If you’ve read the headlines lately, current research shows that many Baby Boomers are not prepared for retirement. If you haven’t stopped a moment to think about your own retirement, now’s the time to take a personal inventory. Do you know how much money you’ll have and when you can stop working? You may find out you’ll have to work longer than you think.

But there’s good news.

Many folks who have decided to keep working have decided to do so but choose to make a career change. Sometimes you don’t get a choice – downsizing or reorganizations can leave older workers out in the cold. Just because you may have to work longer, doesn’t mean you can’t do something you love or that has meaning.

Money magazine offers three ideas to help make the transition possible:

Find champions. Find the people most likely to champion your cause – within the company if you want to stay where you are; and within your network if you are looking to make a change.

Show knowledge. Credentials are not as important what you know.

Think transferable skills. Consider your accomplishments that can be used in other environments.

If you want to start something new, think about the talents you have acquired over the last 30 years and how they might translate into to a new job. You can start your own business or even “give back” by working in the nonprofit sector. A study by MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures found creating a positive social impact is important to those in their 50s and 60s.

Check out your options.

Last summer we featured a blog about encore careers and we listed some places you can start learning more about the opportunities for anyone wanting to make a change in the second half of their career life. Money also offered a list of the 15 Top Office and Home-Based Jobs for Seniors and Grandparents.com suggests The Best Jobs for Seniors just to give you some more ideas.

If you aren’t yet ready for retirement and if you do have to work longer than you planned, now’s the time to start thinking about how you can create a life you want in the years ahead. Find new opportunities, new interests and ease into your golden years in the best way possible.