Finding fulfillment in reinvention

July 5, 2015 · Share via Email LinkedIn

Once upon a time, retiring meant closing the chapter on working and heading off into the sunset with hours of birdwatching and golf to follow. These days, retirees are doing anything but relaxing. 

Some have found that going back to work is fulfilling and satisfying. For starters, they can use their decades of experience in newer, more challenging roles. One sector that is enticing to new retirees is the non-profit world. Many spend their time volunteering, but joining the non-profit workforce has become increasingly popular. Whether on a contract basis or full-time, in the public or private sector, Boomers have found post-retirement happiness in the workforce. Here, three inspiring examples:

  1. Take Joe Sullivan who started Watch City Brewery with a friend following his retirement from being a building contractor. “It's fun to do something entrepreneurial again and fun to do something completely different," Sullivan said to The Boston Globe. “My motivation was having a new challenge." Sullivan spent "pre-retirement" days as a contractor and is now building a business.
  2. Ted Smith reinvented himself as a successful realtor at 60, after 30 years in the corporate world. Despite never having considered a sales career, he's thriving in real estate. Smith says his new career path enables him to still utilize the communications and presentation skills he learned over his first career.
  3. In her first career, Pat Daly never had quite the right amount of money or time to devote to the cause most near and dear to her heart: children. When she retired from investment banking in 2008, she decided to devote time to her passion. Daly now works as a regional director for an international organization that promotes technology and science education. 

After successful stints in their first careers, many Boomers are eager for changes - but not stops - in th

eir careers. Backed by their impressive professional experiences and the support of a lifetime of income, Boomers are well equipped for entrepreneurial endeavors. According to AARP's Public Policy Institute, nearly a quarter of all self-employed adults are 65 or older!

In fact, recent Gallup survey found that Boomers are among the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the United States and are more than twice as likely as Millennials to be planning new ventures within the next 12 months.

Today's "retirees" have mastered the secrets to combining work and play by following their passions in their second careers. Not only do they serve as incredible role models, they also provide tremendous boosts to the economy along the way. AARP's Life Reimagined helps people make small and simple steps to help them figure out what they really want, and gives tools to make that happen