Working in Retirement in an ‘Encore Career’

Eric Mikkelson |

Unlike members of previous generations, baby boomers have animated the word “encore.” Coined by author Marc Freedman, the term “encore career” describes a person’s second life career in later years.

Encore careers tend to focus primarily in health care, the environment, government, education, and nonprofits. Encore careers provide retirees with financial advantages, such as higher Social Security credits by delaying benefits. Monthly benefits rise when eligible retirees delay applying for benefits after reaching their full retirement age.

Beyond the monetary advantages, boomers find encore careers provide an outlet to express the passion they’ve gained throughout their professional lives. Connected to a community, working retirees gain a sense of engagement and purpose in their later years.

Boomers also gravitate to a variety of mostly help-related professions, such as teaching, consulting or working for nonprofits. Others pursue work in creative fields, such as music, painting, or drama.

If you’re interested in pursuing an encore career, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start by writing down your goals and interests and think about how you could turn them into satisfying work.
  • Take classes at your local college or community center to develop new skills.
  • Think about how much you’d like to work and what kind of environment would interest you.
  • Consider taking a personality assessment and work competency test to learn about your strengths.
  • Look around for job opportunities and let friends, family, and others in your network know that you’re looking.

If you would like to discuss your current financial plans or retirement strategies, we’re happy to talk.