Video: Boomers go after fantasy jobs

By Correspondent
NBC News
updated 10/18/2006 8:02:46 PM ET 2006-10-19T00:02:46

Skulking around on a stakeout, putting a tracking device on a suspicious vehicle, and combing through a suspect's garbage is all part of a dream come true for 59-year-old Sue Anderson.

Back home in Illinois, Anderson loves her job at a state university. But like many baby boomers, she yearned for something more.

"You know, you get into a rut everyday going to work [and] coming home," she says.

Until she found Vocation Vacations, one of hundreds of companies offering fantasy getaways — everything from $80 gourmet cooking classes to $3,000 mock crime scene investigations — for people who want to try out new experiences or careers.

Anderson picked "private investigation." She and her cousin spent a weekend with twofemale PIsin Boise, Idaho, who showed them the ropes, and thensome.

"I had the nerve to actually get up there and knock on the door of a meth lab, I think it was," says Anderson.

New adventure and new beginnings resonate with many boomers. In one recent survey, 83 percent expressed a desire to continue working into their later years, and more than half of those are looking for a new profession.

After trying his hand as a dog trainer, David Ryan decided to shed his corporate collar in the banking industry, and never looked back.           

"Two years ago I had a period of reflection," says Ryan. "I think my generation is more inclined to make the change that I made."

Experts say it's also about boomers filling a void.

"You might want to call it an 'encore career,' or people say, you now, it's time for me to do the thing I always wanted to do," says Anderson.

Now, Anderson is considering sleuthing part-time after retirement.

"This has empowered me to help people more that are in need of finding the truth, you know?" she says.

Perhaps, along the way, she's also finding her inner truth.

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