One of the most obvious sectors for new jobs is health care. And you won't have to become a gerontologist at age 65 to find a position. "There are certain areas in the workplace where having life experiences and having witnessed and lived through some health events yourself is useful," says Marci Alboher, vice president at Civic Ventures.
The late-life career is still a novel concept, says Marci Alboher, author of One Person/Multiple Careers and a vice president at Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based think tank that promotes socially responsible "encore careers" for boomers. As the idea becomes more familiar, she says, "the less you will feel like a pioneer when you get out there and envision this path for yourself."
Transitioning to an encore career can be a lengthy and expensive process, and more support mechanisms are needed to help post 50s bridge the gap. Four in five people who experienced time with little to no income, reported a gap of six months or more. Civic Ventures is advocating for more short-term, part-time and paid fellowships at nonprofits that lead to encore careers, as well as lobbying for tax-advantaged savings vehicles to help support older workers changing careers.
Boomers don't want to retire all at once, but breaking away from the traditional abrupt end to work is elusive for many, new research shows. Among people ages 44 to 70 interested in downshifting careers, 40 percent say they aren't financially secure enough to do it, according to the research from Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation. And among those who have shifted to encore careers, more than two-thirds said they earned no money or took a significant pay cut in the transition.
The financial challenges posed by midlife career changes are hampering the plans of millions of people who are interested in encore careers that can put their experience to work for the greater good, according to a study by MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures.
The recession's toll on jobs and retirement savings has kept a lid on the number of people transitioning to socially conscious careers in the second half of life, according to a new survey by Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation. Although slightly less than a third of Americans between 44 and 70 are interested in switching to an occupation that makes their community or the world a better place, only 9 percent of people in that age group actually work in such an encore career, according to Civic Ventures.
College grads applying for AmeriCorps or summer internships could someday find themselves in a pool with some unexpected applicants: their parents. That is, if America's boomers have their way. According to a new study from MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures, 9 million people between ages 44 and 70 are currently in the midst of encore careers. That population is expected to grow.
The idea of moving into an encore career – meaning work in later life that ideally combines personal meaning, income and social impact – appeals to an estimated 31 million Americans ages 44 to 70. But making that transition can be slow and costly, according to research from Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation. On average, it took those surveyed 18 months to make the transition.
For many, the golden years are a chance to use one's life experience to help others via social work, life coaching and even the clergy. In fact, boomers are the fastest-growing demographic at U.S. divinity schools. "It's a good fit because they've been through a significant part of their life cycle and they can relate," says Marci Alboher, vice president at Civic Ventures, publisher of Encore.org.
Many boomers will continue working into their 70s. We will want, or need, to stay part of the workforce in encore careers for the happiness and well-being that the continued income, and mental and social engagement provide. But preparing for a longer working life that differs from your previous working life takes some financial footwork.