I have a friend who once said, “I was so busy planning my wedding that I forgot to ask myself what it would be like to be married.” For many of us, the same thing is true about retirement. We plan and plan and then here we are….retired and wondering what comes next. This is especially true for those of us who have had the chance to live internationally!
Announcement: The “Baby Boomer Generation” is ready to retire! The reality is 10,000 US citizens turn 65 every day! New retirees are healthier and living longer than any previous generation. Today, if you retire at 60, you have a good chance of living until 90! This means you could easily have 30 years of time to fill and to finance!
Retirement has taken on a new meaning and a new set of expectations. The term “Encore Career” has evolved as retirees look for “what next” options! In the movie, The Intern, Robert de Niro gives us a fun look at the possibilities for “encore retirement”!
In 2014, a Merrill Lynch and Age Wave survey reported 72% of those retiring said their “ideal retirement” would include some form of work! These retirees realized they had valuable experience and expertise to offer and were now looking for work that was fun, fulfilling and allowed maximum flexibility in their time.
Some respondents wanted to continue in their same line of work, while others wanted to follow a new path connected to art, writing, hobbies, sports, travel or earlier areas of personal interest. The survey respondents fell into four main categories. See if any of these ring true for you:
• 32% were identified as “Caring Contributors”. The primary motivation of this group was to give back in some way to a worthy cause. They worked as volunteers and in paid positions with non-profit or for-profit organizations. Some started their own businesses. Although money was not the primary motivator for this group, having additional income was welcomed. Some sample work options included consulting, coaching, teaching, writing, taking on project work, missionary work etc.
• 25% were identified as “Life Balancers”. The main motivation for this group was to have less stress and more fun. These retirees found fulfilling work, in profit and non-profit settings. Some of these retirees did seasonal work in National Parks, or served as guides at historical sites. Others worked in bookstores or volunteered at the local library, etc. Some of this group were able to find “two-fors” such as getting paid for a job where they were able to travel, or working at a ski resort where they could ski for free.
• 28% were identified as “Earnest Earners”. This group was the least financially prepared for retirement and mainly motivated by the need to earn money. Women who were single and self-supporting composed a large percentage of this group. New programs are being put into place to help these retirees prepare for enjoyable encore employment. They are being encouraged to focus on their areas of interest, marketable skills and the current needs in the job market. Many are working in senior services, health care, bookkeeping, pet care, house sitting, etc.
• 15% were identified as “Driven Achievers”. This group was mainly male and motivated by “workaholic” tendencies. Many in this group own their own businesses.
Retiring and returning expatriates often face a double challenge. After living in a foreign country for a number of years, it can be difficult to decide where you want to permanently settle. If you move to be near family, will they be in that location permanently? If family was not there would you choose to live there? What about weather? Will you have access to your personal areas of interest such as theater, ethic foods, the arts, and outdoor activities such as skiing or kayaking? Will there be an opportunity for an encore career (whether volunteering or for pay)? Will there be anyone in your area who shares common interests? Are there other expatriates that have had similar experiences and who you can to talk to about your international travel and living experience, etc., etc.
You face all of these decisions in addition to experiencing reentry challenges. Or, you may have already relocated and are finding the new location is not a perfect fit. It can all be a bit overwhelming! This is where Tricia and the Collaborative Connection team can help. We have been through similar experiences and have a wealth of knowledge and resources to support you during this exciting yet stressful time.