Finding Your Second Act

We call them the Golden Years. It’s the time so many of us have worked towards for most of our adult lives, marked by the milestone event of retirement. In the past, this phase of life conjured up imagery of warm climates, golf courses and card games. However, as average life expectancies increase, Americans are reimagining this period by bringing a fresh perspective to our second acts.1

After decades of investing in your own expertise and knowledge, it’s time to share your talent and insights in new and creative ways. Here are some possible second acts to consider:


Throughout life, certain causes become near and dear to our hearts through circumstance and experience. Retirement presents an opportunity to build a lasting legacy through volunteerism. Determine where you want to make an impact by creating your philanthropic mission statement. Work towards achieving that mission by identifying opportunities within your local community via school boards, hospitals and libraries or philanthropies with missions that speak to you. If you already donate time with an organization, identify ways to deepen that relationship. Take advantage of your flexible schedule to contribute skills in addition to monetary donations.

Join a Board

Joining a board—whether it’s a non-profit, public, or private company—is another great way to put your experience to work. It also provides you with a chance to build new connections and gain exposure to the inner workings of a new organization (without the time commitment of a full-time job). While some corporations seek individuals with prior board or C-suite experience, nonprofit organizations are typically open to applicants with more diverse backgrounds. Serving on a board can be the ultimate destination for seasoned professionals who have more time—and more expertise—than in prior years. It also provides companies and nonprofits with the opportunity to benefit from your experience, community standing and networks.

Second Careers

Launching a second career can start with the simple desire to explore a passion project, remain active or maintain the collaborative relationships fostered by a work environment. If you intend to have an “encore,” a great place to look for opportunities is within your existing network. The recent shift to a remote work model may benefit you as well. Researchers at Harvard Business School’s Project on Managing the Future of Work and BCG’s Henderson Institute found that 90% of companies surveyed see a future competitive advantage in shifting their talent model to a blend of full-time and freelance employees.2 This is leading to a boom in flexible work options that can accommodate a variety of lifestyles. If you’re considering a career shift as part of your second act, be sure to upgrade your home office solutions with discounts from Jabra and Bose.

Back to School

As children, many of us couldn’t foresee a world where we would voluntarily enroll in more schooling. Higher education, however, has changed dramatically in the past decades. Syllabi are now filled with classes in industries and areas of focus that did not exist. Whether your interests relate to public policy, climate change or photography, research programs at your local universities, community colleges and online learning platforms like edX, which is offering Reserved members a 15% discount. Pay special attention to the certificate programs being offered as they can provide an enriching learning experience with lower financial and time commitments.

Bucket List Travel

Now is the time to prioritize your sense of wanderlust and cross off some destinations on your travel bucket list! With no limit on vacation days or young children to entertain on long flights, the world truly is your oyster. Whether you dream of an African safari, dipping into the clear waters of Bora Bora or skiing in the French Alps, Reserved’s travel partners can help you plan your next adventure, including 60% off hotels through Hotel Engine for everyday savings on lodging.


1. United States Census Bureau, Living Longer: Historical and Projected Life Expectancy in the United States, 1960 to 2060, February 2020

2. Harvard Business School (HBS) & Boston Consulting Group, Managing the Future of Work, December 2020

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