The aging process does not necessarily mean that older adults won’t continue to contribute to the world around them, however they define that. Some may think of this as the “last hurrah”, but I believe it can be the best one. We live our adult lives encumbered by responsibilities. We go to college and graduate school and pay back loans. We get married, joyfully raise a family with all that entails. We work hard at our jobs and careers, climbing the ladder of success. We often have little time for self-expression, volunteering, giving back to the community, taking on a cause that has meaning. But for the older generation, time may open up to an array of possibilities. As Barbara Kleger wrote in her most recent blog “baby boomers aren’t retiring, they’re ‘rewiring.”’. They’re re-arranging their lives, homes, and plans in order to create purposeful years. Or, as Robert Kramer, the founder of NIC, describes it, a time of “the 4 e’s: engagement, enrichment, experience, and enjoyment.”
The limits are largely in your own imagination and, of course, the capacity to take things on. I’m reminded of Marc Freedman, the author of Prime Time: How Baby Boomers will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America as I write this blog. Freedman contends that because older adults will have time, a precious commodity, they can “get involved in ways that have both personal meaning and make a significant difference to others.” Through his organization, Encore, Freedman was Founder of the Purpose Prize which transitioned over to AARP in 2016. The AARP® Purpose Prize® award honors extraordinary individuals who use their life experience to make a better future for all. You may not become a prize winner but there is so much you can do.