I saw a great article recently in USA today titled: Rethinking Retirement: Tips for older job searchers. It references a dirty little secret in the job market: age discrimination in the job search. Once you are over the age of 50, it is more difficult to get hired. Employers are more hesitant for a variety of reasons.
We often have clients who want to leave their high-stress, all-consuming high-paying corporate jobs and “do something else” in retirement. Some struggle with what that “something else” is. A recent study by EBRI (2012 Retirement Confidence Survey) showed that 70% of people retiring from their “careers” planned to work in retirement. However, only 27% actually did end up working in retirement.
So while your financial plan may say that you only need to earn five figures if you leave your career, the reality is that it may be difficult to find such a job. After coming off a high-level, six-figure salary job, employers are skeptical that you will be happy in a downsized role, even if it’s one of your choosing. You may be overqualified for most of those roles and employers might think you will just jump to a higher-paying job. Don’t get misled that you only need to make less than $50,000 and think it will be easy, it may not be.
This dilemma reinforces the need to plan before you leave your career behind. We suggest you identify specific types of jobs you would be qualified for, that you would be willing to do and that you could convince someone to hire you for. If you think you can be a consultant, line up clients before you leave your current job. If you want to teach at a local college, have discussions with those schools (and oh by the way, remember that educators are not highly paid). If you know some smaller companies where you could work part-time as an adviser, hold discussions with them. In summary, do your research and have a specific plan for how and what you will do (and who will pay you) in your “retirement” job before you take the plunge.