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Episode 197: Career Trends for the 50+ Worker and the Retire/Unretire Decision, with Richard Eisenberg

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Episode Description

Richard Eisenberg is the Managing Editor of Next Avenue, the PBS site for people 50+, and the editor of its Money and Work & Purpose channels. He aims to help people manage their personal finances, find jobs, switch fields, volunteer and find purpose in their lives. He’s also the author of two books focused on helping people to manage their money. Richard discusses career progression trends for the 50+ worker in the past several years, how Covid has impacted those trends, and his predictions about what working behaviors will look like post-Covid. He also shares his perspectives on how these trends have impacted the timing of retiring -- including why some people are choosing to “unretire” -- and what that decision entails.

In this episode, a special shoutout to Charlotte Japp of CIRKEL and a 2020 Next Avenue Influencer in Aging at 31:57. (She is our podcast guest in Episode 171.)

Read Transcript

Carol Fishman Cohen: Welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss strategies, advice, and success stories about returning to work after a career break. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. Today we welcome Richard Eisenberg. Richard is the managing editor of Next Avenue, the PBS site for people fifty-plus, and the editor of its Money and Work in Purpose channels. He is a frequent blogger for the site and aims to help people manage their personal finances, find jobs, switch fields, volunteer, and find purpose in their lives, all very pertinent to our discussion today. I love this career progression. His first job out of college was as a fact checker with Money Magazine.

He was there for nineteen years, making his way up the ranks and eventually being named executive editor. Later he became the money and special projects editor at Good Housekeeping. And then the front page finance editor for Yahoo. He's also the author of two books focused on helping people manage their money.

Richard, welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch.

Richard Eisenberg: Thank you, Carol, it's great to be here.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Well, it's great to have you, and I have so many questions I want to ask you, but maybe, can we start by asking you to give us an overview of how long you've been covering specifically the retirement market or anything related to older Americans?

Richard Eisenberg: Well, I'd been with Next Avenue, I was part of the launch team back in 2012, so I've been doing this now for close to ten years. And then before that, as you say, I was at Money Magazine for a long time and Yahoo, and as you can imagine, a lot of the stories I worked on there were about retirement planning. But mostly I would say they were aimed more at people in their thirties and forties and fifties.

And at Next Avenue, I'm focusing mostly on people in their fifties.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Got it. So that's a perfect backdrop for our conversation. And I want to start pre COVID and ask you what kinds of trends you were seeing before the pandemic, maybe over the last ten years, as far as career progression of Americans who are ages fifty, sixty, and older. And in that commentary, can you talk about what age were people retiring, if at all? And did you see any people unretiring after they retired?

Richard Eisenberg: Sure. There are lots of trends that were going on before the pandemic and some of them have changed. Some of them have continued. So first I guess I would say one of the biggest trends is people choosing to work longer than in the past, if they were healthy enough to do it, and if their employers would let them do it, or if they could find jobs that would let them do it, and I know we'll talk about that. Because age discrimination has been a continuing trend not just in the past ten years, but before that. And even though there's laws on the books that say it's illegal it's not really being enforced very well.

So age discrimination has been an issue in keeping some people who want to work after fifty from being able to get hired at or keep their jobs. We've also seen a big increase in the number of people over fifty and even in their forties starting businesses. And I think the Kauffman Foundation, which tracks this kind of thing, has found that to be one of, if not the biggest groups of people who are starting businesses. We hear so much about people starting businesses in their twenties, and certainly a lot of them do, but there are a lot of people doing it in their forties, fifties, and sixties.

Some of them, I think by choice and some of them maybe by default, where they want to work and can't find somebody who will hire them. So they say "I'll just do it myself." And we can talk about what's been happening with social security and social security claiming, but I will say that in general, and I can give you some numbers on this, people have been claiming social security later than they used to. Which is to say the earliest you're allowed to start claiming social security retirement benefits, even though you don't have to be retired to do it, is age sixty-two. And over the past few years, certainly the past ten years, we've seen the percentage of people claiming at sixty-two going down and the percentage of people who start claiming it later going up, which to me suggests that more people are not retiring.

And then to your last question about unretiring. So at Next Avenue, we think of unretiring as meaning that you are not fully retired from work, which is to say you haven't stopped working altogether, but you are maybe working when you want, as much as you want, at your own schedule, or maybe you're volunteering some of the time. And so that's what we've referred to as an unretirement, so it's partly retired, but it's not the traditional retirement.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And let me just ask you a little more detail about that unretirement part. Are you suggesting then that when people unretire, it's not necessarily or even usually for financial reasons or financial strain, it's more a situation where it's, "Wow, this isn't what I expected retirement to be," or "I'm bored" or something like that? What are the motivations?

Richard Eisenberg: So, it happens differently for different people. There are some people, who think they're going to completely retire from work, and then they find that they are bored or they've lost their identity, and they're just not happy with where they are and they decide they have to go back to work in some way, because that's fulfilling and it gives them something to do.

There are other people who unretire because they need the income. And so they don't want to continue doing the full-time work five days a week, eight hours a day or more, but they want to work sometime and they need to work sometimes. So they're working part-time possibly for the employer that they had before, but often for another employer or maybe on their own.

So some of it is financial and some of it is psychological, I would say.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And for the people who are working for financial reasons, do you think they're typically underemployed? Or, you're saying some go back and work for their old employer, but some don't. Any comments on that?

Richard Eisenberg: Employers have not done a really great job in trying to help their employees transition to retirement. And by that I mean, very few big employers offer what are called phased retirement programs where they and the employee work out an arrangement so that the person stops working five days a week, but maybe works four days and then three days and then two days and that sort of thing.

And yet a lot of employees say that's exactly what they want to do in retirement. They like their job. They like their employer. They just don't want to continue working all the time. And the employers just don't know how to deal with that basically. And so you'll see that happening sometimes in an ad hoc situation where the employee will come to the employer and say, "Can we work something out?" And sometimes the employers will do it. And often the employers will say, "No, that's not what we do here." So there's that.

But then for the other people who can't won't work where they've been, or don't want to, some of them are fortunate enough to find exactly the kind of work they want to do for exactly the number of hours they want to put in. But a lot of them can't. Either they can't find employers who will hire them because of their age or for some other reason, and so they end up taking a job, but not the job that they want to do, and maybe for not the number of hours that they want to do. And you see some people working at department stores or coffee shops who are happy for the income, but that's not really what they want to be doing.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah we know a couple who became greeters in Las Vegas at a casino, and they were actually very happy doing that, that's what they wanted to do at that point. It was a no stress job, additional income and it worked out for them. I can see how that doesn't work out for everyone.

Interesting commentary that you have about the lost identity, because we talk so much with people who are on career break, who have gone on career break at much younger ages because our society attaches so much importance to who we are as people in terms of what we do for work. When you're professionally disconnected for an extended period you really feel like maybe you're not even a complete person.

So, the idea that this happens again in retirement, and, what is your elevator pitch once you retire? Especially when you used to have a different one before, all of that is at play here.

Richard Eisenberg: Absolutely. A lot of us, the first question somebody asks us when they meet us, no matter what our age is, but particularly in your fifties and sixties is, "What do you do?" And then if you aren't working full time or maybe at all, you may stumble on that and may not know how to answer that question. Or maybe you're doing something now that's very different from what you have been doing, and you're not sure how to define that or how to explain it. Some people feel like there's a stigma attached to that and are a little embarrassed that they used to be a top executive and now they're doing something different and they feel like they've lost that identity.

This happens often with people in the professions, lawyers and doctors, who've built their whole career based on not just the work that they've done, but also the status that they've achieved. And now that they don't have that anymore, they're a little at sea sometimes about who they are.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I remember the reporter and author, Ann Crittendon, who wrote a book, and in the introduction to the book, she said that she had this moment of recognition where she was in the world, when she was on career break and someone came up to her and recognized her and said, "Didn't you use to be Anne Crittendon?"

Richard Eisenberg: Right.

Carol Fishman Cohen: It kind of captures that whole thing. The other comment that you made about companies not letting their employers work after a certain age, it made me think about mandatory retirement. That seems so antiquated to me now. Sometimes it's law firms or consulting firms that will have a mandatory retirement age at age sixty and sixty-five. And it seems to be such a dated view, especially now that our life expectancy is so much longer.

Are you seeing any shifting there in terms of mandatory retirement age as either going away completely or becoming a later age?

Richard Eisenberg: There's less of it than there used to be, but it still does exist in some professions. The ones you mentioned for sure. Accounting is another profession where you often hear about people who are perfectly competent and able, and interested and willing to continue doing their work, and they're basically told after sixty or sixty-five, "Sorry, we can't keep you here any longer." And then if they're fortunate, they're able to find somebody else who'll hire them. There's some firms that we've written about at Next Avenue, who are eager to hire those accountants because they know how good they are.

So there are some opportunities for them, but sometimes the doors get shut on people. And sometimes this happens in the medical field too, where the hospitals, or the owner of the practice feels like, "Gee, now that you're past a certain age, maybe you're just not up to it the way you used to be before."

And sometimes people will have to prove themselves. And sometimes they find that there's nothing they can do to change the mind of their employer about that. And it's absurd. It's ridiculous.

There are certainly some people who aren't able to do some of the things at sixty-five that they could have done at thirty-five but that doesn't mean they can't do some things or do other things. So, every person is different and it's awful when an employer makes a judgment about people just based on their age.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, and we're going to jump to COVID in a minute, but I'll just interject here that I wrote an article, it was in the middle of the pandemic, maybe it was a year ago for Harvard Business Review, talking about how in the country's moment of need when the demand for health workers was so acute that all of the stigma and hesitations went out the window about bringing people back from retirement, back from career break, right back into the workforce. They reintegrated. They were productive again. And the idea was, let's keep that mindset when it's not our hour of need, because look what happened. So that to me was a perfect example of what you're talking about.

Richard Eisenberg: I'm really interested to see what happens as we start getting out of the pandemic in the United States, to see how employers react to that, whether they will continue doing what you just said they were doing, which is to bring back older workers who want to work and either may need to work or just enjoy the work, or whether they're going to say "Now we don't have to do that anymore, so we're going to go back to the way we used to be."

The same is true in just the labor force. Before the pandemic, when the unemployment rate was very low, very few employers would hire older people who were applying for jobs because they would say, "We don't really need to hire them. We can hire somebody younger, there's plenty of them out there and they cost us a lot less money."

But now things changed, and then when they started to need older workers, then suddenly they were more willing to hire them or to keep them working for them. I'm curious to see what's going to happen again as the pandemic fades and the unemployment rate is low, whether they will want to hire and keep older workers or whether they won't. Now there are some fields where there's a labor shortage right now, particularly in entertainment and travel and restaurants and that sort of thing. So it may be an opportunity for some older workers to get hired, because again, the employers need them. And to the employers, they're desperate, so they will take on these older workers. But I'd like to believe that we're going to see older workers getting hired in all professions, but frankly I'm not optimistic about that.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Okay. Actually let's just skip and go right into more conversation about the COVID impact. What about remote work? So COVID brought on work from home and suddenly now employers are thinking about what jobs can be remote or permanently remote, and now there are hybrid arrangements of going back into the office. I'm just wondering if you think the opportunity to do remote work is helpful or not helpful to people over fifty, sixty or seventy, and that's just to put aside the COVID risk for a minute, filter that part out.

Richard Eisenberg: I think it can be helpful, but I think it's important to realize that not every profession and not every employer allows people to do remote work or whether that's even a possibility. I think I saw somewhere that only about 35% of workers are working remotely, and a lot of them are just in jobs where you can't. If you're a doctor, yes, you can do some work by tele-health probably, you've got to do a lot of work in person,and certainly at supermarkets and restaurants and things like that. So not everybody can. But those who can, because they're in a field that allows it or their employer allows it, I'm finding already that being able to work remotely when you're over fifty can be a big plus. It saves on some costs, the cost of commuting and the cost of clothes, things like that.

It allows you to spend more time at home and maybe see some friends and loved ones more than you would have otherwise, because you were spending time in your car, and now you're not having to do that. You may be able to work at different hours than you did before. So now maybe you work night times or weekends, just so the work gets done. But it allows you some other time during the weekday to do things that you really want to be doing. So it's been a big plus I'd say for those who've been able to do it. Right now the question for a lot of older workers and younger workers too is, "If I now have the option to work remotely sometime or all the time, how do I make that decision, or how do I talk to my employer about wanting to do it if the employer seems to want me to be in the office all the time?" And I think we're going to see a lot of ticklish discussions going on about that.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah. I feel like that conversation is going on with people in every age group, for sure. I did hear initially when people were going to work from home and all of a sudden people were recognizing, “Wait a minute, that means I don't even have to live where I'm living right now.” And I was wondering if you have seen any statistics or any other discussion about whether the opportunity to work from home or work remotely for some people, accelerated their move to the place where they ultimately wanted to retire.

Richard Eisenberg: Yeah, I'm hearing that anecdotally. I haven't seen any data on this yet, but I know it's happening in some cases where people are moving to a different part of the country because it's less expensive or the weather's better, or their family, or their children live there. So that's been happening.

But I've also been seeing, particularly in the financial world, financial services employers are saying, "All right, you don't want to work in New York and you want to live somewhere else, that's fine, but we're not going to pay you New York salaries anymore. We're going to pay you what people get paid where you live."

And so some people are surprised and disappointed that their pay is going to get cut because they're choosing to live and work somewhere else.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, for sure. I also saw that same discussion going on in the tech sector when all of a sudden companies, the tech sector being quicker to say, "You can live wherever you want, but by the way, we're also making that salary adjustment." So yeah, understand that. And, any predictions about the working behaviors that you've seen exhibited by people in their fifties, sixties, seventies, that you think might stick post COVID?

Richard Eisenberg: Let me first talk about the trends that I've been seeing about when people are choosing to retire during the pandemic. And we're seeing two very different trends. Some people have been adopting the "life is too short mentality" in the pandemic and basically saying, "You know what? I've seen terrible things happening in my own life and to my loved ones, and who knows what the future can hold? So because of that, I'm going to retire sooner than I had planned,” or “I'm going to retire now, or this year, so that I can enjoy my life while I can, assuming I can afford to do that." So that's one group of people. There's another group of people who are saying, "You know what, because of the pandemic I am now going to have to work longer for more years than I did before, particularly because when the pandemic started, the stock market went down a lot."

It's come back quite a lot, but there are some people who have lost their jobs and been furloughed. So they don't have the income that they thought. And so they are saying, "I'm going to retire later than I thought I was going to." And I think again, once the pandemic fades, it'll be interesting to see whether those trends continue to play out or not.

My guess is we're going to see probably fewer people saying "I'm going to retire earlier than I planned," and I think we're going to go back to the trend of seeing people retiring later than they had originally planned to, partly for financial reasons, and probably because people are finding that they like to work. The income is part of it, but also the idea of being with people, even if it's virtually, because it can get lonely sometimes if you're not working at all and you're in your home, and pandemic or otherwise, people like to be around people.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah. We didn't even get into the isolation factor, but let me just react to what you're talking about in terms of unemployment. The recession, this recession was worse than 2008 in terms of aggregate job loss at its peak was over 10 million jobs lost. There has been some recovery from that, and now we see this very interesting sector based recovery that was first driving it to now become more broader based.

Some of those industries that were hard hit are picking up in their employment too. But I also hear this idea about, "Yeah, maybe my financial picture is not that stable right now, either I'm the single older person, or my spouse or partner, their employment situation is much more tenuous than it used to be. We're not going to be dependent anymore on a single employer. We both need to be working." So some risk aversion there expressing itself in terms of both people working, if there's a spouse or partner. And then, as people get older, even if they didn't have a spouse or partner to begin with, or if they did and that person died, then they're on their own again, and that changes the picture.

Richard Eisenberg: That's right. And one thing I think we will see continuing after the pandemic is the high rate of small business founding by people over forty-five. That's something that we saw a lot in the year 2020, according to the statistics I've seen. And I expect we're going to see that continuing. And these could be full-time businesses or they could be part-time businesses. Sometimes they are gig economy businesses where people are working as consultants out of their home. But sometimes they are people who've always wanted to do something and set up a business to sell a product or offer a service that they did or make money from a hobby that they've had. So I think we're going to see that continuing.

Carol Fishman Cohen: It's interesting, you mentioned this and our regular listeners will know that this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. But the idea of romanticizing entrepreneurship and thinking about what it means to start a business, it can be pretty risky. You have to be prepared to go for an extended period without any income at all, or with unpredictable, lumpy income, or even negative income because you need to be investing in it. So there's some of that. Part of it, I think people see all the success stories and they think it's going to be different than the reality.

Richard Eisenberg: I take your point. That's very true. It is hard to start a business. It can be rough financially at the beginning when you're starting out. And of course, a lot of small businesses don't succeed. I would say before anybody starts their own business, they go in there with their eyes open. You really need to look at your finances first and see, can I afford to do it?

Where's the money going to come from? If I'm spending money to start this business, how's that going to affect my retirement savings and my retirement income in the future? Hopefully, you will have as much if not more over time because the business will do well, but that doesn't always work out. So I do think people really need to take a look at that and be very careful about overspending on what it's going to cost rather than going into too much debt at that time of your life.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Exactly. Now one exception here, and something that might be a realistic proposal for people who are older, who either think they're going to be let go because they're older, or trying to figure out a way to work more flexibly, is to offer the contract back to your original employer. And we even tell people who are much younger, who are anticipating a future career break, they're fairly early in their career, and instead of making a complete break to see if you have that option to contract back. But as a person who's more senior in the organization or has logged more years there, you do have this institutional knowledge that has some value to it, more in some cases than others. Have you seen any people going that route?

Richard Eisenberg: I've definitely seen that happening. I would say it's really going to be a case by case situation about whether the employer will see the benefit of doing that though. Some employers are going to say, "That's great. I really don't want to lose you. You're so helpful, any way I can keep you for any amount, I'll be happy to do it." And then there are others who take the exact opposite view who say, "No, if I do it for you, then I have to do it for everybody and I don't want to create a precedent, so I'm sorry, but I just can't do that."

And I think it really depends on how open-minded the employer is.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah. Good point. I wasn't thinking about the precedence setting piece of that. Richard, as we're wrapping up right now, I have a couple of questions I want to ask you before I ask you our final question that we ask all of our podcast guests, but we skipped over a little bit the discussion about the actual age at which people retire or unretire, and do you see any patterns or trends for the people who unretire, how long are they "retired" before they then make the unretirement decision?

Richard Eisenberg: You know, it depends on the type of person. So there are some people who think they're going to be fully retired, think they're going to not work at all, and after three months, six months, one year they realize, it's not working out for them. They need something to do, they need a schedule. And so for them, they'd say, "Okay, I'm going to go the unretirement route, I'm going to find something to fill my days," usually through part-time work, but sometimes through volunteering.

And then there are others who say that's their plan. Their idea is that they're going to go from working full-time to working when they want, where they want, how they want, and that's going to be their unretirement. And they realize their income's going to fluctuate, and there may be some months where they're going to be earning a lot and others are going to be earning very little or maybe nothing. And they're okay with that because that's their plan.

And these are the things, this trend is something that we didn't see until a few years ago. In the past it was either you're retired or you're not retired. And these days that's not the case. Now one of the differences I think in explaining that is what's happened with pensions. For many years people knew that when they retired, they would get a pension from their employer, so they could count on a certain amount of money coming in every month. Many employers, private employers, have done away with pensions. They've stopped offering them.

They froze the pensions that they had. So with every passing year, the chance that somebody's going to get a pension is lower and lower, which means the need for them to have some other money in retirement is greater and greater. Now, some people are very diligent and good about putting money into 401ks and IRAs. A lot of people are not. Some people can't afford to, some people just don't have the discipline to do it. So I think the lack of pensions is leading to a greater trend for unretirement because they can't count on their employers to provide the income that they need in retirement.

Carol Fishman Cohen: You mentioned pensions and I almost feel like we have to define it for some of our younger listeners, because it's almost a relic.

I remember being a financial analyst. I remember we used to have to look for companies that had overfunded pensions as a source of cash which would make them more appealing as a potential takeover target. So the whole idea that companies put aside money for the retirement of their employees, and to fund that for an extended period of time, used to be very typical, and now you hardly see it anymore. So I just wanted to give that additional commentary to our listeners who may be wondering what we're talking about.

That's a great perspective and a really important point. I have talked to some people who have retired early, like maybe in their fifties or in their sixties, and I've heard them say, "Yeah, I was retired for a while. And all of a sudden, after a few months it was like, 'Okay, it's Wednesday at 11 o'clock what's happening?'" And also in combination with needing to have this elevator pitch of, 'what are you doing right now,' and not being comfortable with just saying 'nothing' or 'whatever I feel like this day.' Some people are very comfortable with that by the way, but I think they're more in the minority.

We've seen some people take on adjunct lecturer roles where they're teaching a single course or a couple of courses. And we see, relaunchers do this too, who are younger, who are getting back to work as a baby step, almost back into the workforce. But it's almost like an internship because it's renewed on a semester by semester basis. It pays very little, but you have a lot of schedule control and it's really interesting, and it keeps you up in your field. So have you seen any of that kind of activity among retirees?

Richard Eisenberg: Yeah. I have seen some of that and I've also seen some interesting new startups that catered to older people who want to do this sort of thing, not necessarily in academia, but for example, there's a company called Get Set Up, G E T S E T U P, and it's all about older people teaching what they know to other older people, and it can be technology, it could be accounting, it could be a writing, whatever it might be. And so people sign up to teach the classes and they also sign up to get the classes.

So there's that, and we're seeing a lot of other tutoring of some kind being done by older people online, sometimes all across the world, often mentoring older people, mentoring younger people and sometimes doing it just as a volunteer, sometimes getting paid to be assisting other people.

Yeah, I do think we're seeing a lot of that. We're seeing more people going into the gig world. Now I think one thing people need to understand is if you're going to be in the gig economy and your own boss, while the advantages can be great in that you can earn some money and work at your own schedule, there are usually not any benefits, no retirement benefits, no health care benefits. So you need to look at that side of the equation too, to be sure that you have the insurance that you need in case you get sick or get disabled from a health standpoint. And also that you are saving for your own retirement, and maybe even while you are unretired or in retirement because people live longer lives these days than they used to.

Carol Fishman Cohen: First of all, Get Set Up, I have to check that out. I didn't know about that, and that's super interesting. One of our other podcast guests was Charlotte Japp from Cirkel, C I R K E L, and one element of that is that older people are mentoring younger people, it's intergenerational.

Richard Eisenberg: And the other way around. That's what I love about it. Charlotte was one of our Next Avenue influencers in aging. Every year we come up with a list of people that we feel are really doing some groundbreaking work and thinking differently about aging. And she was one of them in the past year because she says, "You know what? A lot of older people have a lot that they can teach younger people. And there are a lot of younger people who have things they can teach older people and they can learn from each other." And that's what's been happening.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, that's great. we'll call out to her that there's a shout-out in this conversation to her.

So Richard, we are rounding out to the end of our podcast now. And I want to ask you the question that we ask all of our podcast guests, and that is what is your best piece of advice for our relauncher audience, even if it's something that we've already talked about?

Richard Eisenberg: I look at these things through the prism of people in the fifties and sixties. So let me talk about those for a moment. I think the first thing you want to do is figure out what are your skills that you want to use, and what do you need to do to keep them sharp? And that may be in the field that you've been in, but it may be in a different field. So that's the first thing I would be telling people to do is, think about your skills and are they up to date? And if they're not, how can you get them up to date?

Then I think you should think about, "What skills do I have that are transferable? So maybe I'm not going to continue working in the field I've been in, or not for the employer I've been with, but there are things I'm really good at, and so how can I use that somewhere else?" Maybe it's at a nonprofit or maybe it's in another business. Now the tricky part is convincing an employer that you should get hired by them when you've never been in that field before, never done that work before. But if you can prove to them, "Look, I haven't done this, but I'm really good at X, Y, Z. Here's what I've done, and that's the sort of thing I can do for you." You can often convince them that, to see how that can be a transferable skill and that can be useful. So that's important.

And then the last thing I would say is, think about what gives you meaning and purpose in your life. What would give you meaning and purpose, and what can you do to find meaning and purpose in your life? And sometimes that's getting paid to do it, and sometimes it's not. But I find at Next Avenue, often we find that our readers at that time in their lives are starting to say, "What can I do to be helpful to my community, to the world, what legacy can I leave for others? And not necessarily a financial one, but just where people will say, 'he or she was here and made a difference.'" So I think that's something a lot of people want to think about as they're relaunching.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Excellent, excellent advice. Thank you so much. And it's very much in line with the idea when people are relaunching to figure out what you want to do all over again, and to really be specific about that, and that leads to specific ideas for what kind of upskilling or re-skilling you need to do, so that's terrific. Thank you. Richard, how can our listeners find out more about your work at next avenue?

Richard Eisenberg: Oh thank you, Carol. You can find us at We publish new articles every day, usually two or three stories a day in the money and the work channels, which I do, but we also have channels on health and caregiving, what we call living, which is everything else. So that's family and relationships and entertainment and technology and all kinds of things. And we're trying to be helpful. Mostly these stories are geared to people in their fifties and sixties, but sometimes it's to help their millennial kids or their grandkids. And sometimes it's to help with their parents as well. So we hope people will check us out at Next Avenue. We also publish two free newsletters every week, people like to sign up for those. So that way it's a reminder of what we've been publishing. They don't have to remember to come back to our site.

They get the newsletter and it shows you five or six stories we've published recently. And we do a lot about relaunching and starting businesses and switching careers and finding jobs. So I think your listeners will find a lot of what we do very helpful.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Great. Thank you for sharing that. And Richard Eisenberg, thanks for joining us today.

And thanks for listening to 3, 2, 1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss strategies, advice and success stories about returning to work after a career break. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, the CEO, and co-founder of iRelaunch, and your host. For more information on iRelaunch conferences and events, to sign up for our job board and access our return to work tools and resources, go to

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