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

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Frequently Bought Together

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

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (August 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586486349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586486341
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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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Customer Reviews

We can continue to work, we can retire, we can travel, etc.
I especially appreciate that Freedman's astute observations and lively, humane storytelling offer up a hopeful shift, and one full of promise for all of us.
Amy Clark
Similarly, employers are forced to provide equal benefits for all, even if some could be covered by Medicare.
Terry Cochran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 109 people found the following review helpful 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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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty on June 7, 2007
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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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Brent Green on July 12, 2007
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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