Considering a second career after retirement?

Here’s what you should be thinking about.

For some people, when they retire, all they want to do is put their feet up and relax. And can you blame them? They’ve worked day in, day out for decades. Now’s the time to enjoy so much deserved (and probably needed) rest and relaxation. But for others, a retirement filled with leisure isn’t exactly what they have in mind, and the desire to continue working seems to call them back. And some retired people find they need to work a few days a week to supplement their retirement savings. If either of these is the case for you, it might be a good idea to consider a second career ­in your retirement years.

There are many factors to consider when thinking about returning to work later in life. First things first, do you want to work in your field again, or are you interested in trying something new? Would you like to work full-time, or is part-time now more your speed? Are you keen on having a big, important job, or are you more interested in a mentorship role? And would you still be willing to travel for work? These are the important questions that you should be asking yourself when considering returning to the workforce.

Back to your field or a new pasture?

What are you passionate about? That’s the first question you should be asking yourself when looking for a new job. If you previously enjoyed your career or line of work, it might be worthwhile returning to it — Michael Jordan had a tough time saying goodbye to basketball. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to go back to the exact same role. Maybe you’d like to explore a different area within your industry or become a consultant: a position that can be very lucrative depending on your industry, previous title, and years of experience.

Or, maybe you want to try something new, and that’s great, too. Your retirement years should be a time for exploration and trying new things, so why not a new job? Do you want to start an online business, rent a property, or become a tutor? Whatever you decide to do, make sure you connect and meet with as many people as possible who are in the line of work that you are considering. Be prepared with questions to get a sense of what it is you might be doing. Also, make a list of the transferable skills you possess that would make you a strong candidate. There are so many interesting opportunities to explore for second careers post-retirement.

Full-time or part-time?

The next question you should ask yourself when thinking about returning to the workforce in your retirement years is whether or not you want to go back full-time or not. If you’ve had a year or two off in your retirement and are now thinking about returning to work, you might find it a little bit of a difficult transition to return to the 40-hour plus work week.

Or, you might want to look for a job in a more flexible, part-time capacity. Working less can be less stressful and will free up your time for your family, friends, and hobbies and interests.

However, because part-time, contract, and volunteer roles don’t typically come with benefits, it’s important that you consider the added protection of Health & Dental Insurance if you do decide to take such a role. Having coverage can help ensure that your health is in good hands throughout your retirement years.

The big job or a mentorship role?

Another really important question to ask yourself when considering returning to the workforce is, what kind of role do you want? Do you want to be thrust back into a demanding, high-stress job at this stage in your life? You might say yes when you see the salary offer; however, you also might want to slow things down a little, and thus be inclined to take on a mentorship role. These jobs can be very fulfilling because they allow you to share your years of knowledge and experience to help develop the next generation. Think of it as passing the baton.

Interesting second careers in retirement

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to finding or creating a second career in your retirement. Many individuals have decided that they want to be their own bosses, so they’ve started online businesses selling their art, preserves, or another unique product. Others have used a second property as a seasonal rental or turned their home into a bed and breakfast. And some have found the world of teaching and tutoring to be extremely gratifying and fulfilling. Once again, it all boils down to what you’re passionate about.

If putting your feet up and relaxing in retirement isn’t for you, hopefully these questions will help you decide what kind of work is right for you.

[Sources] “Four reasons why consulting can be a lucrative side-hustle,” April 2020. “Older workers flourish in post retirement with flexible, part-time job opportunities,” April 2019. “The Power Of Mentoring In Retirement: Helping Others While Helping Yourself,” August 2019.