How can we help older adults in our community find a meaningful second act in life?

 

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Dear Benchmark,

I am the outreach coordinator of a regional library system. One of our goals for the fall and winter months is to help retirees in our community find meaningful opportunities to stay engaged with life.

In recent years, we’ve noticed a change in the older adults who regularly visit our library. It seems like one thing many of them have in common is that they are a little bored.

We came up with the idea of creating a list of websites and online resources seniors can use to search for a second act in life.

Since we know Benchmark Senior Living does a great job with this topic, we thought you might be able to offer some suggestions?

Any guidance would be much appreciated!
Dale

Helping Older Adults Explore Meaningful Retirement Options

Dear Dale,

We agree! Baby boomers are changing how we think about retirement. And with an average of 10,000 boomers retiring every day, it is a change that is likely to continue through the year 2030.

From pursuing a volunteer project to starting a new business or tackling a new career, there are many opportunities for older adults to stay mentally, physically and socially engaged.

Here are a few resources you might find helpful for your new project:

New career: Some retirees are working part-time even into their 70's and 80's. But many are seeking career opportunities that are new and different than the career they retired from. It might be they’ve turned a hobby into a career or returned to school to master a new skill. AARP refers to it as “re-careering” and they have great insight and resources seniors can use to explore their options. Monster also has helpful advice and insight for older job seekers.

Start a business: Seniors are starting businesses at twice the rate of younger adults. Whether it is turning a baking hobby into a bakery or a passion for gardening into a consulting business, older adults are proving to have a real knack for entrepreneurship. Encore.org is an organization that helps seniors explore new business ideas.

Road Scholar®: You might also want to add this organization, formerly known as Elder Hostel, to your list. This group provides opportunities for older adults to learn and travel. Programs are based in the United States and around the globe. Some are even intergenerational, so older adults can bring the kids and/or grandkids along!

Volunteer: We now know that seniors who volunteer are healthier than their peers! It seems that volunteering your time and talent to a charitable cause helps the body, mind and spirit stay healthy. Older adults can visit Create the Good, United Way and Volunteer Match to connect with a volunteer project near them.

Finally, a resource we like is Life Reimagined from AARP. This platform helps older adults create what the organization calls a Life Map. Their free tools and resources walk seniors through topics ranging from well-being to relationships and employment advice.

I hope these websites are helpful, Dale!

 
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