Friday, December 5, 2008

Bring back the wooly retiree

Scientists are talking – seriously, it seems – about the possibility of regenerating a wooly mammoth, a furry elephant-like mammal that went extinct toward the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. With the mammoth’s genome now decoded and DNA available, the experts say it could be done for about $10 million.

By today’s standards, when “trillion” is the new “billion,” that sounds pretty cheap. But we think it would be a better idea, and much less expensive, to bring back some wooly retirees.

We’re talking about bringing them back into the active, productive, vibrant life of the rebooter. Out of the TV room, out of the lounge chair, on their feet, doing things, and back into the mainstream.

Now of course, retirees haven’t become extinct, but going into a passive, do-nothing retirement bears some similarity to going extinct, doesn’t it? Withdrawing from the active life, shutting down the inner computer and basically checking out of life accomplishes about the same thing as disappearing.

Maybe we should start considering the passive retiree as a missing person. Perhaps not physically missing, but mentally and emotionally and psychologically missing.

Rebooting offers a healthy alternative to retirement “extinction.” Continuing to work, volunteering, going back to school, teaching, consulting, turning that lifelong hobby into a business – all are ways to recharge the batteries and bring oneself back into life on earth.

And the really good news: no danger of a retiree Jurassic Park!


Kelly N said...

The 2008 MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures Encore Career Survey estimates that 5.3 million to 8.4 million Americans have already launched “encore careers.” Boomers are looking for purpose-driven jobs that are not traditional and provides them with purpose and meaning. Stats on this are at So, let's do bring back the wooly retiree with jobs that take advantage of their wisdom and experience and give them meaning and purpose.

Julie said...

The link to the article in Kelly's post is Older Workers Launch Encore Careers Gallery