Pauley: Richard, take a look at AARP.org/jane where you’ll see an in-depth version of our profile of Lawrence McRae, who for 10 years has founded his project pretty much with his Social Security check-- hope it gives you some inspiration in that.
Alboher: Richard, many people in encore careers, like Lawrence McRae, aren't wealthy. In fact, we frequently define encore careers as work in the second half of life that combines continued income with personal meaning and social purpose. McRae is an example of someone who started an organization, but many people a this stage of life are choosing full-time and part-time jobs, or even self-employment in fields like education, health care, or the nonprofit sector -- all of which are likely to experience talent shortage as boomers retire.
Comment from Barry: My name is Barry Yeoman. I work with Jane & Co. at Your Life Calling. As my colleagues know, I'm very excited about this segment. Not only is Lawrence McRae doing important work, but to me his efforts highlight a different type of "second act:” something I'd describe as entrepreneurial volunteerism. Mr. McRae identified a life-or-death need in his community, then went out and filled that need. This is a good reminder that there are many different ways to envision a "second act." It's not just about career change.
Pauley: Hi Barry, you remind me of something Lawrence McRae told me. It was sort of straight out of the Broadway musical The Music Man: “You gotta know the territory.” One of the reasons he’s effective in eastern Alabama where he spreads the word about prostate health awareness is that he has credibility because he is one of them. And as he put it, “If you come into an area where you’re not known, people think, ‘Well if you’re so smart you’d be doing it where you came from,’ so either do it at work where you are known or partner with someone who is known."
Comment from Bobbi: I’m interested in starting a nonprofit, but the financial risk scares me. Are there organizations that provide funding or grants for start-ups? How do you go about finding them?
Pauley: Yes! Our Your Life Calling segments are archived at AARP.org/jane along with other resources. Check us out and keep watching TODAY.
Freedman: Hi Bobbi, great question. Before answering it directly I have a suggestion. It might be worth thinking about working within the context of an existing organization before deciding to start something new--which does involve some risk and a lot of hoops (including legal costs for incorporation.) I launched Civic Ventures eleven years ago after developing a project under the auspices of an existing nonprofit; that not only lowered the initial costs but provided the opportunity to develop a track record before going after larger grants. That said, there are often community foundations or nonprofit incubators that can help individuals wanting to launch a new organization. It's worth checking with the local United Way or community foundation for advice.
Comment from Rita: We have a pioneering organization started 9 years ago which has created a Village movement from thousands of groups across the country who are interested in this "aging in community" model. Many of our members are interested in encore careers and we have worked with Civic Ventures. We are very excited that you are part of this discussion. Would you be able to come to our national