How an encore career can help women find fulfillment and purpose in their golden years

With so much time spent preparing for retirement, have you considered how to make it a fulfilling one? Reaching retirement is an exciting milestone, but making the most out of it requires special consideration and personal reflection.

As we enter the season of goal-setting and resolutions, consider creating some intrapersonal retirement goals. This may include the possibility of embarking on an encore career, something many retired women find fulfilling and engaging.

What’s an encore career?

Working in retirement is actually quite common, considering 41 million retirees (those 55 and over) are expected to engage in the labor force by 2024.1 While you may not have envisioned spending your golden years doing more work, an encore career doesn’t have to be your typical 9-to-5.

An encore career is exactly what it sounds like, a career that comes after the main event. Working in retirement can be far from a tedious task, as an encore career tends to align with retirees’ passion projects or social values.

Your encore career can be anything you like, but common industries for women in retirement include:

  • Healthcare
  • Environmental education
  • Government
  • Non-profits

With a life expectancy beyond that of their male counterparts, women are statistically more likely to spend longer in retirement. Filling that time with something that’s mentally and physically engaging, like an encore career, can play a big part in womens’ overall happiness later in life.

Living a work-optional life

At Wealthcare for Women, we strive to help women create a work-optional lifestyle in retirement. We want you to do what you’re passionate about after your working years, and that may include pursuing a career in an area that interests you or even starting your own business.

In a work-optional lifestyle, the personal satisfaction of doing what you love should be just as rewarding as a paycheck. The purpose of an encore career is to take what you’ve always dreamed of doing and make it a reality.

Finding fulfillment in an encore career

The most significant benefit to embarking on an encore career is the dedicated time you’re giving yourself to pursue a passion or give back to the community. It provides retirees drive and purpose beyond their post-work years.

While we say “career,” the idea of an encore career can be whatever you make of it. It could involve volunteer work with your favorite nonprofit or advocating for an issue you’re passionate about. Because you’re not dependent on a paycheck, a late-in-life career choice can even be a financially lucrative decision.

3 surprising benefits of encore careers

Besides bringing purpose and fulfillment to your post-work life, there are a few additional benefits an encore career can present for women.

Establish new routines

We take for granted the routine our careers built for us: Wake up, hit the gym, go to work, come home, make dinner and relax before bed.

Sound familiar?

For most of us, we’ve been following a fairly similar work routine since our 20’s, but retirement is about to change everything.

Embarking on an encore career can help bring back some of that much-needed routine to help put drive and purpose back into your days. Depending on your pursuits in retirement, you may even have the flexibility to build a work schedule that works around your needs.

Experience new people, places, & things

Unless you make a conscious effort, retirement can be an isolating experience. Many of us consider coworkers like family, making it especially hard to transition to a post-work life. If you’re worried about a lack of socialization in retirement, an encore career may be the perfect antidote.

Earn extra income

While we’re striving for a work-optional life in retirement, the extra income of an encore career may be a welcomed financial cushion. This could be used as fun money for vacations or home upgrades, or you may consider socking it away for future savings. 

The income earned through an encore career may even make it possible to delay Social Security benefits. Of course, the longer you wait to receive Social Security, the greater the amount you’ll receive (up until the age of 70).

Thinking about an encore career?

You may know someone who’s enjoying their own encore career. Talk to them about their experience working in retirement. Are they enjoying their new routine? Do they wish they would have done things differently?

And as you consider whether this is right for you, Wealthcare for Women can help. We’ll take a closer look at your current savings strategies and retirement plans. This is the time in your life to think, “what did I want to be when I grow up?” If the answer still excites you, let’s figure out a way to make it happen.

If you’d like to explore the financial and lifestyle pros and cons of an encore career, we can easily model it in your Wealthcare plan. Reach out to our team today to start the conversation about your ideal retirement.


  1.  Older workers: Labor force trends and career options