Number of boomers looking for encore careers on the rise
Perhaps more than anything else, many older adults are looking for a meaningful retirement. Such a desire for fulfillment can manifest itself in a number of different ways, but encore careers are becoming a popular option, especially those that provide baby boomers with a social purpose, according to The Associated Press.
There are an estimated 9 million people between 44 and 70 currently in an encore career, but those numbers may balloon in the coming years. Experts estimate that as many as 31 million people in this age group are interested in pursuing a new career that provides them with a greater sense of fulfillment.
There are a variety of jobs that offer both financial and purpose-driven benefits, but some of the most in-demand are in the education, environmental, government and nonprofit fields. Working in the health industry has become an increasingly popular go-to option for some older adults.
"Health care is really the number one field to look at in terms of both needs and opportunities," Encore.org vice president Marci Alboher told the AP. "With an aging population and the changes that are coming in our healthcare system, there are needs and opportunities for all kinds of work whether you have a medical orientation in your background or just want to help people."
There are undoubtedly financial incentives associated with encore careers, and the supplemental retirement income can go a long way toward helping older adults enjoy the second act they've always envisioned. However, the monetary implications of working in retirement may be overshadowed by the potential health benefits.
Scientists from Boston College's Sloan Center on Aging and Work found that staying active through employment has mental and physical advantages, but only if the worker enjoys what he or she is doing, Time magazine notes. Being engaged in work, which means being fully invested and involved with the job, offers the most benefits, and that tends to be the case when it comes to encore careers.
Transitioning to an encore career is not a decision that should be taken lightly, experts say. According to a recent Civic Ventures study, the average amount of time older adults spend looking for a job is 18 months, and some searches last even longer. However, despite the challenges, given the payoff in wellbeing and making the world a better place, it may be worth it.