But the over-50 crowd is not interested in the old-fashioned "full-stop" retirement, says Julia Moulden, a Toronto author and Huffington Post columnist. They are looking for new options and old and new ways to earn income, or, as Moulden puts it, new ways "to ripen."
If you are a 50-something and looking for a fresh start, Moulden provides a handy roadmap in RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50: Your Guide to the Next, Best Phase of Your Career.
The book has 12 chapters organized into a 12-week course. The course takes you on a journey of self-discovery, using stories of real people and reflective questions that make you think beneath the surface.
Masters and Pathfinders
Moulden, 55, stresses that the pursuit of rich, rewarding work after 50 is a personal journey. It’s about taking stock and taking charge.
She describes two kinds of ripe pioneers: masters and pathfinders.
MASTERS travel the same path, leveraging existing skills and discovering new passion for familiar work.
Consider the case of Marilyn Grist, a woman dedicated to social justice. She began her career as a worker in Lyndon Johnson’s campaign against poverty, moved to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization, where she worked for two decades, and then took time out to reinvent herself, as she thought. But, at 62, she is back as executive director of HelpAge U.S.A. "My work is my work," Grist says. "And it’s mine for a lifetime."
PATHFINDERS are interested in blazing new paths. Some feel burned out after long careers in large companies and institutions. Barbara Johnson left corporate life to become a social entrepreneur. She helped Pleasant Rowland to make the Superkids Reading Program in the United States a spectacular success.
In the world of ripe pioneers, masters outstrip pathfinders 10 to one.
RIPE provides a thoughtful framework for anyone seeking a more satisfying life. The author is especially good at mapping both the practical and emotional geography of life after 50. Throughout the book, Moulden keeps hammering home her key message: "Our most fulfilling years are ahead; we just need to grab hold of them."