Counselors Help to Create Meaning in Retirement
According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day. Additionally:
- 80% of boomers expect to work in some capacity, even after they retire.
- 51% plan to work full-time; 28% say they expect to work part-time.
- Many are using retirement as a opportunity to change careers.
- 18% of boomers plan to pursue a new profession in their retirement.
- 14% say they expect to primarily work from home.
Mary Ghilani reports that retirement-aged adults may not know what they want to do, but they just know that they want to do something different. She suggests that "self-assessment, such as identifying one’s interests, abilities, values, and personality type is critical to discovering a new career or lifestyle after retirement." Wishes, dreams and old regrets may also help clients realize their hopes and dreams.
The following is a sample of work and non-work options for retirees:
- Phased Retirement. This option is becoming more popular among large employers and allows workers to ease into retirement. Many companies offer retirees options to work reduced hours or days, work on a part-time, seasonal or temporary basis, job-share, or consult.
- Continue working full-time for a different employer. This is a good option for clients who want to leave their jobs (or their employers), but not stop working in their career field.
- Work part-time for a different employer/industry. Hiring retirees to work part-time, or on temporary assignments is an attractive option for employers because they don’t have to pay benefits.
- Change careers. This is an option for clients who are tired of their current jobs or profession, but who want to continue to use their talents in another area. The career change could be to a related employer or industry or to a completely different career field (which will usually require additional education).
- Become a consultant, an advocate, or a mentor. These are good paid or volunteer options for clients who have an area of expertise and wish to provide a meaningful service for others. Freelancing and temping are also good options for retirees.
- Become an entrepreneur. A growing number of people are starting their own business in their 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s. Working independently can be a fulfilling way to leverage seasoned careers or begin new ones.
- Develop a hobby. Retirement can be a time for your client to resurrect former interests or take up a new hobby. Sometimes hobbies can even become another source of income. Learning to play the piano or guitar, floral design, carpentry, small engine repair, or learning a new language are some examples.
- Take up a new sport. Many retirees are completing marathons, learning how to ski, or playing on softball or basketball teams in their community.
- Volunteer. Often, retirees want to give back to their local community. Volunteering at a local hospital, church, or non-profit organization, hosting a family from a foreign country, fostering rescued dogs or cats, or organizing a fund-raiser for a favorite charity are just a few examples of ways to be productive in a meaningful way.