(Editor’s note: This content is provided by VSP Vision Care, a Next Avenue sponsor.)
If you’re not ready to retire, you are not alone. More Americans at retirement age are finding themselves not ready for retirement for both financial and personal fulfillment reasons. Many retirees who continue to work in their retirement years say they do so because they find meaning in what they do, and it helps supplement their finances. If you’re considering an encore career in retirement, experts say to strive for achieving job satisfaction first, and financial benefit will follow.
Not Sure Where to Start?
Consider going at it alone as a solopreneur or find ways to piece together an encore career of self-employment. It may sound like a risky venture financially, but a recent FreshBooks survey projects the number of Americans leaving conventional jobs in favor of self-employment could reach 42 million by 2020. Self-employment after retirement can lead to many positive benefits, including finding the well-being and financial balance you seek:
- 66% of self-employed people surveyed looked forward to improved work-life balance, and 68% of those surveyed post self-employment achieved this goal.
- While 43% anticipated a reduction in stress levels before venturing out on their own, even more people (49%) realized this benefit in self-employment.
Self-employment, freelance work, independent consultant, gig work, solopreneurship — no matter what you call it, you too can be a part of this significant economic shift called the gig economy. And, armed with the right plan, you can be well on your way to achieving balance along your next career path.
How to Go With What and Who You Know
- When looking for an encore career of self-employment, try to leverage your current employment for freelance or contract work post-retirement. Perhaps you can pick up projects with your current (soon-to-be former) employer, but you won’t know if you don’t ask.
- Look to leverage your personal relationships for opportunities as well. Seek out both past and present connections to discover opportunities.
- If you specialize in an area or skill set, develop an ongoing dialog with a professional network of connections — both online and off — that can help you find a steady flow of work. This will enable you to scale up or down given your availability and financial needs.
- Look for work that brings about emotional and mental benefits in addition to financial — perhaps with an organization you already volunteer with or a community cause you’d like to align with. By finding engagement in your work that connects to a broader purpose, self-employment can become more than a means of earning a living.
- Ongoing social interaction is key to self-employed success. Interactions with a formal peer group, informal support networks, direct role models, mentors, collaborators and community causes can help you stay focused and inspired.
For more information about what you must have to make self-employment and gig work a success, click here.
Business Health Depends on Personal Health
A Prudential study found that only about 40% of self-employed gig workers have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and an even smaller number can access employer-sponsored dental coverage, vision coverage or disability insurance. When gig workers do have access to employer-sponsored benefits of any kind, it’s generally through a spouse or through membership in a professional association. Since the health of your business is often dependent on your overall health, bridging this gap should be at the top of every self-employed person’s to-do list.
The good news is that the gig economy is spawning a need for a new kind of benefits, especially for those who plan to venture beyond conventional employment. There are no laws guaranteeing unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, paid time off or employer-provided health care for independent workers, so innovative companies are filling the gaps.
Sponsored by VSP® Individual Vision Plans
Leading the way in an entirely new “independent benefits” industry, VSP Individual Vision Plans is offering independent eye care plans for independent workers. As the No. 1 choice in vision care at any stage of life, VSP offers affordable individual vision coverage for solopreneurs and those who don’t have access to employer-provided vision care. Think about it as an individual vision plan for your new workplace of one.
To learn more and enroll today, visit GetVSPDirect.com or call (877) 988-4746 to speak to one of their vision plan advisors who can help find the right plan for you.
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