The Age Of Real Possibilities

INTRODUCTION

Recently I bought a new membership in the AARP (American Association of Real Possibilities) an organization for seniors 50 plus. The term retired persons was changed to real possibilities and the focus is on Life Re-imagined. I also own a CARP membership (Canadian Association of Retired Persons). When will CARP also focus on finding real possibilities for seniors rather than just organizing job fairs across Canada.  I also have a subscription to the CARP’s Zoomer Magazine and with AARP I receive the AARP Bulletin (6 issues per year).

WHERE WE STAND

Author, Barry Rand, CEO wrote for the Upside of Aging: how Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, inovation, Policy and Purpose. In an article title, ‘Where We Stand’ Barry said, “the Boomers created the Age of Possibilities because they reject the notion that their possibilities are shrinking as they get older.  They see their 50-plus years as a chance to grow in new and reqarding ways, to unleash their passions, to live the American dream, to make the world a better place.”

Question- How will seniors react to the notion that they have real possibilities in their pre-retirement or retirement life? And, will seniors share their ‘Crown of Life’ with the rest of society or instead adopt a full-time leisure life or possibly settle for a subsistence lifestyle towards the end of life?

Barry Rand also explained that the second aging revolution reflects the spirit of a generation that has lived a life on it’s own terms and that is now determined to keep doing so, but is challenged to find a way forward. This is the right time for both CARP & AARP to organize, develop and add more mentors, coaches and angel inveators to order that we can help more seniors find their way to new Encore careers and/or small business opportunities and activities.

The second aging revolution is about growing more whole, not just growing older. And ultimately, it’s about growing more wise, more fulfilled and more connected to each other- creating a society where all people age with independence, dignity and purpose.  The goal, after all is not just to add more years to our lives but to add more life to our years.

ENCORE STAGE

The Encore stage in now set for the emerging Boomer to have and enjoy a for-profit entrepreneurial career or even a non-profit Encore career.

In a research paper titled “Understanding the Grey Entrepreneur” by Paul Weber and Michael Schaper (2004) the opening sentence reads:

“Demographic trends in the developed world indicate that older entrepreneurs will play an increasingly important part of economic activity as populations age.  Yet this cohert has been largely ignored in entrepreneurship research.”

Marc Freedman- THINK ENCORE

Marc Freedom is the Founder of Civic Ventures and co-founder, The Purpose Prize and Experience Corps. In his book titled Encore- Finding Work That Matters In The Second Half Of Life, Marc describes what it means to Think Encore.

The new stage of life is something uniquely new, not a rerun.  Sixty isn’t the new forty, or the new thirty.  It’s the new sixty. The key question for individuals entering this stage is: What do you want to do now that you’ve grown up? Marc also says that, “we need to be liberated from artificial notions such as “retirement age” and the oxymoronic concept “working in retirement”. We need to be liberated, too, from such dreary and bloodless phrases such as “older workers” and “mature workers”.

It’s time to create a new category of thinking and a new language: the Encore stage and the Encore career. The sooner we recognize that we are entering fresh territory, shaping a new stage of life and work between the middle years and true retirement and old age, the more quickly progress will come in grasping the real possibilities of this new period.

Marc also stressed the importance of marketing the possibilities of “the second half of work”. Individuals approaching this phase face an identity crisis as they struggle for a vision and the words to describe their current situation.  Just as important, potential employers need to understand the Encore career, to realize that these individuals are neither passing through nor phasing out but rather embarking on a new body of work for a time span long enough to make investing in them worth the effort.

Consider Launching A Career As A Social Entrepreneur

What is a social entrepreneur? According to the website of the SKOLL Foundation, “Social Entrepreneurs are proven leaders whose approaches and solutions to social problems are helping to better the lives and circumstances of countless underserved or disadvantaged individuals.”

Like business entrepreneurs, the SKOLL Foundation continues, social entrepreneurs “tap into vast reserves of ambition, creativity and resourcefulness in relentless pursuit of hard, measurable results.  But social entrepreneurs seek to grow more that just profits.  Social entrepreneurs have a profound desire to promote the growth of equitable civil societies and they pioneer innovative, effective and sustainable approaches to meet the needs of the marginalized, the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised.”

Consider Launching A Small Business As A Business Entrepreneur (Seniorpreneur)

While many seniors have elected to become first time business entrepreneurs after 50, a number of economic factors and a job market perceived to be biased against older workers have pushed a number of people into starting their own businesses.

The need for extra income itself is probably the greatest single motive for self-employment.  Interest in the work itself can also be a key motivation for starting a business. A chance to apply long-honed skills and long- practiced hobbies is a strong driver- especially when coupled with the alternative prospect of unemployment.

For many older workers, neither energy or financial consideration are greater obstacles that that of younger persons. Self-employment is mainly motivated either by a desire for independence of action based on the assets of experience or as a last resort out of economic need against a background of discrimination.

Question- If you are presently over 40 years of age do you think that pursuing self-employment or entrepreneurship is viable for you in your pre-retirement or retirement life?