Encore Palm Beach County Helps Retirees Find New Passion, Opportunities


By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor

Rosemary Nixon says she is not good at being retired and she knows other people her age want to keep busy as well.

That is why her focus professionally and as a volunteer is to find ways for people over 50 to be involved in their communities.

She says the key is making connections. That is what Encore, a national network, she has brought to Palm Beach County is based off of— forming relationships and making connections between organizations and retired people.

“There is an untapped generation of people with skills and life experience who are used to making a difference,” she said. “We have done everything. We have traveled, played golf, tennis, bridge. We are used to doing.”

It is those people who often are looking for ways to get involved in their communities. But sometimes she said they don’t know where to turn.

“All of these people are retiring and what are they going to do?” she said, citing that 10,000 per year turn 65 in the United States per day. “How can we tap into these people as volunteers for our community? Palm Beach County is ground zero for this.”

So, the professional retirement coach began to spend her time figuring out how to start a local Encore chapter. After reading a book by Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Civic Ventures, called “Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life,” she knew she wanted to start an Encore chapter.

“I didn’t see anyone around us doing anything like this,” she said. “I wanted to put my experience to use in a different way.”

Now, the nonprofit, which connects retired people with volunteer options and provides guidance for ways to get back into the workforce, is a year old.

Nixon has plans to continue to grow the organization with the help from volunteers, of course.

Encore has several focuses. The first finding places for retirees to volunteer. But for those retirees who need to work, she said Encore has helped connect people with ways to learn how to get back into the workforce and find out about job opportunities through other organizations that offer assistance, courses and support.

For 2018, she said she is planning on hosting a job fair geared toward people over the age of 50. She is working on lining up partners like Palm Beach State College, CareerSource, Jewish Family Services and other organizations to come together to help host the fair.

Other initiatives for next year include to connecting people with learning experiences like webinars and programs on skills and topics and launching a speakers series. There series will feature speakers who are over 50 years old. They will discuss talents, skills and messages they have for the audience.