More retirees returning to work via Arizona non-profits
May 21, 2018
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the number of Americans over 65 who are employed full- or part-time has climbed from 13 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2016, and the local community is certainly seeing the effects.
Experience Matters is a non-profit in Arizona that matches retirees to one of 600 non-profits that fits their interests and skill sets. Interim Executive Director Nora Hannah says it helps baby boomers who are healthy and educated to give their time and talent back to the community.
“This generation is also very community-minded…,” Hannah says. “They really believe they need to be a part of their community and that they can make the world better through their collective engagement.”
Mike Santeusanio is one of the retirees that Experience Matters has helped. The 63-year-old is now the Human Resource Manager for Circle the City, a non-profit that helps homeless patients recover from medical procedures.
“I never knew I could be as happy as I am now in my professional career,” Santeusanio says. “It was kind of unplanned. Things aligned, people came together, energies came together [to make this happen].”
State Director of AARP Arizona Dana Kennedy says some people are left questioning what their purpose in life is after they retire, especially if their career was a significant part of their identity. Now, baby boomers are changing what retirement means, she says. Since they already have a retirement savings and have nothing but time, she says, they are able to take more chances.
“I think they can take a risk,” Kennedy says. “You might not want to take that risk if that job is tied to a retirement. If your job is no longer tied to retirement, then maybe you’ll take that risk and start a new career.”
Hannah says people come to Experience Matters looking for a variety of job experiences, and it’s up to them to decide how much time they want to commit and how engaged they want to be. For more information on Experience Matters, visit experiencemattersaz.org.