• 2-Minute Article

Making an Encore Career Work for You

Your “second act” is waiting. Use these tips to help make it a success.

Retiring doesn’t always mean leaving the workforce entirely. In fact, 70% of American workers say they plan to continue working in retirement.1 Many of them are even becoming entrepreneurs. In fact, people over age 50 are two times more likely than millennials to say they’re looking to start a new business in the next 12 months.

Why are so many working past traditional retirement age? For some, it’s a financial necessity but for many others, working in retirement is more about meaning than money.2

Research shows that the satisfaction that comes from working in retirement can improve social engagement and emotional health — and even extend your life.

So-called encore careers are an opportunity to pursue lifelong interests or purpose-driven work. Research shows that the satisfaction that comes from working in retirement can improve social engagement and emotional health — and even extend your life.3

However, your post-retirement career may not be as lucrative as your previous one, so it’s crucial to have a solid financial foundation. 

Before you embark on an encore career, calculate your overall expenses and work with your financial professional to assemble a plan that will meet your needs. This plan might combine withdrawals from retirement savings accounts, along with a baseline “paycheck” from annuity income and other stable sources that can supplement wages from your new job.

Here are five more tips to make the most of an encore career: 

  1. Be courageous
    Encore careers are a chance to try something new. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself or try your hand at jobs you hadn’t considered before. 

  2. Harness your passions
    What do you love to do? What causes are you passionate about? Identifying your top interests can help you identify potentially engaging areas of work. 

  3. Leverage your experience
    Consider the skills you’ve mastered throughout your career. Do you have extensive experience in management, accounting, or event planning? These capabilities might translate into an encore career outside of traditional corporate settings, such as starting a small business or working for nonprofit organizations or schools. 

  4. Make connections
    Once you’ve considered your interests and skills and have finalized an income plan with your financial professional, it’s time to start exploring options. Volunteering is a low-risk way to try out different types of work. These organizations can be a great place to start and to find inspiration for how other retirees are creating their own second acts: 

  5. Share your story
    After finding an encore career, you can inspire other retirees with your own story. Sharing details about how you overcame challenges or found meaningful opportunities is a way to give back for the assistance you received on your own journey. 

Talk with your financial advisor to discuss these and other factors to consider before starting an encore career.