Reboot Your Career: How to Do Your Dream Job in Retirement

Libby Kane

AdvertisementIf you look up the definition of “retire,” you’ll find synonyms like withdraw, retreat and recede.

Um, no thanks.

With Americans living longer than ever, retirement nowadays can easily stretch on for nearly 20 years. And who wants to withdraw for 20 years?

In fact, the AARP has an entire section on their website dedicated to helping readers stay professionally active post retirement. There’s even a word for it: recareering, or switching to an entirely new job path. And retirement is a great time to do it because, let’s be honest, there are only so many great American novels you can read.

Since so many people are choosing to recareer instead of retire, we decided to take a closer look at the trend to see who’s doing it, how it works—and whether you should consider giving the idea a spin for yourself.

The Rise of Recareering

In the next 20 years, 77 million Baby Boomers will retire. These are the same folks who have shelves lined with self-help books, and who tell their kids to “find your passion,” while talking on their cell phones on the way to a business meeting. While Generation Y may be identified with timidity and financial insecurity—along with an ironic sense of entitlement—it could be argued that their Boomer parents are the ones who made them that way.

In other words, they aren’t going to “retreat.”

Instead, many would-be retirees are seeking out part-time work, full-time projects or new careers altogether (teaching, writing, consulting and serving on corporate and nonprofit boards are popular choices). And a new service has risen up to meet this need: retirement coaching.

It’s estimated that there are 48,000 retirement coaches currently in business across the world, but since it’s still a somewhat nascent industry, there’s no hard data on exactly how many people they serve. At New Directions in Boston, one of the most well-established career and retirement coaching services, they work with about 100 new clients each year.

“The people who come to us tend to be highly charged and Type A. They have poured most of their activities and energy into their careers, and they haven’t really had time to think about what else is out there,” explains Samuel Pease, vice president and senior consultant at New Directions. “Frankly, a lot of them are stunned by having all of this free time.”

  • Dan

    Retirement coaching costs HOW MUCH? Ridiculous!

    • CrankyFranky

      a friend suggested a good tax adviser – I rang him up – he told me his rate was $500 per hour, with a minimum of an hour and a half – strangely I haven’t been to see him …