No matter what your age, you are probably rethinking retirement.

Generation X and Yers are more likely to change jobs, and even careers, as much as seven to eight times in their lives. They already view retirement as one of those changes.

It is we Baby Boomers who are grappling with the triple whammys the recession brought…loss of jobs or forced early retirement, loss of assets in our retirement and savings accounts, and loss of value in our homes – something we were banking on to further fund retirement when we sold it or got a reverse mortgage.

The statistics aren’t pretty: According to AARP, since the end of 2007, the US has lost more than 8 million jobs. Among workers over 55, the jobless rate has more than doubled from 3.2 to 6.9 percent. The weak labor market has made the duration of joblessness for workers age 55 and up expanded from 20 in late 2007 to 36 weeks as of February 2010. The numbers rose from 53,000 to 287,000 of older workers looking for jobs during the same period.

Throughout America, out-of-work Boomers face the danger of being unable to finance 20 or 30 years of retirement, especially if they hang onto old attitudes about work.

But it is just this type of unexpected challenge that can actually be a blessing in disguise. And what it takes to think about it that way is giving ourselves the “gift of time.”

A number of the Reboot Your Life Retreat attendees have been people who have had an “unexpected sabbatical.” Yet, they have consciously taken the time to “grieve” their loss, regroup and refresh themselves before starting the next phase of their lives.

By spending their time wisely on their “unexpected sabbatical,” they not only are giving  themselves the needed break, they are taking the time to explore new interests, skills and opportunities before they begin the job search. Many of the “lessons learned” in our soon-to-be-published book, Reboot Your Life, are as useful for an unexpected time off or a pre-retirement sabbatical as a planned one.

Some examples are:

The “Funding Your Freedom” chapter has great advice on managing a budget and finding new sources of income.

The “Living the Lifelong Sabbatical” chapter shows how others are integrating their careers and time off in a more balanced way…a model for easing into a quasi-retired lifestyle, where parttime work and other pursuits are combined.

The “It’s All In the Planning” chapter is focused on helping people, through various exercises, identify and explore new areas of interest and skill development.

Join our blog community to connect to others who are rethinking retirement and learn how they are creatively finding new sources of income!