As many as 31 million people between the ages of 44 to 70 want “encore careers” that combine personal meaning, continued income and social impact, according to new research.
The MetLife Foundation, New York, and Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose, published this finding in a report, Bridging the Gap: Making it Easier to Finance Encore Transitions. The study is the last installment in a three-part research effort funded by MetLife Foundation and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland.
The research was conducted from June to October 2011 by Penn Schoen Berland and included a nationally representative telephone survey of 930 Americans ages 44 to 70, an online survey of 1,408 Americans ages 44 to 70 in or expressing interest in encore careers, and an online survey of 400 potential entrepreneurs of the same age group.
The report discloses that of the 9 million people who are already in encore careers, two in three experienced reduced or no income during the transition to their encores. On average, these individuals started to think about their encores at age 50 and took about 18 months to make the transition.
“There’s a big payoff from encore careers, for individuals and for our entire society,” says Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures and author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife. “But making the switch is hard. Employers, policymakers and all of us in our own lives need to think creatively about how to make the investments in encore transitions that lead to these new, more fulfilling careers.”
Among the report’s additional findings: