A native of McAlester, Weaver taught sociology at various schools, including at Bacone College in Muskogee and Florida Junior College in Jacksonville, Fla. After he was diagnosed with renal cancer, he moved to Hobbs, N.M., and worked as a night administrator for a college there, so he’d live closer to M.D. Anderson where he received care for several years.
“I thought I’d only live another four or five years, and really wanted to do something before I died, and then the Daily Living Centers and I found each other,” Weaver said. “I tell people I’ll retire someday, but what I’m doing is too much fun,” he said.
Weaver is part of a growing trend of “retirees,” Hannon said, who move on to find encore careers, often with social meaning and purpose, like he did — or bridge jobs that offer greater flexibility without killer hours.
A recent Transamerica survey of people 50 and older found most plan to work well beyond 65; one third say they’ll never retire, she said.
A former full-time journalist, Hannon, 54, said she left the conventional workplace 12 years ago to create her own “patchwork quilt” of jobs, including speaker, expert and author. Her books include “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+” and “What’s Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in your Forties, Fifties, and Beyond.”
On her nationwide book tours, Hannon met a former Navy pilot who redeployed as company manager for a traveling circus, something he always loved going to as a kid. Meanwhile, a former investment banker, after Sept. 11, moved from New York home to Pittsburgh, where he opened an Italian restaurant. To make sure it’s what he wanted to do, he first moonlighted at several other Italian restaurants.
Retirees, she said, might consider pursuing jobs that “ride the age wave,” such as a patient advocate, massage therapist, driver or personal assistant for seniors. Or, they could start their own businesses, she said, possibly pairing with younger, more tech savvy partners.
Hannon recommends seniors seek younger mentors to help them be nimble online. “Employers want to know if you’re up to speed technically, and legitimately so,” she said. Having a profile on LinkedIn.com shows employees you’re adept,” she said.Eighty-five percent of companies use LinkedIn to recruit, she said. “Plus, it’s good for networking,” she said. “Employers hire people they know and people they know know.”Perhaps most importantly, workers in retirement need to be physically and financially fit, Hannon said.
“You have to show employers you have the energy and stamina for the job,” she said, “And debt can be a real dream killer, if you need to make a certain salary or don’t have the money to start a new business, where many initially pay themselves little or no salaries.”
Hannon’s speech motivated Karen Jordan, 65, and Kathy Holman, 62, both of Oklahoma City.
A registered nurse and nurse educator, Jordan is retiring July 1 from Oklahoma City Community College, and plans to work as a traveling part-time nurse so that she can see more of her grandchild in Phoenix and more of the nation.
“I’m retiring to get benefits and to have the flexibility to do what I want to do,” Jordan said.
A gerontologist, Holman plans to continue designing senior housing and teaching licensure classes for assisted living administrators. However, because she elected to start drawing her Social Security benefits in October when she turned 62, she’s cutting back on her projects.
At their full retirement age, which is 65 or older depending on birth year, retirees can earn as much as they want, without jeopardizing benefits. However, an annual earnings limit still applies to Social Security recipients 64 and younger. This year, it’s $15,720; for every $2 earned above the limit, the Social Security Administration will withhold $1 in benefits.
Published: May 10, 2015