Today's generation of Iowa women over 50 are far more likely to be educated and to have worked outside the home than any previous generation. Coupled with better access to health care and a longer life-span, few of these women see themselves content withdrawing to "a rocking chair on the front porch." As our concepts of aging change, so must our concepts of retirement.
Whether for personal fulfillment, financial need, or to keep insurance benefits, working remains a major part of life for many women as they age. With a looming workforce shortage, Iowa needs to retain older workers like never before. Many women like the idea of starting a new career in retirement. Check with the Iowa Department on Aging for new opportunities specific to seniors. AARP also offers many resources about senior-friendly employers or new career choices.
Many older women have time and experience to give, but no desire to re-enter or stay in the workforce. Luckily, many resources exist to connect volunteers with great opportunities. Check out Volunteer Iowa, Senior Corps, or Volunteer Match. Of course, these entities may be able to help you connect to dozens of local opportunities as well.
Women's experience and expertise are needed as much as ever on state and local decision making bodies! With careers and family caregiving responsibilities often behind them, one of the best ways older women can find fulfillment and keep giving is through leadership on a non-profit board, service on a statewide Board or Commission, serving on a local Board or Commission, or even running for elected office! BoardnetUSA is a national resource that helps nonprofit boards and new leaders find each other.
Encore.org is another national effort aimed at keeping older adults civically educated and engaged in issues.