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What Should You Be Doing After 50 Years Old?

Many people think that at 50, ideally, they should already be heading to retirement. But if you’ve been working all your life, and have just been kind of used to the daily grind, there are cases where staying at home and burning through your retirement fund just doesn’t seem right. There’s that burning itch that makes you want to get up early, hop on your car, and go to work. It gives you a sense of fulfillment, a sense of reason to wake up and go to bed early.

For those who are thinking of what they could be doing after 50, the NewRetirement Podcast talks to Kerry Hannon, AARP jobs expert and author of “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+” to find out the ideal kinds of work for those who have zoomed past their prime.

“I think kind of there’s two, different themes that I see,” Steve Chen said, founder of NewRetirement and host of the podcast. “So one is there’s people that have plenty of money and they’re really thinking about, okay you know, if I have plenty of money, how would I kind of ideally spend my time? What’s my dream job and so forth? And, or service work or whatnot. And there’s also people that are a little bit driven more by fear and they’re kind of thinking, you know, you know, I need to make some amount of income. What’s a more secure job? You know, what’s a job that … But try to balance that with like things that they, they would like doing.”

Kerry noted that more than the financial aspect to it, more people beyond 50 are looking for work to stay relevant, to stay moving.

“It also is a way to stay engaged,” Kerry said. “You know, studies have shown it keeps us mentally engaged. Use it or lose it. Physically, it keeps you, um, more, you know, you’re healthier, you’re moving, you’re relevant, you have a reason to get up in the morning. So there’s really great reasons.”

According to AARP, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people as they age, fitness trainer can be one career path for those who are into fitness because of the growing demand for trainers who design workouts for people ages 65 and up. There is no age limit to fitness and this is just the best way to stay fit and healthy while helping others do so, too.

Building a consulting business is also a good way to spend your 50s, too, since by the time you hit that age, you’ve probably already acquired some kind of deep knowledge in a specific field. One success story is David Finke, who spent 30 years of his life working in the maritime industry. After he and his wife, Jolene, started Eagle Crest Enterprises, a company that offers training and consulting services to other businesses in the industry, he found that he was making more money on his own than working for someone else. According to Finke, finding that niche and fulfilling the needs of that niche has been instrumental to his business’ success.

Some even succeed at changing careers at the second half of their lives. Bill O’Donovan, who was a newspaper publisher all his life, began chasing the waters and turned his passion into a career.

“After 42 years with the Virginia Gazette newspaper, I was laid off at age 65. Fortunately, part of my job was to schmooze advertising clients and news sources, and I did that by taking them sailing on my boat on the York River. I was spending more than 100 days a year on the water, and that just happened to be what I needed to get Coast Guard certification and start sailing professionally,” shares O’Donovan. “I printed up brochures and took out ads in the local papers. But what really helped was setting up a blog on my website. That helps with Google searches. Through my blogs and TripAdvisor, I’ve grown the business rapidly.”

At the end of the day, many people, once they reach 50, just want a better work and life balance. And when you reach that age where you’ve got a retirement fund that can support part of your financial needs, then maybe you’re ready to take the next step and just start doing whatever you love doing.