Retire or Reboot?

Successful Marketplace Leaders are Relaunching for Global Impact

23 May 2016, by Halftime Talent in Research

As the largest generation in the history of the world approaches 70, it’s more obvious than ever that today’s marketplace leaders are doing more beyond the years of traditional retirement than any generation before them.

In a 2005 study, The Spectrum Group found that 74% of today’s market leaders are not retiring at retirement age. Among them, 30% plan to start a new career when they do. These results reflect the steadily increasing trend in life expectancy in recent years and correlate strongly with advances in medicine and higher growth rates of GDP per capita (Hansen & Casper 2015). It may come as no surprise that as our ability to prevent and treat diseases improves and our economic prosperity blossoms, we live longer. Peter Drucker called the years between 60 and 80 the Baby-Boom generation’s “bonus years”, and this is the first generation in history to have the opportunity to consider how these bonus years could be most beneficially and fulfilling deployed.

For many working past their chosen retirement goal line there is much more to the story. It is widely understood that life fulfillment is a powerful contributor to life expectancy. After the bustle of corporate enterprise is no longer invigorating, many marketplace leaders are focusing their experience and marketplace wisdom on roles where they can make a significant global impact. These leaders are putting the skills acquired in their professional careers and personal passions to use through organizations dedicated to saving lives and improving the world.

Take, for example, Mike Gardner, a marketplace leader who spent the majority of his “first-half” career with Walmart leading specialized teams on the prototypical and project design of new store locations around the country. In his personal life, Mike and his wife serve as volunteers in their congregation at Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers, Arkansas. The experience has helped Mike discover his passion for leading adult small groups, a role he happily took on in the early nineties. It was also in the early nineties when Mike says he and his wife personally experienced the impact of FamilyLife while taking part in the organization’s “Weekend to Remember” program. Twenty-five years later, Mike came to us looking for a significant ‘second half’ role. When we told Mike that FamilyLife was searching for a Chief Development Officer, he viewed it as the perfect opportunity to retire into his ‘second-half’ career of significance. Mike’s experience in young adult ministry, coupled with his ‘first-half’ leadership experience, were exactly the type of skills and professional experience that FamilyLife was looking for. Now, acting as Chief Development Officer for one of the largest and most effective marriage and family ministries in the world, Mike is actively engaged in a second-half role where he can further FamilyLife’s mission “To effectively develop Godly marriages and families who change the world one home at a time.”

Thousands of marketplace leaders like Mike are finding the perfect outlet for their extended time in the workforce. Fulfilling careers that give back have replaced monetary pursuits, and many claim this new form of ‘retirement’ as their true Second-Half calling. What would you give the next 10 years of your life away to, if you knew you could make a lasting difference? The Halftime Institute may be just the partner you are looking for to help navigate this journey toward joy, impact and balance.