Many Canadian boomers are putting retirement plans aside to pursue encore careers. Taking on a second career that allows you to follow your passions can make you feel like you never want to retire.

Is there a business you always wanted to start? Or a job you always wanted to have? If you are planning for a second ‘encore’ career, here are a few things to consider:

First: Ensure Your Finances Are In Order. When deciding on an encore career, it is important to do your research and develop a strategy. Will you be working your primary job while you explore other options? Speak with your accountant/financial planner to figure out the following:

Whether you have enough money saved to survive a year of unemployment while your new job or business takes off.

How much money you will need to earn from your new career/venture to maintain a decent standard of living in the foreseeable future.

Second: Figure Out What You Want To Do. Critically assess what you will be offering in your next career. Always aim to do what you love and think about the following:

What are your passions?

What experience and knowledge do you have to offer that makes you unique?

What do you have to offer that people will pay you money for, and who are those people?

Monetize a Hobby. Consider what you already do in your spare time. Do you enjoy cooking new dishes on a weekly basis? Do you sew for everyone in the family? Do you plan parties and events for your friends? Hobbies can come in all shapes and sizes, and if you are really good at something, it is likely that with a bit of work you could turn it into a business. If you have a life-long passion, it is worthwhile to pursue it as a career.

Start an Online Business. As a boomer, you probably started your career in the 1960s and ’70s – where a large amount of capital was required to start a business. Often hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover equipment, salaries, renting space, inventory, etc. Today, anyone with a computer and internet access can start their own business. Sometimes the cost could be as little as $20 a month to get started. The internet is a great place to start if you are looking to sell products or to advertise services.

Get Connected. Instead of starting a new venture from scratch after retirement, test out a new career by working at it on the side while you are still employed. This gives you luxury to take risks while still maintaining a steady income. Retrain, volunteer or work part-time as unpaid internet to get to know the business and network with all the right people. Take your time, make yourself as competitive and well-connected as possible before looking for work or launching your business.

Do your research and talk to people. Get a good idea of what you want to do and how you are going to accomplish it. Your challenge is to find out what you truly want, and create a life from which you never want to retire…