Archive | Retirement Transitions

Expected Age of Retirement Now 66

On average, U.S. workers today expect to retire at an average age of 66–substantially higher than the expected retirement age of 60 in the mid-1990s, according to a Gallup survey. Here is how the percentage who expect to retire when they are 66 or older has grown over the years…

Percentage of workers who expect to retire at age 66 or older
2018: 41%
2015: 37%
2010: 34%
2005: 31%
2002: 21%
1995: 12%

Source:  American Consumers Newsletter, May 2018
Provided by Sharon Lenius

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Lifetime careers: rethinking LIS retirement

Kim Dority, 2017 Encore Caucus Convener, discussed a number of strategies for LIS practitioners who are contemplating career options that better suit their encore lifestyle goals and seek early transitions to their desired post-retirement options in her Infonista blog post.

Kim provides a checklist of questions to help LIS practitioners get started and think through their options to determine their ideal lifestyle.  She also provides a bibliography of resources to assist in this journey to an encore career.


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Thinking About an Encore LIS Career?

Tips from the SLA Encore Caucus by Kim Dority

If you, like many of us, love doing some work but are ready to consider a more lifestyle-friendly way to use your skills, the following questions may help you start thinking through which of your possible options will best fit your “encore” goals.

What are your reasons for continuing to work?
• Social interaction, friendships with colleagues
• Financial considerations, additional income
• Want to use my skills to contribute
• Enjoy the intellectual challenge
• Enjoy the routine
• Not ready to be a full-time grandparent/babysitter
• Enjoy staying professionally active
• Other (what might that be?)

What type of work structure sounds appealing to you?
• Part-time, regular schedule with current or new employer
• Flexible hours with current or new employer
• Project work, lasting anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months, perhaps through a placement agency
• Remote work, that you can do from anywhere with an internet connection
• Independent work, where you are an independent contractor or solopreneur doing various types of LIS work for clients
• Predictable seasonal work (for example, teaching) where you can know over the course of months or a year when you’ll be working and when you’ll not be working

What type of work activities sound engaging?
• Continuing to do what you’ve been doing, but less of it, with more flexibility
• Any type of Information work minus management responsibilities
• Working with children/young adults/the public/other, which is ___________
• A new aspect of LIS work you’ve become interested in, which is ____________
• An existing type of LIS work you’ve wanted to do more of, which is ____________
• Something different, not sure what, time to explore more!

What other considerations will affect your encore career choices?
• Family, social, or community commitments
• Health constraints
• Financial requirements
• Specific types of work or work environments you want to avoid
• Don’t want to have to learn any new technology
• Would like to avoid working with children/young adults/the public/other ___________
• Other, which is _____________________

These are just some initial questions to help you start thinking about your options for an Encore career – in fact, you might want to start a journal to begin recording your thoughts as you consider this next important phase of your career.

And of course, you’ll want to join the SLA Encore Caucus to brainstorm with like-minded colleagues! (Don’t forget, you can add a membership for half price at the conference)

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Transition Strategies

Transition Strategies

Strategy 1: Buy a Notebook.

Your first step should be to buy a small notebook to keep beside your favortite chair. Divide the notebook into sections (Ex: Volunteering, Things to Learn About, Things to Read, Places to Go, Friends to Do Things With. Things to Fix Around the House) . As you see items which might be of interest in those categories , write them in or cut them out and stick them into your notebook. I started my “Retirement Notebook” several years before retiring. Then as you read the newspaper, magazines or books, you have a place to start filing ideas that sound intriguing to pursue. It was practically full by the big day. (Chris Windheuser)

Strategy 2: Clarify your Intention.

Write out the answers to some of the questions that will provide you a benchmark from where to start this process:

“Who am I?”
What matters most to me?
What am I seeking?
What do I have to offer?
What do I need?
What do I enjoy?
What do I fear?
What makes me feel secure?
What is my hope?
What is my sadness?
What is my joy?
What is my heart’s desire?
What special efforts do I need to do as I age?
What would I like my epitaph to read?

“Now to Consider the Future:”
What is my next narrative?
What are the elements of who I am – and what roles do they play in keeping me in balance?
What will the benefit of time be in my life?
How can I become open to new opportunities?
If I had another paying job, what would I like it to be?
Is it possible for me to have nothing to do?
What excites me about the future?
What next? (Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, but felt there was no time or opportunity to do.)

For those of you concerned about structure (many of us fear losing this when we stop working), draft a daily regime and set up some short goals for your first six to twelve months so you can visualize what may become your new focus.

Discernment Committee: Consider involving your trusted friends in a discernment process to help you think through what you want to do next. Send an invitation to six trusted friends who you wish to act as your Clearness Committee to join you for three hours to ponder the opportunities that await you. You also need to select a good facilitator for this process.

The idea, based on a Quaker tradition, is to help you hear your innter teacher that is often garbled by interference (fear, uncertainty, etc). The work of the Committee is guided by some simpl, but crucial rules. Primary among them is that the process is totally confidential. Committee members will not speak with each other or others about what happened and will not speak with you about the issue later, unless you request a further conversation.

In the two hour session – committee members ask only open, honest questions, ones to which only you could know the answer (no advice is given). Their questions will help remove blocks to your inner truth.
The other hour is meant for introductions, closure, etc.
To help them with their questions, you may want to share the document about where you are today and where you are heading.
(Susan Fifer Canby)

Strategy 3: Books!

Read some books and they will suggest ways to approach this new phase. A few that we found useful:


Borchard, David C. with Patricia A. Donohoe. The JOY of Retirement: Finding happiness, freedom and the life you’ve always wanted. AMACOM, 2008.
Helps you profile your life themes, connect your talents to interests, with ideas for sustaining vitality to manage in a changing world.

Bratter, Denise and Helen Dennis. Project Renewment: The First Retirement Model for Career Women.  2008.

Rentsch, Gail Smart Women Don’t Retire – they Break Free: From working full-time to living full-time. Springboard Press, NY, 2008.How to get the most out of the next stage of life, after working you through how to think through and redefine retirement.

Sedlar, Jery and Rick Miners. Don’t Retire, REWIRE 2nd edition. Alpha, 2007
Helps you identify your drivers and how to apply them to your new life as well as to create a rewired vision to put your action plan in motion.

Books on Aging Well:
Crowley, Chris and Henry S. Lodge Younger Next Year for Women: Live Strong, fit and sexy until you’re 80 and beyond. Workman Publishing, NY, 2004.
There is also one for men. Suggests how to jump start your life to increase your energy level to be all that you can be.

Freedman, Marc. The Big Shift.  2011.

Plunkett, Jack W. The Next Boom. 2010

Trafford, Abigail. My Time: Making the most of the bonus decades after 50. Perseus Group, 2004.

Describes hitting our second adolescence, seeking purpose, and nurturing friendships and family.


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