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8 steps to help a ‘retirement career’ transition

Dale Niemi
Posted by Dale Niemi
Retirement & Investing

Retirement may be becoming an outdated term. Retirement means “the act of ending your working or professional career,” but for millions of people, retirement means a new career. My colleague, David Budd, has been exploring how this growing trend is changing the way we approach financial planning, so I have invited him to provide his view on how to prepare for a “retirement career.”


Over the past century there has been a dramatic shift in how long people are living. This longevity of our society is impacting how many experience retirement. There is a growing trend of people taking up a “second act” or a retirement career; some out of financial necessity, others because of their desire to keep active, give back, or seek new fulfillment.

Woman watering plants in a large greenhouse.In working with numerous clients through this transition, I have recognized themes among those who have been successful. Below is a list of a few of these possible actions that others have taken to help lead them to a successful transition:

  • They leverage their experience and knowledge.
  • They know and use their strengths. If you would like to discover or deepen your knowledge of your strengths, “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath is a great book to start with. There is an accompanying online test that helps assess your top five strengths. This was life-changing for me and my family.
  • They try new things.
  • They adapt.
  • They do things they are passionate about.
  • They give back.
  • They set goals.
  • They ensure their financial planning incorporates their retirement career. An example of this is on the estate or legacy planning side. I’ve worked with many clients who involve their children and grandchildren into the charities or causes they are passionate about. This can have a multi-generational impact by utilizing strategies that also have significant tax benefits.

There is a large group of people whose identity is defined by their work. This group often takes much longer to transition successfully. This is often true for business owners or executives who had a lot of decision-making power and were very significant in the direction of a group or company.

For many of these clients I have witnessed the positive impact of them getting involved in mentor-type roles through organizations that specialize in helping people find a “second-act career.” For example, one excellent online resource is, which looks to “tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world.” In many of their success stories, people find themselves in rewarding new careers they never could have imagined. Another good resource is AARP’s Life Reimagined program.

Whether your retirement career is because of necessity or is part of a strategy to keep active or to give back, I hope you can pull from the thoughts above as you take steps towards an exciting future.


David Budd
David Budd
 is a Vice President and Market Leader for Bank of the West in the Pacific Northwest. David leads the Wealth Management team and also works directly with high net worth clients and their families providing comprehensive financial solutions. David has four young children and keeps busy by coaching their sports teams.

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