Educators

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“What’s your encore?”

I hope this conversation will soon be occurring around every water cooler and dinner table in America!

Millions are already in the midst of inventing a new stage of life and work – the encore years – between the end of midlife and anything resembling old-fashioned retirement. We’re envisioning this chapter as a time when we make some of our most important contributions, for ourselves, for our world, for the well-being of future generations.


Experience Matters' centerpiece program is Encore Fellowships, placing highly skilled executive retirees in half-time positions for a year (a $20,000 stipend underlines that it's a serious commitment). Fellows' accomplishments range from strengthening a museum's finances to developing a long-range plan to make senior centers more efficient and effective. (This story also appeared in USA Today.)

Experience Matters' centerpiece program is Encore Fellowships, placing highly skilled executive retirees in half-time positions for a year (a $20,000 stipend underlines that it's a serious commitment). Fellows' accomplishments range from strengthening a museum's finances to developing a long-range plan to make senior centers more efficient and effective. (This story also appeared in The Arizona Republic.)

The recent recession has forced boomers to stay employed an average of 2.1 years longer than they planned on before the downturn. Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation says that around 31 million workers ages 44 to 70 are in the transition between midlife careers and more meaningful jobs, but these people may find themselves struggling financially.

Graduate school research shows positive outcomes for older social work students

People over 40 are finding that their efforts to earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) are paying off, at least at one school.

The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis conducted a survey of MSW students over 40 from the past 10 years to determine if they got what they came for – mainly, a supportive environment and a career in social work.


It's National Employ Older Workers Week!

It’s National Employ Older Workers Week (Sept. 18-24), and I hope that I can count on you to help spread the word!

An annual event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, National Employ Older Workers Week is a call to action for employers and employees alike to recognize the value and necessity of experienced workers in our nation’s workforce.



Hank Smith , Morgan Community College
Caregiver
Morgan Community College

Nearly 40 years ago, Hank Smith graduated from high school, joined the Navy and briefly attended nursing school, even taking on a health care job while in the service.

As much as he enjoyed the health field, Smith left the Navy and got an entry-level job at the U.S. Postal Service. He worked his way up from mail processing to retail associate to local Postmaster and, then, at 55, he retired – in part, to help care for his mother.

Every day, 8,000 Americans turn 60 and many can expect 100-year life spans. The length of retirement for centenarians could be more than 30 years. Not everyone finds the prospect of three decades of leisure time enviable, much less sensible. For Marc Freedman, author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, it is also an egregious waste of the talent and experience accumulated by nearly 80 million boomers.

We celebrate individuals from time to time for breaking new ground or delivering creative, efficient solutions to public problems. But rarely do we pay attention to where tomorrow's innovators will come from. At City Year and Civic Ventures, this "new pipeline" approach is built into the mission of our organizations. We share an expectation that we should be engaging people in solving, or building capacity to solve, their communities' problems.

Older workers, the argument goes, are “sucking the oxygen out of the atmosphere.” Any job found is one that a younger person will be denied; any social support received for this stage of life is one they won’t get for theirs – and will have to pay for later." Suzanne Braun Levine, author of Father Courage: What Happens When Men Put Family First and Civic Ventures board member, discusses work-family conflict.

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