Exploring Your "Retirement Career"

For many, retirement can be a challenging time. Going from your set routine and schedule to having a dramatic lack of structure in your life is jarring. Though many people have a vision for how they’d like their retirement to look, others might find that pursuing a secondary “retirement career” is the answer they’re looking for.

Follow Your Dreams First

If you have saved to the point that you don’t need to earn an income in retirement, take stock and list your goals.  At Wood Smith Advisors, we encourage our clients to pursue their dreams first and foremost. Take the trip to Europe you’ve always imagined, or pursue a fun hobby that catches your interest. You’ve worked hard to get where you are today, and a little bit of celebration is in order! Even if you think that a retirement career, often called an “encore career”, is right for you, it doesn’t hurt to take the first few months or years of your retirement to enjoy your newfound freedom.

Decide If You Need More Structure

As you move through retirement, you may find that you may need a little bit more structure in your days. This isn’t true for everyone, but many retirees miss the routine of their previous career and family life. If this sounds like you, it’s important to know that you have many options that can give you the routine and stability you’re craving without having to go back to a traditional 9-5 job.

First, you might consider picking up freelance work. Whether you love writing, editing, or graphic design, there might be space for you to take on freelance projects as you’re able throughout your retirement. Second, you could pick up a part time job somewhere local or get involved in volunteerism. Finding organizations that do work you’re passionate about, such as an animal shelter or a local small business association, often leaves you feeling fulfilled and empowered - which is exactly what you’re looking for in retirement work.

Finally, if you truly miss the full-time hustle and bustle of your old job, you can look into working full time. This might mean finding work near you, but it may mean picking up a new career path such as teaching at a community college or local adult education center, or launching your own business.

Be Aware of Health Insurance

If you retire prior to qualifying for Medicare, remember to stay aware of your healthcare needs. You may have early retirement options through your old employer, but you may consider picking up a part time job to maintain affordable healthcare until you’re able to enroll in Medicare.

Go Into Retirement With a Plan

The best thing you can do for yourself when going into retirement is to have a plan in place. A client recently said that her goal during retirement is to do four things each day:

  1. Exercise.
  2. Organize.
  3. Provide service.
  4. Learn something new.

Even if these four points don’t exactly fit what you’re looking for, it’s a good idea to know what you’re looking to get out of retirement before you’re in the middle of it. This can help you avoid the stressful transition period, and continue to live a meaningful, fulfilling life well into your golden years.

Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.

"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.

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