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Retiring Boomers targeted for social impact

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As more members of the Baby Boom generation hit retirement age, a new effort aims to lure them into “encore careers” that make a difference.

The effort was launched at a December summit at Stanford University, where Boomers were encouraged to use their post-retirement careers as a way to combine social impact, personal fulfillment and income generation.

The summit, sponsored by Civic Ventures, a think-tank focusing on Baby Boomers, work and social purpose, hopes the collective efforts of Boomers can help solve social problems.

“Now, given longer life spans and the current recession, people can’t afford or don’t want to retire,” Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, says in a statement. “Now there’s a pause, a semicolon, a time to rest and renew and transition to a new stage of significant work.”  Noticing a trend in longer careers that has been further spurred by the economic downturn, Freedman wants Boomers to consider social and humanitarian work in their encore careers.

This would not only help make the world a better place, but also would give boomers jobs that are both meaningful and financially rewarding, Freedman says.

Civic Ventures also used the summit to present its Purpose Prize, an award given to social innovators over age 60. The group presented nine $50,000 prizes and six $100,000 prizes.

Civic Ventures was founded in 1998 to engage the Baby Boom generation in solving social problems.

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