Boomers, Generations X, Y and Z and beyond, now is the time to be planning for your next adventure following retirement. I know some of you have a long way to go but the job market will have changed by the time you get there. Here are some things I believe you should do to be "ready" for retirement and possible reentry into the job market.
Do financial planning early. The time to start planning for retirement was the day you first started working. If you neglect to participate in a company sponsored retirement plan and/or thrift plan, or your own 401K you are in trouble. However, if you do participate do not wait until you are about to retire to find out your benefits. Most companies provide projections of what the value will be at retirement age. Review those regularly. Seek the advice of a financial planner. Make sure you have a diversified portfolio. A friend of mine told me that retirement is about the economics, the economics, and more economics. He is right. Know this, your retirement check will be less then you are currently earning but that does not mean you cannot continue to enjoy a good lifestyle. There are tradeoffs. Do the math now.
Treat your retirement as a Career Transition. Most people who retire want to do something like golf, sit on the beach, fish, travel, knit, volunteer, etc. However, just like financial planning if you wait until you retire to start planning that is too late. You have heard people who have retired say I have never been so busy. I know for people still working that is hard to believe. The question to ask is busy doing what. Most people plan their finances and think that is all there is to retirement planning. Not true, seeking a new adventure has the same feeling it did 20 or 30 years ago except, now you have a wealth of skill and experience to offer. How do you want to use it?
Assess your career interests. It may sound weird to assess your career interests after working 20 to 30 years in a career. However, most people who retire want to do something different from what they were doing. I had a former boss of mine who retired. He liked books so he opened a bookstore. It failed. He then bought a hearing aid business. That failed. We do not know why these failed but it does point out that everyone has interests but you need to make sure they match your skill set.
Most companies do not provide career transition counseling for people retiring but there are a number of great books, tools, and resources available. For example, CareerLeader developed at the Harvard Business School. You can check it out at www.careerleader.com.
Inventory your employment and life journey. Elvis sang "Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind. Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine." To hear the rest of the song visit http://www.barb-coolwaters.com/e003/memories.html. Reviewing your career is not just a walk down memory lane for nostalgia. You have had more accomplishments than you can possibly remember. Take your time recalling responsibilities, outcomes, lessons learned, friends, and colleagues, etc. This will help you focus your interests and can be effectively be used to construct a resume and bio.
When you get to this point you will be able to answer the question what do I want to do. That leaves the final question where do you want to do it.