Shifting to a New Career after 50

Thinking about changing your career in mid-life? Many Baby Boomers are doing this, and have found greater joy and meaning in their lives after making the leap to try something different, yet still keep up with paying their bills. I just read an interesting article written by Kerry Hannon, author and regular contributor in She discusses her new book, Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … And Pays the Bills, a guide to finding financial security as well as personal and professional fulfillment.  She offers a financial checklist to consider before changing to an “Encore Career.”

  • Since money is usually the biggest obstacle to making mid-or late-career changes, the first item  on Hannon’s financial checklist is to begin saving, without using retirement money or home equity. Create a budget that you can live on and still save, and make it a priority to get out of debt. This means paying off your house, credit cards, loans, and other financial obligations you’ve accumulated. Check your credit report, and don’t close your accounts, or it will affect your credit rating, usually adversely. Check for a free credit check, with 3 companies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Deal with any credit score issues right away, pay all of your bills on time. You can also check


  • Take advantage of educational opportunities provided by your current employer while you’re still working for them.
  • Find financial aid loans, grants and scholarships offered to the 50+ aged population.  Seek out opportunities at local community colleges.


  • Learn about educational tax breaks offered by the IRS on


  • Downsize your housing expenses, and do some research to determine if refinancing would be to your advantage on or for a refinancing calculator.



I had to chuckle at the various terms used in this article used to refer to making a career change later in life. Some that were used are: “2nd Acters,” (I know, but that’s how it’s spelled), “Mid and Late Career Changers,” “Hit the Restart Button,” “Pursued a Dream Job,” “Second Verse,” and “Follow Your Passion.” All of these lead to “Encore Careers,” and can help a person feel like they’re contributing to the world and finding a purpose and reason for getting up and going to work every day. In relation to this website, finding the right encore career also may help seniors work toward having more financial freedom to make personal choices about what their senior living environments will entail as they grow older and how to deal with needing more assistance with their care. For more information about making those choices about assisted care or senior living choices, go to


Source:, “The Big Career Shift: Your Financial Checklist” by Kerry Hannon

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