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Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life Paperback – August 25, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life
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  • The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life
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  • Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Freedman presents a vision that is inherently optimistic, practical, productive and exciting."--"The Seattle Times"

"In the past decade, Mr. Freedman has emerged as a leading voice in discussions nationwide about the changing face of retirement."--"The Wall Street Journal"

"Marc Freedman has become the voice of aging baby boomers who are eschewing retirement for...meaningful and sustaining work later in life."--Marci Alboher, "The New York Times"

"This book challenges baby-boomers to build a better world through a second career and provides concrete steps to help them find their next job."--"Kiplinger's" Best of 2007 List

"Freedman has written a wonderful...guide for boomers entering their next phase of life....This thoroughly readable book is highly recommended."--"Library Journal "(Starred Review)

"Freedman persuasively argues that later years can offer freedom "to" work in more flexible, meaningful ways, rather than only a time to be free "from" work."--"Minneapolis Star Tribune"

"The Seattle Times"
"Freedman presents a vision that is inherently optimistic, practical, productive and exciting."

"The Wall Street Journal"
"In the past decade, Mr. Freedman has emerged as a leading voice in discussions nationwide about the changing face of retirement."

Marci Alboher, "The New York Times"
"Marc Freedman has become the voice of aging baby boomers who are eschewing retirement for...meaningful and sustaining work later in life."

"Kiplinger's" Best of 2007 List
"This book challenges baby-boomers to build a better world through a second career and provides concrete steps to help them find their next job."

"Library Journal "(Starred Review)
"Freedman has written a wonderful...guide for boomers entering their next phase of life....This thoroughly readable book is highly recommended."

"Minneapolis Star Tribune"
"Freedman persuasively argues that later years can offer freedom "to" work in more flexible, meaningful ways, rather than only a time to be free "from" work."

About the Author

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, is a frequent commentator in the national media and the author of both Prime Time and The Kindness of Strangers. Freedman spearheaded the creation of The Experience Corps and The Purpose Prize. In 2007 and again in 2008 he was selected by Fast Company as one of the nation’s leading social entrepreneurs. He lives in San Francisco.

Photographer Alex Harris traveled across the country to make the portraits in Encore and is currently Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at Duke University and co founder DoubleTake magazine. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586486349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586486341
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like many books targeted to mid-life professionals, Marc Freedman addresses retirees who are physically and financially in a position to make choices. He makes an appealing yet dangerous assumption: Older people will be drawn to opportunities where they can make a contribution. They're more concerned with contributing than earning. They're cooperative, not competitive.

To be sure, many people over 40, 50 or 60 are eager to help. Many want to be teachers, nurses and social workers. But some of us are just not suited to the helping professions. And some of us actually believe that, no matter how old we are, we want to get paid based on contribution. We want to get raises, rewards, promotions and perks.

One reason so many mid-life career changers end up self-employed is that there's no other way to follow the profit motive. I recently met a lawyer who finished law school in his late 40's. Now in his early 60's, he has always worked for himself and done very well in a niche specialty. If he tried to work for a law firm, he'd be lucky to get hired as a part-time paralegal.

Along with the nurses and teachers, Freedman introduces us to a former teacher who now works as a greeter at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, these stories reassure potential employers: "See, older people don't care about money or status."

Freedman provides a list of resources. Instead I would encourage mid-life career changers to seek one-to-one consulting from career coaches or else undertaken their own programs. If you're considering a business, go to the SBA or take entrepreneurship classes.

Towards the end of the book, Freedman identifies elements of the infrastructure (taxes, health insurance and more) that no longer make sense and actually harm older workers.
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Format: Hardcover
How times have changed! When I was a mere youth back in the 1940s and 50s, all that the "old folks" talked about was how they would retire someday, draw their Social Security, and spend their time idly pursuing idle pursuits. Of course, most of them expected to be gone from planet Earth sometime within their sixties. Things are different now, of course, and the game of life in regards to retirement has radically changed. And this is the main thrust of Marc Freedman's "Encore." Now that people are living longer and healthier, and some are being forced into retirement at an earlier age, and many (if not most) of these retirees are still physically and mentally capable of working and contributing to the body-politic, and, moreover, they don't want to sit around in the rocking chair waiting for the grim reaper, the question is: what are we going to do with them now? Or better, what are they going to do with themselves?

This is an important issue, not only for the so-called "baby boomers" as Freedman's book mainly emphasizes, but, in my view, it is also an important issue for those of us who are "pre-boomers." After all, I am (all too rapidly, I might say) approaching my biblically-sanctioned three score and ten and, yet, yet I don't consider myself as "retired." After all, what really is "retirement"? Retired from what? Retired when? Does the traditional concept of "retirement" actually have any meaning today? In fact, I and many of my personal colleagues have never retired, strictly speaking, although we now work in different capacities from what we did previously. Freedman proposes the idea of the "Encore Society," that is, as the subtitle of his book states, "Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In sharp juxtaposition to "The Golden Years" legend embraced by our parents' generation - the housing industry-inspired mythology that serves up retirement as a time for carefree, unending play - Marc Freedman suggests something else: "If graying continues to mean only playing, it will mean paying...

"We can't afford a leisure class that makes up one-fourth of the population."

In his new book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, Freedman asks: "How could the best thing that has ever happened to us as individuals - the dramatic extension of life and health - amount to the worst thing that has happened to us as a nation?"

To encapsulate what he means by "the worst thing," Freedman identifies eight factors contributing to a gathering "perfect storm," the first four of which are darkly ominous.

First, Freedman drives home a message being carried by many thought-leaders today: inexorable demographics. By 2030, 25% of all U.S. residents will be 60 and older. Never before in the history of the nation, or for that matter, Western society, will so many people have reached the 7th decade of life.

Second, not only is the nation growing older; Americans are living longer. By mid-century, average life expectancy in the longest-lived countries may exceed the century mark. According to my analysis of census bureau statistics, by 2065 our nation will be home to at least 2.1 million centenarians.

Third, huge numbers of aging adults and increasing longevity imply that many will face the prospect of financing 30 or more years in retirement. Aside from the wealthiest of the generation, few Boomers have saved enough for so many years without added income.
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