Can you turn what you own into what you do during semi-retirement?
Whether it’s a treasured collection of antique postcards, a garden overflowing with organic vegetables or a movie-set worthy home, chances are at least some of what you own might generate retirement-based income.
I got to thinking about this option recently while visiting The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT. More than just a museum, this stunning property has served as the home of the Lyme Art Colony, America’s center of Impressionism, for over a century.
The museum’s collections and charming gardens are well worth a trip. But what I most appreciated about my visit was the opportunity to learn about Florence Griswold and her second act. It’s an impressive tale that has some valuable lessons for us all about grit, moxie and working with what you got.
If you’re a NPR geek like me, you’ve likely heard that Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps recently published a new book Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work. Culled from over 65,000 recorded StoryCorps interviews, the stories demonstrate that vocational passion and fulfillment can be found in the most unexpected ways and places.
I read the book this past weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly. I think you will too.
While the book is more an inspirational read than a how-to guide, Isay includes a list of thought-provoking questions at the end of the book that I think are worth sharing. (Technically these questions are designed to get people to open for their StoryCorps interviews, but I think they’re equally useful as a means to help you find your calling).
While not all the questions will resonate, at least a few should prompts some insights into your values, motivators and passions as you plan your second act.
Here are some of my favorites:
- What were the happiest moments of your life? The saddest?
- Who has been the most important person in your life?
- What lessons has your work life taught you?
- What are you the proudest of in your life?
- Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along to me?
- How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- Do you have any regrets?
Interesting food for thought, no? I hope you’ll take some time to mull these over.
To learn more about the book and to hear a few of the interviews, be sure to check out this NextAvenue.org post Finding Your Calling Through Work.
Last week, I had an opportunity to do a half-hour radio interview with Rabbi Richard Address of JewishSacredAging.com about all things second act. A few of the hot topics we discussed:
- When you should begin planning your second act
- How to find meaningful volunteer work
- Top tips for getting started
And lots more. Listen it to the full interview by clicking here (my segment starts at about the halfway mark).
Here’s a question to consider as you plan your second act: What have been your favorite jobs? And more importantly, why?
I’m sure that factors like salary, job responsibilities and opportunities for growth all influenced your job satisfaction. But I’ll bet that if you dig really deep, you’ll discover that there was one factor that influenced your work happiness far more than any other.
Ready to take a guess what it is?
Who are your role models? Growing up, it helps to have people to look up to as we find our way forward. The same holds true as we transition into second acts later in life.
I’ve been thinking about this issue since returning from the Encore2016 Conference, held last week in San Francisco. It was my second year in attendance, and once again, it provided a unique opportunity to connect with colleagues and hear from industry leaders about second-acts for the greater good.
As expected, a highlight of the conference was the Purpose Prize awards ceremony, which honors people over 60 who’ve made a difference in their communities and the greater world.
Talk about role models. This year’s winners include Laurie Ahearn, a former journalist turned fearless crusader for children with disabilities held in abusive institutions; Jamal Joseph, a former Black Panther who has created an organization where young people can escape violence, learn leadership skills and create art for social change, and Dr. Samuel Lupin, who together with his son and grandson, created a nonprofit that delivers much-needed healthcare to homebound elderly.
But for me, the real highlight of the conference resulted from an unexpected meeting with one of my daughter’s personal heroes, Robert Egger (pictured above). Among his many accomplishments, Egger is the founder of LA Kitchen (motto: Neither Food Nor People Should Ever Go to Waste) and the recipient of this year’s Eisner prize for Intergenerational Excellence. He is also the author of Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding For All