Get In on a Stellar Second Act by Janet Bodnar
I retired as editor of Kiplinger’s, I was asked to continue writing my Money Smart Women column and to launch this new column on retirement living. One year later, I’m happy doing both. But I sometimes wonder if I should be doing something completely different from my previous profession—say, learning how to tap dance (which I’ve actually looked into).
I put that question to Abby Donnelly, founder of The Leadership & Legacy Group, who counsels retiring executives on how to transition to their next phase of life. Donnelly responded by asking me a question: “Do you still feel you’re connecting with readers and helping them make good financial decisions?” Definitely, I replied. Then don’t worry, she said. “You’ve retired to something you find meaningful and rewarding.”
Donnelly draws a distinction between interests—in my case, tap dancing—and activities that deliver purpose and meaning, the holy grail of a fulfilling retirement. And there’s no one route to that goal. “Some people just want to do what they did before, but less of it and with more control, while others want to try something they never knew existed,” says Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook. Alboher is also vice president of Encore.org, which sponsors fellowships that encourage baby boomers to use their skills to help their communities (see an interview with her in the February Ahead).