Do You Need a Second Career?

Older workers face a working crossroads as they near retirement age.

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Here are some tips on how to get the ball rolling on a second career:

1. Do the math. Brush up on your knowledge of Social Security, the income caps on what you can earn, and determine how your new career could affect your benefits. "Many people think they'll lose their Social Security if they work," Hannon says. "But you don't actually lose benefits, you just draw them at a different time." Use AARP's benefits calculator and the Internal Revenue Service's retirement estimator to determine how a second career could affect your Social Security.

2. Get out the house. Canvas your community, looking for gaps that you know you can fill. "Explore the rotaries, small businesses, and other community sites to see what work is available," recommends Hannon.

3. Brush up on your skills. Now that you have a better idea of where you might be needed, you can specifically pinpoint how you might be needed. "Think of ways that you can make a high-impact contribution," says Alboher. "You'll accomplish three things: You'll feel really good, you'll meet new people, and you'll network into a new job."

Twitter: @USNewsCareers