Launch Your Encore – Finding Adventure and Purpose Later in Life – a new book by Hans Finzel and Rick Hicks. Coming early 2015.
Listen to this interview with Rick as we discuss our new book, and why Boomers will reinvent retirement in the coming years.
A lot of boomers we are asking the post career question, What’s next?” Our book is the answer to their question. Boomers must learn
to be intentional about finding meaning and purpose in their sixties, seventies, and eighties (the 60-80 window). With the average U.S. life expectancy reaching eighty, the authors’ purpose is to help readers recognize that they are entering a new life stage, identify the positive changing landscape of late life development, and discover how they have the potential to maximize their new role as elders in this culture. No longer retiring at 65 and dying soon there after, people are ending up with a whole lot of life left after their main careers.
Readers of Launch Your Encore will:
- Know that they are not alone in the journey into late life development. This is the new normal for boomers.
- Learn the building blocks of a fulfilling life after retirement for the “new old.”
- See the choices that must be made to have a successful elder life beyond the old “retire and die” paradigm of their parents and grandparents.
- Learn how to establish meaning and purpose in the “60–80 window.”
Dr. Rick Hicks is the North America Area Leaders from Operation Mobilization.
A Preview from our Introduction to
Launch Your Encore.
Seventy six million of us boomers are moving into our sixties and seventies. We all know how many boomers there are — more than a quarter of the U.S. population. On Jan. 1, 2011, boomers began turning 65. Between 7,000 and 10,000 of us will celebrate that birthday each day for the next 18 years. The last Boomers turned fifty on January 1, 2014. Their transition will again rock the world. By 2050, according to Pew Research projections, about one-in-five Americans will be over age 65, and about 5% will be ages 85 and older, up from 2% in 2010. These ratios will put the U.S. at mid-century roughly where Japan, Italy and Germany–the three “oldest” large countries in the world–are today. (Pew Research Group, Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality, June 29, 2009)
Statistics show that we are living on average twelve years longer than the previous “builder” generation. And in the process we are redefining what is known as “the retirement years”. Dr. Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity says, “The culture hasn’t had time to catch up. The enormity of this hasn’t hit people.” We the authors are coming to grips with the bonus of these added years, and this book is aimed squarely at helping our aging generation in this transition toward a meaningful and purposeful later life. (Source AARP Magazine, Jan, 2014, p.57)
Boomers have to learn to be intentional about finding meaning and purpose in aging. Where do we find significance in the 60 – 80 window? How do we find that new place as we leave our main careers? How do we launch a fulfilling encore?
During our journey of writing this book over a two-year period, we both floated up the word “retirement,” time and again. We mentioned to strangers and friends alike that we are pioneering new ways of looking at our retirement years for boomers who don’t really like that “R” word. The comebacks were at times hilarious, chilling, confusing and enlightening. Most of all, it underscored our observation that for most boomers and younger people there is not much serious thought or preparation for getting ready for this important life stage. “Retirement” is many different things for each one of us. One older retired gentleman we ran in to said, “My retired friends either love it or hate it.” So we asked, “Why do they hate it?” “Because they have not figured out what do to and they are bored stiff.” Here is just a sampling of other things we heard in our informal survey:
Question: What comes to mind when you hear the word “retirement?”
- My question is, “What’s next?”
- Work as long as I can.
- Freedom – finally have time to do what I love.
- I can put off till tomorrow what I don’t want to do today.
- I can start over – and do what will I really want to do.
- I can’t afford to.
- Retirement is an “employee” concept if you work for yourself.
- Shed my shackles and create a new career.
- I’m finally going to sell this place — all I want is a beach and a beer.
- I don’t believe in retirement.
- I will work till I drop dead.
We found some interesting contrasts:
- For some people, “I will love retirement, because I will be free to do what I want. And what I want is fun.”
- For others, “I will hate retirement, because my life will no longer have meaning and I will not longer be needed and be important in my career.”
- For some people who don’t like their jobs, they assume that retirement is more fun that working.
- For other people who love their jobs and their work so much they get very depressed at the thought of having to give it up.
- Some people are ready financially for an abundant retirement.
- Other people are scared to death because they are not ready financially to ever stop working though they would love to.
If we had a chance to ask you, how would you fill in this blank, “For me the word retirement means _________________.”