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Semi-retirement: Getting a second-act career

Adriene Hill Jun 7, 2013
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Sometimes retirement is just impossible to afford. Other times stopping work cold turkey is too jarring. What do you do with all that time? Nancy Collamer, author of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement,” joins us with some suggestions.

“We’ve got over 78 million Baby Boomers who are approaching retirement age and their retirement’s not going to be their parents’ retirement. As we well know, lots of people have not saved enough for retirement. But even among those who have, people are living longer, healthier lives and they are looking for meaningful ways to spend those hours,” says Collamer.

Some examples of second-act careers include creating informational products on the web, becoming a recruiter, and freelance writing. So where do you start figuring out what the right second-act career might be for you?

“For a lot of us, this is the first time that you really get to do something because you want to do it, not just because you have to do it in order to pay the mortgage. So start by thinking about what is it that you want your life to look like — do you want time for travel, to be able to visit the grandchildren — and then you start to do an assessment of your skills and experiences,” says Collamer. “I always advise people to start looking at your work experience because that’s where you’re going to be able to command the highest dollar, that’s where your marketable skills are.”

But you don’t want to just look at your work experiences. Collamer says you also want to explore your passions and hobbies to find your second act.

“The way that you do this is in baby steps,” says Collamer. “Even starting three years [before retirement] is really not too soon because you need time to figure out what it is that you want to do, time to research alternatives, and then time to either go look for that part-time job or create your own business. And you know, life has a tendency of getting in the way, so start it soon.”

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