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Shifting views of retirement explored

According to a September 1999 survey conducted for Civic Ventures, a nonprofit organization committed to increasing older American’s contributions to society, many of today’s seniors view their retirement years very differently from generations past. The older Americans questioned in the survey were age 50 to 75. Their answers reveal that retirement, which used to be considered as a relatively short time of rest and freedom from work, is being redefined as a longer period filled with meaningful, challenging activities.

The report, entitled “The New Face of Retirement: Older Americans, Civic Engagement, and the Longevity Revolution,” found that 65% of seniors defined retirement as a time for them to begin a new chapter in their lives filled with new goals and activities. One of the most exciting ways older Americans intend to incorporate meaningful and challenging activities into their retirement is through volunteering and community service. Of particular note for nonprofit development executives is the fact that fully 50% of those questioned said volunteering or working in the community would be an important part of their retirement years.

Also of interest to gift planners may be the fact that of those who reported participating in volunteer activities, 43% mentioned raising money for charities as one of their primary volunteer functions. As planned giving assumes an even greater role in the funding mix and finding competent staff is increasingly difficult, many organizations and institutions may find that seniors with financial backgrounds may be excellent volunteers who can help stretch planned gift staff resources.

To contact Civic Ventures, please visit their Web site at www.civicventures.org or call their office at (415) 430-0141.

Magazine examines the wealthy and their generosity

Who are the wealthiest 400 people in America? What are they like? How did they make the list? And, most important for gift planners, what are their charitable giving habits? These are just some of the issues addressed in the October 11 special issue of Forbes entitled “America’s 400 Richest People.”

As expected, Bill Gates is head of this class of super-rich. He is also becoming known more for his mega-gifts to his charitable foundation. Another Forbes 400 member, Sidney Kimmel, plans to give all of his money to charity. Kimmel, a 70-year-old single billionaire with no children, is profiled in the special issue and explains his philanthropic philosophy.

To reach Forbes Subscriber Service, call 1-800-888-9896 or e-mail subscriber@forbes.com. To check out the 1999 Forbes 400 list and other articles, see www.forbes.com.

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