Jada A. Graves
When Art Koff retired from more than 45 years in advertising and consulting in 2003, he still wanted to work and remain challenged. "My last years in advertising were very much involved with getting clients to spend more of their budgets on the Net," he says. "I wanted to continue this effort and felt that other than AARP, there were few places where boomers, retirees, and people planning their retirement could find the kinds of information of interest to them." So he started the website RetiredBrains to serve as a networking outlet for older workers to find employment opportunities.
Koff also included a wealth of information on subjects that would interest his target demographic. "When I first started, a large percentage of our traffic came to areas like memory loss ... arthritis pain, travel for seniors, senior discounts, financial and insurance services, etc.," he says, "but since the recession, the great majority of our visitors come [to the site] to look for a job, get advice on how to find employment, as well as [visit] our work from home and start your own business pages."
Managing the website has been an opportunity for Koff to stay active. "I'm in my late 70s and still put in 50-plus hours a week," he says. "But this is not work for me--it's fun."
Koff is part of a growing population who are choosing to stay employed after the traditional retirement years. According to a recent Department of Labor report, all baby boomers will have reached age 55 or older by 2020. Many of them will choose to retire and live on Social Security benefits and their personal savings. But a large portion of the boomer population will continue to work; due to financial obligation or desire, or even a little of both. A 2011 survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows that 39 percent of workers are planning to work past age 70 without retiring; 54 percent of workers intend to keep working once they retire. "Pensions are a thing of the past," says Marci Alboher, vice president of the retired workers website Encore Careers. "The best way to ensure a continued stream of income is to continue to earn it."
Instead of earning money working the same occupations as before, many older workers are choosing to start second careers. "If you retire at age 60, you legitimately could have 10 or 15 years to pursue another career," says Kerry Hannon, a career transition expert and author of the book What's Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job. "It could be worthwhile to get an education or certification to do something different. It opens up more possibilities."
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