Not Your Grandfather’s Retirement

Baby Boomers have their own way of doing just about everything. So it’s no surprise that they’re putting their own unique twist on retirement. As Baby Boomers age, many are opting to postpone full retirement in favor of a gradual, phased-in approach with part-time or semi-retirement.

Some Boomers plan to continue in their current jobs but reduce the hours they work, freeing their schedule for other interests or pursuits – travel, play, volunteer. Others want to explore new challenges, new callings, new careers.

Mid-life career change expert Nancy Collamer is the author of Second Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. She references a recent CareerBuilder survey in stating that 60% of workers over age 60 plan to look for new full and part-time careers after retiring. “What I discovered in the more successful ‘second act-ers’ was that they didn’t let fear stop them from moving forward,” Collamer says. Instead, they overcame it by taking small steps, such as gaining added skills and knowledge, which gave them the confidence to overcome their fears.”

Collamer shares some more advice on the transition into retirement:

  • Give yourself time: Start planning three to five years before you expect to retire. You have lots of life experience. Use it to narrow down what you might enjoy doing in your new life phase — working as a consultant in your current field or turning an avocation into a vocation.
  • Build up your savings: The more money you have saved, the more flexibility you have – and the smoother your transition into retirement or semi-retirement. For example, if you are starting a new business, you will face start-up costs and you might have to rely on savings for a while until the business gets going.
  • Use your benefits: Check with your HR department. You may be able to take advantage of company training programs or reimbursement for outside career skill training at local colleges.
  • Stick your toe in the water: Not sure what you want to do in your next career? Try volunteering on a part-time basis while holding on to your current position. Giving back to a local charity or non-profit organization is great experience, and could lead to a new career path.

There are no rules to retirement. Maybe part-time or semi-retirement is more comfortable for you. Part-time retirement can be an excellent choice for anyone who prefers to call their own shots and work the hours that they desire, plus have the flexibility to explore other options.

When it comes to pursuing your dream retirement, what is the best confidence builder? Financial security. Financial security means no financial pressures, so you can pursue a new career without money worries. Where does financial security come from? One option is a fixed index annuity with an income rider. Fixed index annuities work like a pension, and provide a guaranteed paycheck for as long as you’re alive. You keep living; a fixed index annuity with an income rider keeps paying.

Having reliable “paychecks” coming in every month to supplement Social Security and pay the bills is a stress-buster. Without money worries, you can simplify your retirement and be open to every possibility that comes your way. Leap with abandon into the unknown, pursue new passions or start an exciting new chapter in your life, because there’s a safety net under you.

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Ian R. Welham, Certified College Planning Advisor  -  Tel: 973.467.0101