Want to Work in Your 70s?
Do you want to work in your 70s? I know that seems like a weird concept but I want to work in my 70s, though not in a traditional job. I want to work on my own terms doing something I love.
With COVID-19 roaring through the world and forcing us out of our comfort zone, many of you are re-evaluating your lives. More importantly, what retirement might look like or if will you even be able to retire.
Note: This post was originally published in April of 2018 and was updated in July of 2020.
The topic for the interview was: Boomers in the Workforce and Why We Need a Mindset Change.
You can watch the entire interview here.
However, I want you to listen to something Geoff said:
Watch about 25 seconds of the video.
In your 50s start thinking about what you want to do for work for the next 20 years.
Geoff quotes Daniel Priestley author of Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business that Works who wrote the following:
Vital people do not dream of retiring someday. In fact, they think about ways that they can keep doing more of what they love for as long as possible.
I find this quote to be quite powerful. If you love what you do why would you want to retire? However, most of the people who are reading this blog are not doing what they love.
This is a mindset shift from what many of us thought we would be thinking about in our 50s.
I work with the Career Pivot Membership community which was created for those of us in the 2nd half of life who want to keep in our 70s.
There has been a common set of themes that I am hearing:
- Freedom to work on their terms
- Work at something that is enjoyable
- The work should have meaning
Does that sound wonderful?
That is a complete 180 degrees from where most of us started our careers. When I started my career, I was expected to get a job that would support my family, pay the mortgage, put my kid through college, and when I retired I would stop working and start playing.
Well…that is not happening. About 20 years ago they moved my cheese!
For many of you, the COVID-19 pandemic is getting you to rethink what the next 20 years will look like.
What Does Work in Your 70s Look Like?
What do you want to do for work in your 70s? You probably do not know because the world will look a lot different in 20 years.
The reality is what you will be doing in 20 years will not be full-time employment. It might be a part-time job, multiple part-time jobs, freelance work, or a full-blown portfolio career.
Let me give you some examples:
- Russ Eanes has started a business where he helps people write and self publish books. Through his business, Russ provides a whole variety of services besides writing his own books about walking. His first book is titled The Walk of a Lifetime: 500 Miles on the Camino de Santiago You can hear Russ’s story on the Repurpose Your Career podcast in the episode Russ Eanes Turns the Walk of a Lifetime into a Writing and Consulting Career.
- Another member of the community is working for GetSetup.io, which calls itself The Largest Senior-to-Senior Learning Platform. She is also starting a coaching practice.
- On a different note, another member is working part-time for an India based consulting company. This pays the bills. She just bought a gas station across the street from her house in rural Montana which she is turning into an art gallery, a tiny house showroom, and a few other things.
All three of these members of the community are over 60 and can continue working well into their 70s should they choose. The important part is it is their choice.
If you want to learn more about portfolio careers you might want to listen to the interview I did with Steve Preston where we discussed his book Portfolio Careers: How to Work for Passion, Pleasure & Profit! (affiliate link).
The point here is it will likely be more flexible, fewer hours, and probably less money with more meaning.
Planning to Work in Your 70s
There are several considerations that I want you to think about:
- Will you have to work in your 70s? If so, how much money do you think you will need to make?
- Do you want to work for yourself or someone else?
- If you want to work for yourself are you prepared to sell and market your services or products?
This will vary for everyone.
Will You Have to Work in Your 70s?
This is key and you need to get outside help from a financial advisor. Very few can do this on their own.
I am a big fan of 2 financial podcasts:
When I left my last corporate gig in 2011, I went to my financial advisor and asked the question, “Can I retire?” The answer was yes.
This could only be because my wife and I live a modest lifestyle, have no debt, own our home/condo, and have no intention of changing. We also have saved money for years and did not change our investment strategies during the last 2 recessions.
I can tell you that a lot of the readers of this blog are not so fortunate. This is why it is so important to understand how much money you will need to earn from working in your 70s.
Do You Want to Work for Yourself or Someone Else?
I will never forget listening to Bruce Williams on a nationally syndicated radio show in the 1980s. Someone asked which was better – to work for themselves or someone else. Bruce responded that some people can work for themselves and others have to work for someone else, and there is no right or wrong.
That response has stuck with me to this day.
When I left my last corporate gig, I was exhausted from working for the closest thing to a sociopath that I have ever experienced. I told myself I would never work for someone else ever again.
I now work for a jerk! Well, I do work for myself. Are you prepared to work for yourself?
Are You Prepared to Sell and Market Your Services or Products?
If you want to work in your 70s and want to work for yourself are you prepared to sell?
When I got started down this journey I had a friend recommend I read the book Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni (affiliate link). It is a story about consultive selling and defines a process that most of us can use. The concept of getting naked is to be vulnerable to a new client. You walk in without all the answers and listen. The goal is to see if you can help.
It may take some time to figure out what is right for you. If you are a multipotentialite, it may be a combination of things that you do.
The point now is to get started and explore. Will some paths take you to a dead-end? PROBABLY.
Go back and start over, but take the knowledge that you have gained with you. I have failed multiple times and learned from each experience.
Will this take longer than you think? PROBABLY.
Do not let that deter you from finding the right path.