How to Turn Your Passion into a Paycheck

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How to Turn Your Passion into a Paycheck

Mar 01, 2014
If Consumer Reports readers are a bellwether, baby boomers — and those around their age — aren’t parking themselves in rocking chairs any time soon, if ever. In a survey of subscribers age 55 to 75 published last spring, only 41 percent told us they were fully retired and not working.

The need for cash is, of course, a motivator to work. Twenty percent of pre-retirees told us they expected never to retire, more than half of them because they hadn’t saved enough. But another factor is passion: More than a third said they enjoyed their work too much to retire voluntarily. Combine our findings with boomers’ expected increased longevity, and you’ve got a large, motivated older workforce.

And the work they find could very well be in a new field, one they train for in middle-age or later. In human-resource speak, it’s called “re-careering.” AARP’s “Life Reimagined for Work” Web pages, for example, offer lots of profiles of folks who’ve found encore careers in fields they have a passion for. There’s especially rich opportunity in professions that serve seniors themselves. Here’s a sampling:

Financial adviser. The population of financial advisers is expected to grow by 32 percent in the next decade, and there’s plenty of opportunity for baby boomers to enter the field, says the CFP Board, the accrediting organization that grants the respected certified financial planner designation. Given that an estimated 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, there will be no dearth of prospective clients seeking help to plan for their later years. Median compensation is about $65,000, though top-earning advisers make upward of $150,000. Lots of brokers and other financial types are becoming CFP[® professionals], but so are folks from other fields, including the military, law enforcement, and teaching, says Dan Drummond, a CFP board spokesman. “Teachers are great candidates because part of being a CFP is educating clients,” he says. Ideally, earn a professional designation with real clout, such as the one for certified financial planners or the one for chartered financial consultants (ChFC). Courses that satisfy the CFP[® certification] education requirement start at around $3,000, excluding books, materials, and test prep. You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree (in any subject) and several years’ experience in the field, among other requirements. Read more >
Consumer Reports
March 2014
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Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
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