In business and in life, knowledge is power and experience is priceless. That's why many folks nearing retirement age often look to mentorship as a way to stay connected to their professions and pass on their lifetime of learnings to the next generation.
However, flipping the conventional mentorship model can also benefit older workers who don't want to fall behind the technological and social innovations that are changing our world so quickly. Working with young people can also enhance the proverbial "young at heart" effect that helps retirees live with purpose in the second half of their lives.
Here are three reasons why finding a younger mentor could keep you sharp and boost Return on Life at the later stages of your career and into retirement.
1. See the cutting edge.
There's a generation of digital natives behind you who have grown up with an entirely different relationship to technology than any generation before it. No matter how diligently you've tried to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, younger people are already looking further ahead. Let a younger mentor help you learn how to use the latest tools and wrap your head around emerging technologies, theories, and philosophies. In turn, you'll be able to bring your own seasoned perspective to the table and apply what you’re learning in ways your mentor might not think of. That's a recipe for innovation that could make your mentorship relationship more valuable and your retirement more rewarding.
2. Make change an empowering habit.
The seniors who have the hardest time transitioning into retirement often struggle with any kind of change in their lives. Without the familiar comforts and challenges of their careers, these folks experience a crisis of identity that they may never fully move past.
Learning from a younger mentor can help push you out of your comfort zone and broaden your perspective. Each new idea or experience that you open yourself up to will make the next one you encounter a little less scary. And a willingness to face challenges, conquer them, and learn from losses will serve you well in other aspects of your retirement as well, whether you're trying to build a healthier exercise routine or navigating close quarters at home with your spouse.
3. Prepare for your next adventure.
Retirement used to mean you turn 65 and stop working. But today's seniors who stay healthy, active, and curious are entering a period of their lives where they have so many ways to enrich themselves and the world around them.
So, how could you use everything you learn from a younger mentor in retirement? How could you grow, surprise yourself, have more meaningful experiences, and give back?
Could you take on a part-time job as a professional consultant? Maybe you could become a teacher or a volunteer. You might take on younger or older mentees of your own from different backgrounds who will continue to enrich and diversify your retirement network.
Or, you might decide to start the company where you always dreamed of working, and hire yourself to be the CEO. Your younger mentor could provide some valuable insights on diversity hiring initiatives, culture building, choosing a tech stack, harnessing AI, and next-gen marketing that could accelerate your new firm to the head of the pack.
Working with a younger mentor is just one way to expand your vision of what's possible in retirement. We have a suite of interactive Life-Centered Planning tools that can help you and your spouse create a new weekly schedule, learn from others' success and mistakes, and live the best life possible with the money you have.