September is Healthy Aging Month, and one factor in keeping the body healthy is keeping the mind active and engaged. For millions of Americans, that means staying involved in the workforce post-retirement. In their younger years, it’s not uncommon for workers to sacrifice passion for a paycheck that will cover the bills, but post-retirement, this purpose-driven work that was put on the back burner, is reappearing in the form of full-time, part-time or volunteer work of retirees pursuing their “encore careers.” It’s a second chance for older Americans to work in a field in which they are passionate about, while continuing to receive an income.
“It’s about working on their terms,” explains wealth advisor, Janette Schwendeman, about encore careers.
One of Schwendeman’s responsibilities is to help retirees manage their finances after leaving their careers. She works with clients to give them confidence and clarity about their financial future. “[That] often involves establishing financial independence so they can chose to work in a career in which they are passionate about,” said Schwendeman.
Schwendeman says the goal is to accumulate savings while workers have an income, then preserve wealth upon retirement to ensure they don’t outlive their finances. While some retirees are financially set for life, others need to supplement income by working. Regardless of the retiree’s situation however, she says she is seeing an increase in many who want to go back to work to stay involved in the community.
Many retirees are taking up part-time careers as fitness instructors, designers, bloggers and even drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft. Full-time roles are common in fields like government and education, while other are choosing to spend their retirement giving back as volunteers at local hospitals and charities. So why aren’t retirees simply relaxing or traveling after retirement like they used to?
Schwendeman thinks it’s a culture shift.
“I think our minds are just busier these days,” she says. “Taking it easy is not always top priority for retirees anymore.”
One retiree says she works part-time at Costco handing out samples because it simply “gets her out of the house and engaged with people.” She identifies as a social person who enjoys working and spending the extra income on what she considers to be “fun things like traveling or buying presents for the grandchildren.”
Employment Specialists at ARIZONA@WORK can help you to find a first, second or encore career. Visit the ARIZONA@WORK.com webpage to access career training opportunities and locate a workforce center near you. Upload your résumé and view thousands of job postings on the state’s largest workforce database, Arizona Job Connection.
By Jillian Seamans