Recently, Market Watch published an article revealing that “gap years” are not just for college students. After long years of stress and personal sacrifice, raising families and navigating careers, many older men and women are taking a break in their 50s and 60s. We are rethinking retirement.

Rather than retire, in the traditional sense, many women over 60 are taking time away from their usual obligations to reflect on what could be next in their lives. This could include starting an encore career, going back to school, finding love, traveling, or simply following a long forgotten dream. This retirement trend could have a big impact on society.

Many women in the Sixty and Me community are also considering the importance of taking time in their 60s to make decisions to put the focus of their lives back on themselves. While they appreciate the contribution that family and friends have made to their lives, they are thinking that it might be time to be a bit more selfish. Many are ready to close the book on their past and write a new story.

I can completely relate to this feeling. After 25 years in corporate, I left the security of my job to start Sixty and Me. I’ve experienced the challenges that come from making such a dramatic change. And, I have also experienced the joy that comes from doing something that you truly believe is making a difference in the world. The uncertainty of not having a regular salary has been balanced with the freedom that I have to live life on my own terms and the understanding that I am gaining of myself. I don’t worry about what to do in retirement anymore. I think only about what to do with my life.

Has your view of “retirement” changed since you were younger? Do you think that taking a “gap year” is a viable option for women of our generation? Do you worry about what to do in retirement? Please add your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Wondering what to do in retirement? Watch this interview for some great ideas to get the most from the decades to come.

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