure, why not?
Other retirees are putting skills and expertise to work by volunteering in their communities. Or even transitioning into new careers, serving as consultants, or turning hobbies into new businesses. In other words, they’re writing better retirement stories. And these stories are often about “giving back,” “finding purpose” or “second act” careers.
The rewards of volunteering. Volunteering has become a passion for retirees all over the country. Helping non-profits and charities not only benefits our communities, but it can also elevate our sense of self-worth. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere. Food banks, mentoring youth, coaching sports, meal deliveries, fundraising, caregiving, building homes for the homeless, community renovation projects, and environmental clean-ups.
While there’s no shortage of non-profits and charities that would love to have your experience and your time, make sure the ones you choose work with are a good fit. A great way to start your search is by asking yourself if there’s a cause that has personal relevance —an issue that tugs at your heart strings. This might help you narrow down the myriad of opportunities.
A few quick google searches can net you all the information you need on the topic of volunteering. And the personal rewards derived from volunteer work can be amazing. The relationships you can create and foster could end up being some of your best ever. The feeling of a shared mission and knowing you have a clear role in that mission can really elevate your outlook and quality of life.
Second act careers. These days people are living longer, healthier lives. As a result, your second act can truly be a new lease on life. It can involve options to keep you working in retirement—if that’s what brings you the most joy.
Working is a completely different experience when you’re doing it by choice—on your terms. Some second act scenarios might include turning a hobby into a business, teaching at a community college, or consulting on your areas of expertise. Why not share the value of what you’ve learned throughout your lifetime?
At the same time, a second act career can also offer you greater balance and flexibility. Set your own schedule. Enjoy more time with family. And pursue other fulfilling activities and passion projects. The bottom line is, with a positive attitude and the right retirement funding tools, your next chapter can be a blank slate. How you choose to fill in the blanks is entirely up to you.
Need some ideas and inspiration about second act careers? Click here to help get you started.