5 Careers You Never Retire From

By Linsey Knerl | January 21, 2011 AAA

If you don't look forward to hanging your hat at the recommended age of 65, we have good news for you. The retirement age is being stretched out as we live longer, and some careers seem to know no end. If the thought of doing what you love well into your golden years is an appealing one, check out these job niches that can last as long as you do. (Financial planning is important, but emotional planning is the key to retiree bliss. Refer to Journey Through The 6 Stages Of Retirement.)
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  1. Money Management
    The principles of finance are generally unchanging, and money managers have proven to excel at all age ranges. There have been some shockingly young experts hired to handle funds over the years (take the 2003 hiring of 20-year-old Chris Lahiji to manage Frontier Equity's assets, for example.) As a general rule, however, most people feel that their funds are best handled by someone with years - or even decades - of experience. The SEC recently added Eileen Rominger to their ranks as the new investment director, citing her lifetime of experience in the decision. Rominger's thirty years in the industry show that there may be no aging out of the investing game.

  2. Acting
    Another career that runs the gamut of ages is professional acting. While many strong actors start at a tender age, in baby food commercial or other infant niches, a select few also see their notoriety take flight as they head into old age. Not everyone can be an Ernest Borgenine, but several have tried to follow his path. Clint Eastwood, 80, and Dick Van Patten, 82, have made an impressive mark on Hollywood, setting a new standard for aging gracefully. (Check out Early Out: A Realistic Plan To Retire Younger.)

  3. Writing
    The written word is can be mastered only through patience and practice, which is why this career is perfect for retirees and those who wish to continue their earning power into old age. Age discrimination is almost unheard of among successful authors. Even when they've tired of creating their own work, some resort to preserving their name and royalties through ghostwriters. This is why, we suspect, authors like James Patterson will never truly see their work come to an end before they themselves come to one.

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  1. Consulting
    The definition of "consultant" is a broad one. For every career, niche or specialty that exists in the world, there is the possibility to consult within it. This leaves unlimited opportunities for retirees or professionals nearing the end of their traditional career path to keep chugging along for quite some time; they are - after all - the true experts in their field. Whether it's financial, marketing, or something far more fringe, there are needs for consultants who have been in the trenches and know what it takes to succeed. Expect to see a trend of gurus in their 60s and 70s overtaking the playing field.

  2. Politics
    Assuming you can get into the field, there are no known age limits for how long you can represent your constituents (term limits notwithstanding). Entering the political game happens rather late in life, anyway, with the average age of Senators at 60. If the trend of aging politicians continues, however, lengthy careers like Senator Robert Byrd may not be an extraordinary event.

The Bottom Line
With millions of baby boomers nearing retirement, it may be prudent for them to consider how to extend their careers past the traditional age of stepping down. Whether it's due to financial uncertainty, or for the love of their jobs, it's wise to at least brainstorm the possibility. For the younger generations, choosing a career that allows for an indefinite departure has benefits. Who knows how long we may live and work in the future? (Set your sights on the golden years and get there sooner. See Retire In Style.)

For the latest financial news, check out Water Cooler Finance: Google Shakes Things Up.

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