A Greek proverb says, “A society grows great when old people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.” This is the basis for an expanding network that is harnessing the power of the over-50 age group.
The demographic landscape has changed over time, requiring a paradigm shift regarding what we think and how we feel about people over 50 — including how they work and contribute to society.
There are more people in the U.S. over 50 today than there are under 18. By 2035, 140 million Americans — more than 1 in 3 — will be over 50. With decades of productivity ahead, adults 50 and over are a growing and renewable resource. Encore.org’s goal is to help those decades become a time of social contribution and impact in order to leave the world better than we found it.
Encore.org addresses this shift by outlining changes that need to be made and innovating new ideas and models to leverage the skills and talents of experienced adults. It is also the hub for a growing group of leaders advancing the Encore Movement, which aims to solve social problems by making use of the experience of people in midlife and beyond. It includes people in or aspiring to transition to their encores, the people and organizations working to enable encores and the organizations tapping encore talent.
The many organizations that were spawned by or are aligned with the Encore Movement are organized into the Encore Network, a global coalition of leaders and organizations committed to turning our longer lives into a valuable asset.
An “encore” or “encore career” is continued work in the second half of life that combines social impact, purpose, and often, continued income. An encore can be paid or volunteer and doesn’t have to be limited to the nonprofit sector.
Although it’s much more about life stage than age, the encore phase of life sits squarely in those years that used to comprise retirement. Many people plan for their encores in their late 40s or early 50s and move into encore work in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.
If you are thinking about your own encore, look under the “Resources” section of Encore.org, where you’ll see a page called “For Encore Seekers” that will suggest ideas and resources, including The Encore Career Handbook.
There are Encore Networks in 33 states and 12 countries, but none have been established in Hawai‘i. You can change that. Together, we can create a better future for future generations.