Network, Train, Travel, Seek Adventure in your 70s, 80s and 90s.

10 Feb 2014

Insights shared by Sandhya Sharma, co-designer at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI).

An all over 70’s workforce for a needle factory, a retirement village that requires you to sign up to work, study or volunteering to live there, a course that helps you intentionally design your years post retirement.

These are just a few examples of the businesses, organisations and people who are championing the reinvention movement. They’re dramatically shifting what retirement and getting old looks like with new kinds of roles full of purpose, challenge and joy.

At last weeks Leaders Institute of SA' Boardroom Bites Event, we gathered around a beautifully set table at Cos Restaurant over lunch to hear Mike Rungie, CEO of ACH group, share learnings gleaned from his recent Churchill Fellowship. His research took him to the UK, Ireland and the US spending time with people, organisations, services and institutions looking at different roles for people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

To set the scene, we were reminded of all the doom and gloom of the ageing population, the burden that Baby Boomers will have on our economy and the many more chronic diseases we’ll be carrying into later life. However rather than focussing on these challenges Mike framed things from a different perspective calling for the need to redefine the way we live out our later years.

Mike described this conundrum by explaining how we define our life by decades and we define those decades by the roles we take on – study, work, family. He pointed out that we’re not just living in the current decade we’re also actively planning forward for the next one. But in our 60’s things start to change, people stop asking you what you “do” which is a particularly tough when you’ve always defined yourself by what you “do.”

There’s a range of reasons why it becomes harder and harder to answer this question as you get into your 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – social norms, ageism, lack of opportunity and preparation – but there’s also an opportunity to turn our extended lifespan into years just as fruitful as the early ones. Mike observed this happening through early adopters he encountered. People who were engaged in work, learning, volunteering, sport, networking, social enterprise and caring who were leading meaningful, purposeful and productive lives.

To keep reading this release please visit the Leaders Institute of SA blog


Mike Rungie speaks at Boardroom Bites event for the Leaders Institute of South Australia
Mike Rungie, CEO ACH Group (standing) and Mark Goddard, Business Manager Leaders Institute of SA

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