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Commentary Detail

It's Possible to Launch a New Career Near Retirement Age
Commentary by: Anna Navarro
Aired May 25, 2009

Many people in their 50’s and 60’s now need to work past age 65 because of the recent hit they’ve taken to their retirement savings. Dan was one of them.

But his work was neither secure nor enjoyable, so he couldn’t simply work longer at his current job. At 60, he was bored and frustrated with being an accountant. Worse, his firm was about to merge with a bigger one, and he wasn't sure his job would survive.

He decided to explore making a change, and started with some introspection that ultimately provided the clues for a great solution.

Looking back, he realized he’d originally wanted to get a teaching degree, but his father persuaded him to go into accounting instead. One of the few bright spots in accounting for him was training and mentoring young people. He also liked learning new things, including new accounting rules.

He investigated teaching accounting at the college level, but without an advanced degree, it wouldn’t pay enough.

Then a light bulb went off - new international accounting standards are currently being introduced, consultants are going to be needed to train accountants in the new procedures.

Dan launched an intense effort to teach himself the new accounting standards and then landed a great job with a consulting firm.

The moral of the story is, you can change career direction at any age if you understand what you enjoy doing and do well, and can translate that into work employers need done.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Anna Navarro

Anna Navarro


Anna Navarro is the founder of Work Transitions, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping individuals find satisfaction and fulfillment in their work.


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