Encore Years: How to live life’s second chapter to the fullest

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- When we think of an encore we envision a music concert when the audience summons the musicians to return to the stage for a final act. Many argue this is the time when the energy explodes with the collective voice bellowing “Encore. Encore.” The musicians return for their best set of tunes. And the final act is an incredible performance before the final curtain comes down.

The concept of an encore is to save the best for last. In life, we could say we’re saving the best for last, in the second chapter of life, when we turn 50. It’s the opportunity to take all that we’ve learned and build the energy to create a final act that allows us to live our best lives.

“Long gone are the days of retiring at 65 with a healthy nest egg and pension, settling back into the sunset and spending long leisurely days golfing. It’s just not what retirement looks like anymore.”

AARP has partnered with Encore.org to help people discover the possibilities of work and purpose in the encore years. The goals of an encore career are to stay relevant in the workforce; to maintain financial security; to fill a need in the business or nonprofit sector; and to find passion and purpose.

The landscape for retirement looks entirely different than it did just a couple of generations ago. According to AARP, 70% of adults plan to continue to work beyond the traditional retirement years. Long gone are the days of retiring at 65 with a healthy nest egg and pension, settling back into the sunset and spending long leisurely days golfing. It’s just not what retirement looks like anymore. Rather, many more people transition from their long careers into their ‘encores’. They reimagine the possibilities of life and find greater meaning than stepping into the shadows of retirement.

AARP’s Life Reimagined is an innovative program to help people consider their options for careers, health, relationships, hobbies and all things life. It’s about the real possibilities that we all get to navigate.

In Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation has embraced the ‘encore’ movement. AARP and GRCF work closely together with advancing this idea of helping people re-career. Four ‘Fellows’ (part-time fellowships to advance the encore cause) are spreading the awareness of Life Reimagined and encore careers. It’s a fantastic collaboration.

We’re all in this together. People are living longer and working longer. We have tremendous capacity for transforming our community to embrace the experience and talent of older workers. Older adults have the power within them to make incredible personal change and social change in our world.

The possibilities are endless for deciding your next chapter. So what’s your ‘what’s next’? To ponder the question and dream about the possibilities, visit LifeReimagined.org and aarp.org/work

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About Jennifer Feuerstein

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