Why Seniors Are Deciding to Start Encore Careers

Dan - Encore Careers

What I dreamed of doing in my 20s

The year was 1969. I was 13 years old and the movie Easy Rider had just opened at the theater. It was the “rebel-without-a-cause” type genre with the added effect of a cross-country journey on the open road. I was hooked, and immediately began planning a similar journey in 5 years, immediately following my high school graduation. 

What I actually did in my 20s

By the time I reached my high school graduation, my dream of the open road faded quickly. By age 20, it was replaced with a different life path. I married my high school sweetheart, had 2 kids, bought a home, and settled on a career that would provide sufficient income to support what was supposed to be the “American Dream.”  At the time I believed the key to happiness could be found by replacing the open road for a back yard, a barbeque for a campfire, and a John Deer riding mower for a Harley Davidson Motorcycle.

Even though I did all the things I was “supposed” to do, the truth is I was unsatisfied in my career. While a career in sales was economically rewarding, it was otherwise very unfulfilling.

Gallup Poll finds 70 percent hate their job

It turns out I wasn’t the only one who had given up on their dreams to pursue an unrewarding career. A Gallup Poll from 2014 found that, of the more than 80,000 American adults surveyed, nearly 70 percent hated their jobs. That’s a staggering statistic.

The study also reported that what dissatisfied workers felt their jobs lacked were feelings of having a purpose, meaning, and the satisfaction of knowing their skills were being used in a positive way.

The reason so many people dream of the day that they can retire is because that’s the day they believe they can finally stop doing something they hate and start doing something they want to do.

But do retirees really want to stop working so they can play golf for the rest of their lives? The answer — at least for me— is a resounding NO! What seniors really want is to finally do something we enjoy doing, instead of something we feel we have to do.

But, let’s be honest here: In today’s economic environment, most Baby Boomers need to keep working past retirement. That’s why many of us seek out Encore Careers.

What is an Encore Career?

An encore career is work you choose to do in the second half of life that combines continued income, greater personal meaning, and social impact. These jobs are paid positions often in public interest fields, such as education, the environment, healthcare, the government sector, social services, and other nonprofits. Encore Fellowships, created in 2009 by the nonprofit Encore.org, are designed to transition highly experienced professionals from the corporate sector into encore careers in the social sector.

What if I don’t know what I want to do as an Encore career?

Good question, I asked exactly that same thing. I found the AARP’s Life Reimagined Tool, which helps users discover (or uncover) the career path that would lead them to happiness and fulfillment in the third chapter of life.

Now, for the bad news

Financially, more than two in three respondents who are already in encore careers experienced gaps in personal income during the transition process. One quarter said they earned no money and 43 percent said they earned significantly less than they had at their previous jobs.

Of those who experienced time with little to no income, nearly four out of five respondents experienced a gap of six months or more; 36 percent said their income gap lasted more than two years.

The reality is, most Boomers will face financial challenges that come with launching a career in an entirely new direction. Whether it’s the cost of going back to school, the cost of living with a reduced income while you train, or simply doing something that has low economic benefit in exchange for high psychobiological benefit, Boomers will likely need to draw on their current assets to support themselves through the transition.

Your home’s equity might be the most valuable resource you have in your arsenal. Liberating your home’s equity could be the catalyst to launching what I call “Boomer Life 3.0,” and finally living the life that you dreamed about before you decided to chase the American Dream.     

Curious about how liberating your home’s equity can give you the resources you need to launch an encore career?

Let’s set up a free call to discuss your unique situation and how you may be able to access to your home’s equity. There’s absolutely nothing to lose because you don’t pay me anything. We will simply discuss your unique situation, and how I can connect you to resources that can help. This one call could be the game changer you’ve been looking for.

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