I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the words “I can’t wait to retire.”
Some tell me the exact number of years, months and days until they can finally leave employment and collect their pension. They tell me that they are looking forward to playing golf or some other sport, spending time with their grandchildren and travelling.
They also wonder why I still work at the age of 70. Move ahead a year or two after retirement and ask the same group of people how retirement is going for them. Many will say they are happy, while others will say it isn’t what they expected. There is only so much golf or other sport you can play; the grandchildren are growing up and spending more time with their friends and less time with you. How much travel can you do in a year? Although most people enjoy travelling, it can be stressful and tiring. And, of course, expensive.
Although we’re living longer and are healthier, if you don’t stay active in one way or another, your health may be affected. As a retired person, there are many opportunities for you if you become bored.
These could be:
- Mentor younger people through different organizations serving different
markets – they are always looking for help
- If you are interested in business mentoring, contact small business enterprise centers to see if they are looking for mentors. Most Provinces and Cities in Canada have enterprise centers.
And if you’ve found retirement isn’t for you, then there are other options to explore. Perhaps you may want to work, full/part-time or on contract. Or you now want to start the business that you’ve always thought about doing. Let’s start with going back to work and getting the elephant in the room out of the way – ageism.
Unfortunately, you may find it challenging to find work due to your age. However, don’t be discouraged, as many organizations now realize the experience that our age group brings to the table and are more open to hiring.
You may want to contact recruitment agencies to see what may be available. Now on to entrepreneurship. Everyone at some point has thought of starting a business.
You may not know that people over the age of 50 are the fastest-growing group of new entrepreneurs in the world and that we have a higher success rate of being in business longer than young entrepreneurs.
And many can’t wait to retire to take the plunge, while others are nervous about being a business owner. What the two have in common is the value of work experience that you bring to a business.
I hope that encourages you and takes some of the fear of taking the plunge I mentioned earlier.
After hearing these stories, I knew the need for a book to help people over the age of 50 start their business and wrote WISER: The Definitive Guide to Starting a Business After the Age of 50.
The WISER guide can help you decide if being an entrepreneur is for you or not. It’s best to know before you spend money on starting a business and find it isn’t what you thought it would be.
Once you’ve decided to move forward, the next step is to contact Small Business Enterprise Centres, whose mandate is to help small businesses. Do a Google search to find Centres in your area.
Regardless of your decision to go back to work or start a business, remember the importance of keeping both your brain and body active.
– Contributed by Wendy Mayhew.
For more information, contact Wendy Mayhew at [email protected]
or the WISER website