3 Keys to Switching Careers After Age 50

With some planning, you might actually enjoy working up to or into retirement. Here's what you need to know.

3 Keys to Switching Careers After Age 50 Photo by Bogoljubb / Shutterstock.com

As Americans live longer and face the possibility of outliving our funds, working into retirement is becoming more commonplace.

As we explain in “Will Working Longer Rescue Your Retirement?” older workers with savings shortfalls essentially have only two options — both of which involve working longer:

  • Delay retirement.
  • Collect retirement benefits, and then return to work.

Kerry Hannon, author of “,” that there are also other benefits to working during retirement:

“People go into mourning when they retire. Your whole identity is caught up in who you are and what you did. Continuing to work provides social benefits, including feeling relevant.”

Some older workers might even consider applying their skills to a new job or using their talents in a different field. Hannon describes this type of late-life work change as “redeploying” rather than “reinventing yourself.”

With some planning, you might actually enjoy working into retirement. Hannon shares the following tips with CNBC:

1. Do some soul-searching

Consider all of the experience and skills you’ve gained over the years when deciding on a new job or career field. As “Will Working Longer Rescue Your Retirement?” notes, work in retirement takes many forms — such as a part-time gig, consulting in your former field or starting a small business.

2. Give yourself a 5-year time horizon

Hannon explains, “If there’s a kind of work that you want to move toward when you retire, it’s important to give yourself time to try things out, get the skills and do the job first to see if it’s something that will catch you on fire.”

3. Do your homework

This includes networking and researching. CNBC reports that websites such as Patina Solutions, HourlyNerd and Upwork connect workers with companies looking for people with specific expertise. Some companies are likely to be more interested in older workers than others. As we have written before:

Rather than trying to convince a youth-centric company that you’re right for the job, it may be saner to focus your efforts on employers who value older workers.

For more help, check out “10 Tips to Land an Awesome Job When You’re Over 50.”

Have you made a late-life career change, or would you consider making one as you near retirement? Let us know below or .

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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