In Mercer County as in communities nationwide, the baby boom generation is reaching age 60. It’s the largest, healthiest, and best educated group in history to move through and beyond their sixth decade. National research shows that tens of millions of people over 60 are looking to make a difference in their community. In 2006, the Community Foundation studied how we can take full advantage of this interest locally – identifying opportunities for older adults to provide creative solutions to problems by engaging residents over 60 in work that benefits Mercer County. Along with thirty U.S. community foundations, the Community Foundation undertook this work with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, as part of phase one of The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Community Experience Partnership, a project to assess and better understand opportunities for older adults to become engaged in devising creative solutions to problems in their communities.
The resulting report can be found here: Sixty and More: Staying Involved and Making a Difference.
With the first of 77 million baby boomers turning 60 this year, the United States is facing a massive demographic shift. Research from Civic Ventures, a think tank dedicated to helping society achieve the greatest return on experience, indicates that nearly 45 million boomers want to be involved in work—paid or volunteer—that helps others. Far from frail, most of today’s 60+ boomers are fit, focused, and looking forward to new challenges. According to Civic Ventures, today’s 60-something citizens are “…pioneers in a new stage spanning the decades between middle and late life. Neither young nor old, they represent an extraordinary pool of social and human capital.”
Through its engagement with the Community Experience Partnership, the Community Foundation will help tap this extraordinary pool of experience locally.