14 October 2008

Encore vs Ex-Retired Careers

"Ex-Retired" (or ex-retiree or ex-retirement) at its most neutral just means a person retired and then returned to work. "Encore" carries extra meaning: a person transitioned to a more fulfilling career (sometimes without actually retiring).

As baby boomers plan for the future, more and more of them are expecting to push off retirement or, if they have retired early, to now seek employment. The current financial crisis is a powerful motivator. Perhaps the nest egg has cracked. Or perhaps the housing crunch threatens a planned home sale. Or maybe a recession/depression of unknown length is too great a risk in light of retirement of unknown length.

Comments I've heard from boomers in the past few days reflecting on these issues:

  • If I can back into industry, I could work for a couple of years and sock away the salary to replace what I've lost in the last 3 weeks. (Age 62)
  • I don't have a retirement year in my mind and that's good. (Age 63)
  • If I have to go job-hunting it's going to be for a job, not a career. (Age 62)

Maybe the mood of the country doesn't allow for optimistic planning for encore careers, or maybe the encore concept belongs to people with resources to support that choice. I wonder if we'll gravitate to a division of the vocabulary, where Ex-Retired will take on the connotation of being forced to return to employment in order to make ends meet.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.


Anonymous said...

For those of us who thought we would be retiring in 3-5 years. Think again.I thought retiring would be a time to do something I enjoyed, not necessarily not working. The luxury of thinking about working at something we "like" is just that... a luxury.

Mary Bold said...

Thanks for your comment. You introduce another factor: a range of 3-5 years. I think more and more boomers think in terms of a "window" for retirement (and did even before the current financial crisis). For previous cohorts, the age of retirement was more certain, probably because there were more company pensions with a standard retirement age.