Post–career Retirees Create New Opportunities to Contribute to Community

Retirees use their freedom and flexibility to give more, be more

By Dena Zocher
Freelance Writer

Today, post–career women and men of all ages are creating a new narrative around the “retirement” phase of life. With more personal freedom around how they use their time, these people are finding ways to expand their horizons by giving back.

New–found flexibility is allowing them the opportunity to explore a fresh sense of meaning and purpose.

Does anyone ever really retire?
Personal interviews we've conducted with people who are in the post–career phase of life reveal a common desire to make a contribution to create a living legacy each and every day.

  • A widowed grandmother who had planned a retirement life of travel with her husband enjoys the unexpected opportunity to help her kids and grandkids through unanticipated changes in their lives.
  • A heart transplant recipient leaves corporate life to resume a full–time music career and publishes a book to help people navigate the healthcare system when faced with complex issues.
  • A former geophysicist is publishing a science–fiction book series, volunteering for a women's shelter and finding renewed purpose as an activist for the less fortunate in her community.
  • A career sales professional with a Fortune 50 technology enterprise retired to care for her husband, who has Parkinson's disease, and is committing her “spare” time to volunteering in the local public schools.

For these folks, it makes sense right now to put great care into creating a legacy for their families and communities. They've found fresh mental, emotional and even physical energy by creating greater good for the people around them.

“The only thing you take with you when you're gone is what you leave behind.”1
– John Allston

Family, community, society
Another common theme is a habit of starting each day with the thought, “Who am I going to help today?”

They're making this phase of life about something bigger than they are. And it's making them greater than they thought they could be.

We all want to do our best for our loved ones, and that's an important legacy. Some new faces of retirement are taking it to another level, finding opportunities to create a legacy of doing good for the greater community and society. For these people, the important thing is making a contribution that will outlast them.

Starting right now, any of us has the power to put ideas into action and start building a living legacy that will still be in action long after you've passed to the next phase. That's what legacy is.

Says Marc Freedman, founder of policy research organization Encore, “The potential for the common good is staggering.”2, 3

You're already doing well. How are you doing good? Who are you going to help today?

Experience the #retirementyouwant – find out more at www.jackson.com

The opinions and forecasts expressed are those of the author and individuals quoted and should not be construed as a recommendation or as complete. Dena Zocher is not affiliated with Jackson National Life Distributors LLC.

Information in this article is summarized from these sources:

  1. John Allston. (n.d.). “Author Quotes” Retrieved Nov. 6, 2017, from http://www.greatthoughtstreasury.com/author/john–allston
  2. Belkin, L. (2006, July 1). “The Best Part Comes in the Third Act.” Retrieved Nov. 6, 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/jobs/02wcol.html
  3. Marc Freedman. (n.d.). “Encore.Org, Second acts for the greater good.” Retrieved Nov. 6, 2017, from https://encore.org/who–we–are/team/marc–freedman/

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