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December 7, 2012
The idea of older people finding new work passions and careers well into their 60s and even 70s has entered the mainstream. Driven by surging numbers of aging baby boomers and a tough recession, encore careers have become increasingly common. That wasn't the case in 1997, when Marc Freedman founded Civic Ventures and began supporting and celebrating older social entrepreneurs who developed ventures to make the world a little bit better.
The name Civic Ventures was always envisioned as a temporary placeholder that would be replaced with a more specific name, Freedman recalls. "From the get-go, we really felt like the epitome of the encore career is kind of a practical idealism," he says. "It combines the requirement for most of us to continue earning a market income with health insurance, with having a sense of purpose." One of the branding phrases of encore careers, he notes, became "passion, purpose, and a paycheck."
"There are millions of people who are already at this work," he says, describing the sustained trend of new and extended careers for seniors. "For us, it is less of an abstract notion and more of an opportunity to tell the stories of people who are already doing it." Partnering with foundations and corporate supporters, the group began an annual awards program to celebrate inspiring stories of social entrepreneurs. This year, five entrepreneurs received $100,000 prizes for their work and the stories of another 35 finalists were also collected and publicized. All are at least 60 years old.
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December 4, 2012
Economic conditions have been so bad since the recession that people pretty much stopped moving anywhere for retirement. Millions of older Americans have been among the real estate victims—financially trapped in their homes and unable to even think about a retirement move. But as real estate markets slowly improve, the pace of relocation has begun to pick up as well.
My ground rules for where I want to live in my later years probably differ from yours. (Unfortunately, they also differ from my wife's!) My list includes only places in the United States. Warm climates once played a strong role in my preferences, but not so much anymore. Today, I'm much more interested in the financial condition of state and local governments. I want to live somewhere that has well-funded public services and transit. And I don't want to face upward-spiraling state and local taxes from governments dealing with enormous unfunded pensions and infrastructure needs.
I'm not into small towns much more than 25 miles from a metropolitan area. I want the culture, entertainment, learning, healthcare, and senior-service resources that larger metropolitan areas offer. I also want access to a decent airport and mass-transit resources that will reduce my need for a car. I'm hoping my days behind the wheel will end a long time before I do.