The Encore Career
For many the idea of retiring is scary.
You might have big plans for the first year – but what happens after you put in your new kitchen, landscape the garden, buy the new car and go on that round the world trip? Even if finances are not a concern, what will you do with your time and how will you keep yourself stimulated – mentally and socially?
As average life expectancy has increased considerably in the last century the concept of retirement at 65 seems... well... ridiculous.
Recent projections indicate that close to 40% of Australians currently aged 65 will live to at least 90 years of age - over a quarter of a century beyond the traditional retirement age.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statics predict that a boy born in 2010 has an average life expectancy of 79 whilst the average life expectancy for a girl born in 2010 is 84 years. These figures have increased by nearly 25 years since the early 1900s.
What if you were given the opportunity to make an impact on society and leave your mark on the world?
With an encore career this is entirely possible - as well as giving you a new area of interest, possible income and the chance to really make a difference well beyond traditional retirement. Things have definitely changed since the days when people worked towards their retirement, took a ‘golden handshake’, enjoyed a bit of travel before settling in to live the rest of their days as a retiree.
Increasingly, instead of retiring, many Australians are now opting to begin an ‘encore career’ – where people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s take on a new paid role in an area they are passionate about or move into a volunteer role where they have the chance to use their good health and life experience for the greater good.
Some are even returning to study to improve or update their credentials.
The concept of an encore career is a general one. It could mean volunteering with your favourite charity or at your local hospital; it may be delivering meals on wheels or perhaps getting involved in the local council’s bush regeneration program or cleaning up the waterways.
Maybe you need to sustain an income but want to stay closer to home to help out with the grandkids – perhaps becoming a dog walker or even babysitting could be up your alley – filling a void in your community whilst you earn some money. Of course, there are always training roles within your area of expertise or a paid role within a charity or aid organisation. In essence, the world’s your oyster and there are literally thousands of encore career opportunities.
A high profile example of an encore career is that of Bill Gates – the founder of Microsoft. In June 2008, aged 52, Gates stopped working full-time for Microsoft and began working full-time for his charitable organisation The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role the famous philanthropist took advantage of his name, his wealth and his connections to work for the greater good, funding innovative ideas to help those in developing countries and within his home of America.
Those who’ve embarked on encore careers report an increased sense of self worth and personal satisfaction - creating greater meaning in their own lives, whilst having a positive impact on society. Not only can an encore career provide an income beyond traditional retirement age, but it can also work as a beneficial social network for people – particularly for those who are single, divorced or widowed.
To make the most of your extended income or learn about financial strategies designed for people extending their careers, contact us and speak with one of our qualified financial advisers
For practical information about launching your ‘encore career’, the Adult Learning Centre - specialises in training for mature people wanting to branch out into a new field. For general information visit www.encore.org
 Rice Warner Actuaries: Touchstone, March 2010