DEAR ABBY: "Searching for 'Me' in Texas" is not alone! A wave of 78 million baby boomers will soon leave 30-plus-year careers and are looking forward to an estimated 20 more years of life.
A vast majority of them are looking for meaningful opportunities for the second half of their lives. "Searching" should seek out a nonprofit organization for a cause she's passionate about and offer her skilled services. If "Searching" doesn't need an income, she can volunteer.
Finally, instead of seeking a graduate degree, she could look at her local community college and find noncredit classes that interest her and participate without the pressure of credited course work.
— Stephanie in Phoenix
DEAR STEPHANIE: Your suggestions are all good ones. Second careers are becoming more common, and there are many opportunities for seniors to enjoy their "encore careers." Read on for more options:
DEAR ABBY: As a volunteer coordinator at a large nonprofit, I have many volunteers who discovered us as a result of a retirement search. The AARP's volunteer engagement site is createthegood.org, and volunteermatch.org is a nationwide site for searching volunteer opportunities.
"Searching" needs to think about things she would like to do but couldn't while working, and dip her toe in the water. If she tries something and it isn't a fit, she has no obligation and can try another. It may lead to a paid "encore" career or fulfill her through volunteerism. n