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Never Too Late for That Dream Job:


How to Switch Careers Later in Life

When my friend Susan moved back to California with her family in the summer of 2014, she began job-hunting for the first time in fourteen years. At 56, this might have seemed a daunting endeavor — a generation ago. As it was, Susan sent out resumes somewhat casually for a few months, and by late autumn she had two solid job offers within easy commuting distance. Now, at 58, she’s considering spreading her work wings in a grander direction, and has already had one interview.

reverse mortgage newsClearly, this is not your mother’s career trajectory.

Whereas once upon a briefcase few employers would have given a second glance to the resume of someone less than a decade from retirement, today, with longevity creating an entire additional generation of life for many active adults, the 50s are prime time for companies to harvest talent at its peak.

Consider Alice Longworth, who says getting laid off at 62 was “the best thing that ever happened to her.” She decided to leave non-profit fundraising and start fresh in graphic design, something she’d always enjoyed. After taking courses at both the School of Visual Arts in New York and NYU’s School of Continuing Education, Longworth interned at age 66 (which makes the movie, The Intern, starring Robert DeNiro as a 70-year-old intern, seem not at all far-fetched), later landing two part-time positions that utilize her new skills.

Driven to Help

And as we explored in this post, Longworth is on the youthful side of the career reinvention spectrum.

With the advent of just-in-time services to rival traditional businesses, mature adults are also expanding the definition of what elder employment can look like. For instance, while two years ago we explored elder driving and when your reverse mortgage clients and prospects ought to consider relinquishing the keys, today older adults aren’t just requesting rides from services such as Uber and Lyft — they’re providing them!

Carol Sue Johnson, 73, is an Uber driver, one of a growing number of seniors who are augmenting their retirement income by getting behind the wheel on a part-time basis. Drivers are in such demand, in fact, that in 2015 Uber and Life Reimagined (a subsidiary of AARP) formed a partnership to recruit more 50+ drivers. Older drivers are prized because as a group they are careful, insured drivers who keep their vehicles in good repair, and tend to have fewer accidents than their younger cohorts.

And older drivers appreciate the freedom and flexibility, as well as the cash. Since they’re not depending on these ride services for full-time income, they can fit driving into their schedules, leaving them plenty of time to enjoy other activities while supplementing their Social Security or other sources of income (such as a reverse mortgage).

So however your still-spry reverse mortgage clients choose to spend their days, a part-time job that meets their needs may be the perfect way to reimagine work that’s a lot like play.



Leave a Comment


  1. Well said, Amara! I am 68, helping others with reverse mortgages, and loving every minute of it! No plans to retire.

    • Excellent, George! 68 is young these days in comparison with previous generations. The main concern at any age is our health, and if you have that, your life experience is a bonus in your work.

  2. I started out at the young age of 70 in the R. M,
    business and enjoy the financial and the rewards
    of helping us old farts.

    • Hi Cliff,

      You’re a wonderful example of exactly what’s transpiring with aging today. Good for you for stepping up to the RM industry at 70 — I imagine your clients enjoy having a loan officer who understands their life perspective.

  3. A fine article about 3 women written by a social welfare worker also a woman- How unusual?

    This attitude is not missed by all those worthless old men out there and I have had at least 3 of them point it out to me already.

    This is the pie in the sky kind of thing , not all people male or female aspire to. To hold this out as an example is to say any other point of view just doesn’t matter. Old people will think as they are told too.

    Why not write about something that matters, like 40% of everyone ready to retire has not saved up one thin dime for it. How about something on the 60% plus of people that have not saved enough money to retire and have to work or sponge off their children somehow.

    Perhaps the social welfare point of view is not the one taken by the old folks that fought , bled and were taxed to death to support something they no longer recognize?

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