Contrary to popular belief, life does have second acts. And if you’re nearing retirement and want – or need – to continue working, there’s some good news: you can leverage the knowledge and experience of your first career into a new one that can generate the income you need and be personally fulfilling at the same time.


Here are five tips to help you find and prepare for the right second career for you.


•         Start thinking about your second career now.No matter when you plan to retire from your current job, it’s never too early to start thinking about your life “2.0.” In fact, the longer time frame you have to plan, the better. If you’re serious about a specific area, take a class, volunteer or offer to help out for free to get exposure to that business or industry.


•         Take stock of your goals and objectives. Take some time to step back from the rat race and really think about what you want to do in the future. What is important to you? What are you naturally gifted at? Do you want to work for yourself? Do you want to make a positive difference with your work? Your second career should be strongly connected to your inner desires and goals. Even if you don’t have the experience in that area yet, like the saying goes, if you want something badly enough, you’ll make it happen.


•         Start cleaning up the clutter.When it comes time to segue to a second career, it will be a lot easier if your life is in financial order. Start paying down debt, make sure your credit score is strong. Consider some small lifestyle changes that will reduce stress and increase peace and organization in your life.