Second career tips for success
The financial outlook for many cash-strapped boomers’ retirement years is murky at best with worries of making money last, higher medical costs and fewer company pensions.
But financial prospects for retirement can be improved with a well-planned second career. To make it work you must do your research and develop a sound strategy.
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Seven tips for second career success:
1. Crunch the numbers with your accountant and financial planner to discover:
• Whether you have enough money to survive a year or more of unemployment while you launch you new job or business
• How much money you’ll need to earn to maintain a decent standard of living over the next 20 to 30 years
• Creative ways to trim your current budget
• How to maximize your assets so they’ll last longer
If you’ve done your financial homework you’ll know how long your money will last before you make your move.
2) Newbie 55: Don’t start a new career from scratch right after you retire. Being a newbie at 55 is a dangerous thing; you’ve got very little experience, some grey hair — or not too much of any colour, and you may be a little slower out of the gate than your 27 year-old competitors. Don’t set yourself up for frustration or failure; this is an odds game so do everything you can to set them up in your favour.
3) Take your time and get connected: Test out your second career or new business by working at it on the side while you are still employed and don’t rush. Research, retrain, volunteer, intern and join relevant professional organizations to get to know the job, the people and the culture before making the leap.
4) Assess your product or service and your target market:
• What are you passionate about?
• What experience and knowledge do you have that makes you unique?
• What product or service do you have that people will pay for?
• Who is your market and what do they want?
Some of the most popular second career fields are:
Health care, environment, education, government and non-profits.
5) Manage risk: Don’t stray from what you know — unless you have bags of money to invest or a silent partner with big pockets. And even then, don’t spend any more on your new venture than you can afford to lose. Always run your dreams by your accountant first.
6) Be a presence online:
• Build a compelling and professional presence on LinkedIn and participate in discussions to grow your network.
• Start a Facebook page for your business and keep it updated.
• Join twitter and follow companies and people whose products, ideas or interests complement yours. Share your content and tweet about relevant articles or sites.
• Use Google and other tools to stay current on industry news and social media trends.
7) Get in shape: Get fit and healthy if you aren’t already. Any new venture brings new kinds of stress and even though most boomers don’t want to admit it, they aren’t 20 anymore. You are in this for the long haul and an illness or injury caused in part because you aren’t taking care of yourself could derail your best-laid plans. Don’t let that happen to you.