For many, their retirement dreams include visions of travel, relaxation, and family. But retirement often looks different today than it once did with second careers becoming more and more popular. One third of those who retire eventually return to work on either a full- or part-time basis. The reason doesn’t just have to be income based, retirees often find that they miss the social interaction and the sense of accomplishment of working. A second career can keep minds sharp, offer a sense of connection and provide the means to indulge in some added luxuries.

With less necessity to earn a certain level of income, retirees are free to do something new or make a difference. If you’re thinking this may be something that factors into your retirement, the best time to plan a second career is while you’re still working in your first career! Here are a few tips to help you choose and prepare for an encore career:

Network. Think outside your current industry and connections and consider different opportunities. Your experience could come in handy to people that may just not have the same type of experience and time in the workforce you do. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and join networking groups in areas you’d like to explore that may be outside your current circle.

Volunteer. Volunteering not only opens your professional circle but also gives you insight on paid jobs within the non-profit world. There are many great resources that can help to connect you with the right organization based on your passions. A few to check out are VolunteerMatch, AllForGood and Create The Good.

Continuing Education. Once you’ve decided on what your next career, it may be necessary to take a few courses to fill gaps in your knowledge.  Make sure to check whether your current employer offers tuition assistance or reimbursement.   

The best part about planning for an encore career is it’s a chance to pick something you will truly enjoy. We’re here to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re looking forward to traditional retirement or a second career, we can help you evaluate your financial situation, so you can make the decision that’s best for you.