Switching jobs when you hit retirement age

While some people love the idea of giving up their job when reach retirement age, others hate the thought of having so much spare time on their hands.

Just because you’ve reached a certain age it doesn’t mean you should have to give up working, but you may find that it’s the perfect time to change your career or try out a new place of work.

Using your pension as a safety net, why not see if retirement offers you the chance to take up a more rewarding job? It’s a wonderful time to experiment with what might leave you feeling happy and fulfilled.

A life beyond your current career

You may find that once you reach retirement age, you’re no longer welcome at your place of work. While the abolishment of the Default Retirement Age means your employers will not be able to fire you based on your age, they may still consider older workers to be the best choice when they are faced with making redundancies. While this can be a very difficult time for anyone who loves their career, you shouldn’t assume that it means the end of your working life. Understand more about your rights and age discrimination with AgeUK and think about the many new opportunities you could have in a different line of work.

Switching a high-pressure job for one that offers less in the way of daily stressors can be an excellent idea for older workers. Instead of heading to a busy office every day, you might want to consider the benefits of employment in a retail or tourism setting. Working in a shop that’s associated with your interests – whether it’s a bookshop or a sports shop – can be a lot of fun, although it may not be as well paid as your former employment. Similarly, you might find that taking a job at a popular tourist attraction or fun location such as a golf course offers you plenty of opportunities to meet people and indulge your interests.

One the other hand, if you’d prefer to stay involved in a high-paced industry, this article from MSN about finding your dream retirement might help. Another really useful resource for older people who are looking to switch jobs is Exertus, which offers employment listings for the over 50s.

Rediscovering your passions

Moving into childcare or taking a teaching or teaching assistant role is also a wonderful way to share the knowledge you’ve gained over many years of work. Alternatively, you might like to think about moving into consultancy, which can be a high paid way to capitalise on your expertise. The Guardian has a useful and interesting article about what it takes to move into consultancy.

Retirement may also offer a good opportunity for you to start your own business, allowing you to make the kind of career and management choices you may have dreamed of for a long time. There’s also the chance that you might be able to make money from your hobby. Have a look at our guide to earning from your passions and find out if you have the kind of skill that could boost your retirement income and also leave you feeling more confident about leaving your place of work.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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Gill Ashby
23rd Feb 2014
Thanks for voting!
I think it is an ideal time to reflect and review what you really enjoy in life and if this is a time to learn new skills then just take the bull by the horns and set to. If that means going to visit a life coach to add the clarification process and get some goals then this is the time. My background was health and then in the Corporate world for years. I enjoyed many parts of both of my careers but my new career path takes the best bits of my past and builds on them. It took me a while to find it and with the help of others I achieved it and for me building a residual income was the goal as I did not want to be limit my lifestyle to my income.
However if you had asked me a few years ago what would I be doing the answer would have been so different to the path chosen now.

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