The baby boomer generation is reinventing “retirement,” but there is no roadmap. Boomers are designing their plans for what to do after their first career as they go along. No new news here. Boomers have rewritten the rules for every stage of life since elementary schools exploded with this Howdy Doody lunch box crowd.

Choices in Transition

Most boomers are uncertain about what they are going to do after completing full-time work. I am an executive coach specializing in transitions for those over 50.  I know that boomers are starving for intelligent and supportive information about the choices for this next phase of life.

They want to discover who they are now and how to identify and match their personal preferences with the needs of private, public or non-profit sector organizations. The old joke about “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up” takes on real urgency for boomers as they start to consider their options. Their earlier middle age goals of child rearing and career building have already been met. What should be next?

Boomers are in transition. They are looking for information about part-time work opportunities, finding the ideal nonprofit slot, and relationships. How can boomer couples handle issues like “he wants to read at the beach full-time, and she wants to join the Peace Corps.”

Finding Purpose Beyond Careers

There is some buzz out there warning that boomers are going to play golf full-time, suck down vast gulps of government benefits and create permanent debtors out of the next two generations. I don’t think so.

When was the last time you heard a 60ish friend say, “I am really looking forward to playing shuffleboard for 30 years?” New to 60 are Madonna, Michael Steele, Ellen DeGeneres, Alec Baldwin, Neil deGrasseTyson, and Theresa May. These well-known figures are models for continuing to find purpose and satisfaction in their current careers. They serve as models for the new alternatives available to members of the boomer generation as they face retirement age.

Arriving at your mid-60’s doesn’t need to signal the end of productive work or contribution. As a matter of fact, the fastest-growing segment of the total American workforce is those 55-plus.

You may want to start a second career. Maybe you want to find a sense of purpose in volunteering for a charity you believe in. Whatever your individual yearnings, you have choices that can bring you deep personal satisfaction if you know how to find them.

Peter Sherer is a nationally recognized career coach who offers clarity and confidence to mid-career and senior executives in transition. His rigorous assessment tools enable his clients to identify a meaningful assignment that uses all of their skills and experience in just two short days. Learn more and get in touch with Peter today.