June 7, 2008

Get your dream job . . . at 55

Fred and Pat Rackow were more than ready for retirement. At 56, Fred had spent most of his professional life managing high-pressure fuels and gases at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, while Pat had managed accounts for an oil company for the past 14 years.

"At first my job was exciting -- wow, we were launching a space shuttle!" Fred Rackow says. "But after 10 years, it was just a job."

Worse, Rackow was getting tired of the pressure of his job. But he wasn't ready to retire to a rocking chair on his porch or take up golf.

The Rackows are in the midst of what may be the hottest retirement trend of all: the reinvention of work. A new job as TV star?

Baby boomers may be willing to walk away from the rat race, but that doesn't mean they want to stop working altogether. Rather, many want another chance at the dream job they long ago abandoned for practical considerations, such as supporting a family.