You don’t have to look hard to find either great optimism and depressing pessimism about the retirement prospects of American baby boomers. For example you could read “Find a Retirement Career” from Fidelity and feel pretty good. Or, you could spend some time with these articles from the Wall Street, “Another Threat to the Economy:Boomers Cutting Back” or USA Today, “Boomers Wanting to Work Past Retirement Age Find Limited Options“, and get very depressed.
All of these articles have their strong points and make interesting reads. But since we like to accentuate the positive, we will recap some of the positive points these and other such articles make about how to have a happy and successful retirement. The best of those, by far, come in the Fidelity article mentioned above. In it Michael Finkelstein, M.D., offers 5 tips for how to find a succesful retirement career. Here they are in brief:
1. What did you dream about doing when you were in college or some other early part of your life? Still interested?
2. Consider a lot of possibilities. Think about what newspaper articles attract you, or what you like to talk about. Be on the alert for what topics float your boat.
3. Start with baby steps to gain confidence and be sure you are moving in the right direction.
4. Redefine success. We like this one a lot. Success might or might not be financial. It’s what you want it to be.
5. Be patient. Your new career might take a while to find.
To Dr. Finkelstein’s excellent suggestions we add our own, some of which have appeared in the “Further Reading” links below:
– Check out your local community college. The best ones are offering courses in skills that are in demand. Look for what interests you.
– Offer a service to your peer group. Whether it is pet-sitting, computer repair, sports reporting, lawn mower repair, landscaping services, starter at the local golf course – think about what services your peer group needs, and then find out how to offer them.
– Volunteer. Maybe the job market is too tight right now, or maybe money isn’t the issue. Make a list of organizations in your community – near and far – and then think about which ones you would like to get involved with. Visit, write them a letter, or call to see what is available. Start small, and work your way in. In our opinion, there is no greater calling than to be a productive volunteer in an organization that is doing good.
For further Reading:
How to Find an Affordable Retirement
How to Retire in Style and on a Budget