One of my biggest fears for the baby boomer generation is that we have taken the concept of retirement too seriously. Many of us still believe in the notion that retirement should be a time for living off your savings, relaxing and “aging gracefully.”
Now, a new study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, says that the majority of baby boomers may finally be rethinking retirement. Most people surveyed said that they didn’t plan on retiring, in a traditional sense. Instead, they said that they wanted to continue working, either in their existing job or in a new career.
In many ways, networking was simpler before computers and the internet. We met like-minded people face to face and job hunting involved a personal exchange with a recruiter. Remember paper resumes? We joined interest groups and shared insights in person.
In a recent US Senate hearing, Elizabeth Isele, co-founder of Senior Entrepreneurship Works and Conchy Bretos, the CEO of MIA Senior Living Solutions outlined the opportunities and challenges facing older entrepreneurs. Presenting to a panel of senators and government officials, they explained that small businesses provide huge value to the economy. They also revealed that, in fact, individuals between 55 and 64 make up the largest percentage of new small business owners.
For the first time in history, four generations are present side by side in the workplace. A great grandmother in her 70s can be working alongside the grandchild of a neighbour. Multi-generational workforce dynamics are becoming more complicated with longevity increasing and retirement being delayed – there are many aspects of working with people from other generations that are fun and refreshing, but there are also some potential challenges and pitfalls to keep in mind.
As we reach our 60s, many women are finding that the careers that supported us for decades are coming to an end. This represents a challenge and an opportunity. On the one hand, letting go of what we have always done is scary. In addition, many of us worry about how we will support ourselves financially in the years ahead. On the other hand, leaving one job behind is an opportunity to start something new – an encore career that will give us meaning and, hopefully, a little extra money.
Kerry Hannon is an expert on personal finance and careers for boomer women and is my special guest in this episode of the Sixty and Me Show. Kerry is a writer for Forbes magazine and Next Avenue and is AARP’s Jobs Expert. Kerry is also the author of the best-selling book Great Jobs for Everyone 50+.
A few years ago, while I was working for a large corporation, I was asked to prepare a presentation on the concept of “trust” in selling. At best, I knew that I would only have a few seconds to capture the audience’s attention. So, I decided to take a highly visual approach to get my message across. I wanted a presentation filled with powerful images that would allow the audience to feel my message before they thought about it.
Losing a job is always stressful. Many women over 60 have had careers filled with brilliant highs and terrifying lows, failures mixed with glowing achievements and recognition. But today, the impermanence of the workplace doesn’t linger on the positive but pushes employers and employees into a less connected and committed relationship.