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The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living by Mark Miller

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Chapter 16. Making a Difference Encore Careers

Before the economy crashed, millions of midlife adults already were starting new careers in fields where they hoped to make a difference—areas such as teaching, health care, and the not-for-profit world. The new economic realities will make career reinvention mandatory for many millions more who aren't ready to retire or who simply can't afford to quit working. However, the tough economy hasn't forced baby boomers to give up their dream of second careers with meaning; and retirement gurus have been struggling to label the trend, so far without much success. But one name has come along that I think works pretty well: the encore career.

The phrase was coined by Civic Ventures, a California-based not-for-profit think tank and incubator for social entrepreneurship cofounded by Marc Freedman and John Gardner in the late 1990s. Gardner, who died in 2002 at age 89, was a visionary thinker and leader on civic engagement, civil rights, and social reform. He wrote extensively on leadership and self-renewal, and he cofounded Experience Corps, the national organization that promotes and enables volunteer work for older Americans. Gardner also played a key role in creating Medicare when he served as secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Johnson administration.

Freedman is one of the country's leading thinkers on how Americans can redefine the second half of life with a sense of social and in-dividual renewal—a notion Civic Ventures tries ...

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