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If you hope to work after retirement, you’ll want to be clear about your lifestyle priorities before moving forward. Here are five key questions to consider when planning your post-retirement work life:

1. How much money do you need to earn? If you need to earn a considerable amount of money to fund your retirement, that will drive your decision-making process. It might be easier to continue working in your current field, either as an employee or consultant, since that is how you’ll earn the most for your experience.

2. How much flexibility do you need? Workplace flexibility comes in many different forms, so it’s helpful to consider these issues:

  • Do you want to be location independent?  Perhaps you could find work that allows you to work from a sailboat. Or, maybe you’d prefer seasonal work that allows you to work in the National Parks during the summer and at a ski resort in the winter.
  • Do you want to work-from-home? You may want to focus on Internet-based opportunities, such as customer service, translation, writing or web design jobs.
  • Do you want part-time hours? If so, you might enjoy working for a local business or organization that typically hires part-time workers, such as a museum, library, sports arena, retail establishment or school.
  • Do you prefer project or gig work? Increasingly, retirees are embracing project, gig and temporary work as a way to work on a more flexible basis. For help with finding those opportunities, click here to access our list of 100+ Great Second-Act Career Resources.

3. How radical of a career change do you want to make? The reinvention stories about the accountant turned winemaker, or the policewoman turned personal chef are inspirational. But making a radical career change is rarely easy.. It takes time, training and a willingness to start over as a beginner. Sometimes a smaller shift – such as moving from a large corporate job to a nonprofit role or downshifting to part-time hours – can provide the boost you need.

4. What are your non-negotiables? Key to second-act satisfaction, is finding (or creating) work that aligns with your non-negotiables. Are you done with sales quotas? Only willing to travel 10% of the time? Do you need work that allows you to take summers off?  Before making a change, list out your non-negotiables so you’ll know a good fit when you find one.

5. What are the 3-5 most important reasons why you want to work after retirement? Finally, as I explain in this post Why Do You Want to Work After Retirement? there are multiple reasons why people choose to work past retirement. Identifying your top 3-5 motivators will help to guide and inform your second-act decision making process.

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I was delighted to be a recent guest on the Small Business Spotlight on WCBS880. I hope you’ll watch my interview by clicking below, but I also want to encourage you to check out the other wonderful second act entrepreneurs featured on the site.

There are lots of fun ones to choose from, but two of my personal favorites are:

  1. A former math professor who now hosts tours to places like Paris, Iceland and Peru as the Traveling Professor. It took him a while to figure out this business, but now many of his tours sell-out months ahead of time.
  2. A man who combined his love of food, travel, and living a positive lifestyle with a knack for Instagram to become a social media influencer with a booming following.

Have a look and a listen. You’re sure to pick up some valuable tips and strategies that will help spark your next act.

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Ecommerce – selling goods and services online – can be an excellent option for semi-retirement. It’s flexible, portable and thanks to a proliferation of online services,  it’s never been easier, faster, or more affordable to create your own ecommerce website.

Of course, like any new venture, there’s a lot to learn before you can set-up shop. So whether you need help identifying a profitable market niche, finding suppliers or  building a website, here are three resources to help launch your biz:

  1. Read the how-to guides provided by ecommerce platforms. For example, Shopify.com has a slew of free guides and courses that can help you learn more about topics like how to find a manufacturer or supplier for your product idea, how to sell on eBay, or how to find a product to sell online. Or, if you’ve got an idea for a subscription box service (like meal service Blue Apron or clothing service Stitch Fix) but don’t have a clue how to get started, you’ll enjoy this guide from Subly.com: How to Start a Subscription Box Service.
  2. Attend a conference. One of the best ways to learn about ecommerce is to attend an commerce conferences. They are a great place to learn from the world’s leading experts and they provide excellent networking opportunities. This BigCommerce.com post highlights nine of the top ecommerce expos worldwide in 2018.
  3. Take a class. Lynda.com offers a host of ecommerce classes. While there is a fee to use Lynda.com, you might be able to access their classes for free through your local library system.
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Are you considering a retirement side-gig or business, but you’re not sure what’s possible? These three podcasts can help give you ideas and get you launched:

Don’t Keep Your Day Job: I just stumbled upon this podcast, but evidently it’s been around a while, so there are lots of episodes to explore. You’ll learn about the step-by-step of getting started in a variety of creative businesses including:

Side Hustle School: I’m a devoted fan of Side-Hustle School, a daily podcast that spotlights a wide array of entrepreneurial pursuits. Even when the stories are a bit unusual, I always pick up useful ideas and tips. Each episode includes links to helpful resources and tools. Here are a few examples:

Second Act Stories: Finally, while not specifically about entrepreneurship, this podcast shares the stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding lives in their second acts. New episodes come online every two weeks. Recent stories include:

Not sure what you want to do in your next act? Be sure to download our free guide: 25 Questions to Help Identify Your Ideal Second Act.

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I was delighted to be interviewed recently by Dorian Mintzer of RevolutionizeRetirement.com. Dorian hosts monthly calls with experts on the topic of retirement transition and navigating the second half of life (learn more about these free monthly calls here).

I hope you’ll listen in to our conversation where we talk about:

  • Why so many boomers are choosing to work part-time after retirement
  • The four main categories of second-act careers
  • Examples of fun and unusual second-acts
  • Easy steps you can take to discover your own “what’s next”

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I am beyond thrilled to announce the release of Design Your Second Act, an online course and toolkit for professionals who want to work on a flexible basis after retirement. The course pulls together many of the same resources, strategies and tools I use with my private clients (but at a tiny fraction of the cost). It’s designed to be self-study, so you can work on it whenever and wherever works best for you. Learn all about it here.

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Happy New Year! Before diving into the year ahead, I thought you’d find it useful to review some of my favorite second-act career posts and interviews from 2017, culled from my columns on NextAvenue.org and USNews.com. Enjoy and please share with others who might find this helpful as well. Cheers to your success in 2018!

10 Questions To Help You Discover a Fulfilling Second-Act CareerHere’s how to brainstorm winning ideas for a flexible and fun semi-retirement.

The Great Tool to Find a More Satisfying Career Path: If you’re ready to gain clarity about your next steps and willing to invest time to achieve a more satisfying future, this tool can help.

How to Choose a Second-Act Career: A fun podcast I did with MacsList.org.

3 Steps to Take to Start Freelancing: The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027. This post explains how you can prepare to benefit from the freelance economy.

How to Get on a Board of Directors: Serving on both non-profit and for-profit boards are a popular second-act career option. Here are tips on how to find these opportunities.

How to Turn Passions into Retirement Income: Looking to generate income from your passions and hobbies in retirement? This post highlights four strategies to consider, along with resources to help get started.

6 Ways to Prepare to Find Part-Time Work in Retirement: Finding a meaningful second-act career won’t happen overnight. But the sooner you begin to research, explore and test out possibilities, the smoother your transition will be.

Phase a Full-Time Job into Part-Time, Then Retirement: Phased-retirement arrangements are still a rarity. This article offers suggestions on the best ways to pitch your boss on a phased retirement plan to your boss.

How to Get Your Boss to Let You Work From Home: The best ways to approach your boss about telecommuting and how to make working at home work well.

How Job Hunters Can Look for Age-Friendly Employers: This post overviews an intriguing new feature at RetirementJobs.com, a 10-year-old job board and career advice site geared for people over 50.

Want to stay informed about second-act careers and semi-retirement in 2018? Sign-up for my bi-monthly newsletter! It’s free, loaded with useful links and I never, ever share your information. To sign-up. just plug in your e-mail into the subscription box in the header at the top of this page.

In advance, thanks – I promise you’ll be glad you subscribed.

And finally, here’s a link to my favorite second-act career posts from 2016. Happy reading!

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One of my favorite free resources for keeping up with what’s going on in the world of retirement and careers is SmartBrief.com. Every day they send me an email with a curated list of links to the top five or six articles in my interest areas. It’s a super-convenient way to keep myself current on the latest second-act related trends, news and resources.

And it’s a terrific resource to research possible second-act careers.

Fortunately, SmartBrief offers newsletters on over 200 topics – some of which are appealing second-act career options. Interested in the food and wine world? Subscribe to the Food Business School SmartBrief. Thinking of starting a local retail business? Consider the Retail on Main Street SmartBrief. Thinking about a service to help the special education community? Sign-up for the SmartBrief on Special Education.

The service is totally free and signing-up is a breeze. To learn more, click here.

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