The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL), which serves as the bridge between people 55 and older and opportunities that enable them to continue in productive activities, is organizing a nationwide competition to select the best entrepreneur success story and inspiring life story from people 55 and older.
The Later-Life Story Contest begins on June 1, 2012 and ends on August 31, 2012 with the winner in each category selected by a panel of three independent judges. Each winner will receive $1,000 and a specially designed trophy. The best stories will be posted on the CPL website throughout the duration of the contest. The winners will be announced on October 1, 2012 and will be posted on the CPL website (ctrpl.org) under “Success Stories”.
CPL created the contest to stimulate discussion and dialogue about how people 55 and older can continue adding value to their extended lives in an era when they are living 30 years longer than people did at the beginning of the 20th century. The Later-Life Story Contest is intended to achieve three objectives:
1) Stimulate people to continue leading meaningful and rewarding lives after reaching the age of 55. Baby Boomers were acculturated to believe that when they reached a certain age (55, 60, 65), they were over the hill and out of the game. Many of them need to understand that, with their increased longevity, they have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs or lead inspirational lives.
2) Demonstrate that older people can remain productively engaged and live inspiring lives into their latter 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. There are 78 million Baby Boomers who began reaching traditional retirement age of 65 in 2011 and will continue to do so each year through 2029 at the rate of 4.2 million per year. These are people with experience, expertise, seasoned judgment and proven performance (referred to as EESP). Many of them have also acquired some accumulated wisdom. At a time when unemployment is high and economic growth low, creating a new business is a bright spot on a gloomy employment horizon. Stories about how older entrepreneurs have successfully taken the new-business route may stimulate others to do so. Stories about how people 55 and older have led inspirational lives may have a similar impact.
3) Change the pervasive national mindset that when people reach a certain age, they should move to the sidelines. This thinking encourages older workers to shed the wrinkles, hide the years, and pretend to be younger than they are. With people living substantially longer lives, Americans must recognize and find ways to enable this large and growing talent pool to continue adding value.
“We look forward to learning about the trailblazers around the country and to celebrating their stories,” says William Zinke, 85, Founder and President of CPL. “We believe that this contest can achieve these three objectives and look forward to sharing success stories with the public.”