Encore | Marc Freedman

Summary of: Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life
By: Marc Freedman


Embark on a journey exploring the revolutionary concept of encore careers as we dive into ‘Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life’ by Marc Freedman. This book examines how baby boomers are transforming the world of work by extending their careers into new, fulfilling roles, often in public or nonprofit sectors. Learn from inspiring examples of individuals who have made this leap along with a close examination of the factors driving this trend and the valuable contributions these encore careers provide to society. As we navigate through this summary, you’ll discover key insights and practical advice on how to embrace this movement and make a significant impact in your own encore career.

Boomers Changing Work Culture

The baby-boom generation is making radical changes by continuing to work well into their 70s instead of gracefully exiting the workforce at 60. They are adopting a Careers 2.0 approach, entering entirely new professions, often in public service. Individuals, like Beverly Ryder, are moving into jobs where they can make a difference. With plans to work at their new service careers for 15 years or more, boomers are accomplishing a great deal. They do not see these new activities as preretirement way stations, but as destinations.

Finding Purpose in Public Service

Baby Boomers and their European counterparts have shown a keen interest in pursuing second careers that include public service. According to surveys, two out of three individuals aged between 50 and 59 want to incorporate public service into their lives, with one in five ranking it as a top priority. The drive to find daily meaning and make a difference is more important than ever, and this is where Encore careers come in. This practical guide explores the stories of three individuals; Velma Simpson, Robert Chambers, and Ed Spreedling, who left traditional careers for meaningful work to give back to society. From tackling the issue of homelessness to providing cars to those who need them, these personal anecdotes highlight why Encore careers are worth considering.

Rethinking Retirement

Retirement was not always a lifelong vacation. With savings, pensions, and Social Security, the idea of a long period of leisure became the new ideal. However, filling time became a challenge as retirees realized that there’s only so much golf and volunteering one can do. As baby boomers retire, a new problem of “demographic overload” arises, where society can’t afford to meet the needs of an aging population with longer lifespans. Many boomers seek to make contributions into their 70s and 80s, rejecting the idea of a stultifying retirement. The new attitude is that 60 is the new 50 or even 40, turning back the hands of time.

Finding Meaningful Work After Retirement

Many seniors opt for “bridge jobs” like the role of a store greeter after retirement to keep themselves occupied and earn some extra income. However, such jobs fail to offer the sense of purpose and fulfillment that older workers desire. They crave an “encore career” that allows them to give back to their communities and make a positive impact. As pensions and savings vanish, having fulfilling work after retirement becomes increasingly important.

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