Ask Annie

How to launch a second career that gives back

November 16, 2010: 11:13 AM ET

About half of Americans want to keep working after they retire, but in jobs that do more for the community. Here's how to make it happen.

Dear Annie: After 38 years in financial management, I'll be retiring at the end of this year, but I hope to be working just as hard at something new. My wife and I (and our two daughters) are avid amateur musicians who each got our start through music classes in our public schools.

Now, because of state and local budget cuts, local music programs are all but disappearing. Drawing partly on our experience and connections in the business world, we want to figure out how to start a nonprofit that would raise money to buy musical instruments, hire music teachers, and put music lessons back in the curriculum. I know that charitable giving overall has been battered by the recession, so maybe the timing is bad. Your thoughts? --Piano Man

Dear Piano Man: It may interest you to know that you're part of an enormous trend that has been picking up for the past few years: A desire among retirees to keep working, but in different careers, that help their communities.

Marc Freedman, founder of a nonprofit called Civic Ventures, coined the phrase "encore careers" to describe these second (or even third) callings.

Read the full story here.

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About This Author
Anne Fisher
Anne Fisher
Contributor, Fortune

Anne Fisher has been writing "Ask Annie," a column on careers, for Fortune since 1996, helping readers navigate booms, recessions, changing industries, and changing ideas about what's appropriate in the workplace (and beyond). Anne is the author of two books, Wall Street Women (Knopf, 1990) and If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map? (William Morrow, 2001).

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