There are a variety of ways to achieve job flexibility:
Phase into Retirement: If you’re interested in a phased retirement, talk to your current boss (if your current workplace is somewhere you want to stay). Even if there is no formal program in place, your employer may be willing to work out an arrangement that will give you the flexibility you desire while passing on your knowledge and experience to the next generation.
Go Part Time in a New Job: Work does not have to be a full time 9-5 gig.
Network: If your current employer can’t accommodate a flexible schedule, reach out to the connections you’ve made over the course of your career. As I’m sure you’ve discovered, sometimes it’s not about what you know, but about who you know.
Try Freelancing: Your current work may also lend itself to consulting or freelance work that will give you the freedom to choose projects and clients that are important to you, and give you the flexibility to work when and where you want.
To Delay Retirement, Find Meaning in Your Work
In 2012, a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave interviewed working retirees and asked them what advice they’d give pre-retirees who are considering employment in retirement. Approximately 75% recommended being open to trying something new and willing to earn less to do something you truly enjoy. In other words, working in retirement can be a chance to pursue purpose and a paycheck.
If your current career isn’t going to carry you into a happy and productive retirement, consider what else you can do with your skill set. What problems do you want to solve? Are you passionate about healthcare, education, the environment, or animals? You may be able to shift your focus to working for a nonprofit. Check out the Encore Fellowships program, which helps individuals from the corporate sector transition to new roles in nonprofit and social impact organizations.