Did you know that in 10 years, more people in the U.S. will be 60 and older than those who are under 16 years old? As more people age, they’re looking at what’s being called an encore career – older employees in the workforce who work with passion and purpose, and for a paycheck. A key part of this career is giving back to others and doing something that interests you.
In the past, many had a pension for income in retirement. Now, Social Security income is the largest source of income for most seniors, so more are working in their retirement years to supplement Social Security and because they want to work. But being part of the elderly workforce involves not just making money to make ends meet, but also having a positive impact on your community and engaging with other people.
Here are four ways an encore career can be key to your longevity
Make Connections with Others
Try to think of new ways to create opportunities to engage with others when working. You can pass on your knowledge and skills to a younger person who is working in the same field. Your years of working can be an invaluable resource for others who are just starting out in that area.
Learn the latest technology
Some people feel it’s harder to get a job when you’re older. However, it’s possible to learn new skills and keep up with the younger generation. A common stereotype is that employees over 65 can’t learn how to use the latest technology. This is not true — you can continue to learn about smartphones, tablets and other smart devices through practice. Using social media such as Facebook is another great way to keep up with the latest tech.
Pursue Your Passions
Find your passion and pursue it! If you love something, go for it. Get inspired by stories and blogs about the new and innovative ways people are living and working at this stage in life. You can also find someone who inspires you in your local community. Take that person to lunch or coffee and ask them how they were able to pursue that path. See what changes they had to make to pursue their passion successfully.
Health and outlook
Recent research has shown that when people retire and stop working they increase the likelihood of becoming depressed, having a health condition, and needing to take medication for a health issue. Work can provide a routine and a purpose to your life. Another study concluded that when people keep working, they have a larger social network of friends. In return, this contributes to your overall mood and happiness.
Want to learn more about longevity?
To hear more about the benefits of the senior workforce, check out the recent podcast, The Encore Movement: Tapping the Talent of the 50+ Population to Improve Society, available on the Long-Term Living Association’s website, longtermliving.org. The podcast features special guest Marci Alboher, who is the Vice President at encore.org, a nonprofit organization devoted to getting the most out of the experience of people who are 50-plus.