BSR Broadcasts | Planting Trees for the Future: Crafting Meaningful Encores with SAGE and Steve Higgs

Steve Higgs

“My favorite place in the world is the spot where the ocean’s waves meet the land. I think in a prior life I was a sandpiper or maybe a starfish. I love the flow of water going back and forth against the sand and rock. I think this place is a helpful reminder that our lives have a rhythm to them, but are also in a state of constant change.”
– Steve Higgs

A society grows great when its elders plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
– Greek Proverb

Encore involvement can take a tremendous variety of forms. Some people want to give their new venture or position 100% and devote all their time to it. Others might be interested in supporting their retirement with part-time work that allows them to travel, relax, and spend time with family. Still others might divide their time between paid work and volunteering. But what more and more encore lifestyles have in common is a commitment to meaningful engagement that makes the world a better place.

This might take the form of bringing your expertise to social purpose organizations with an Encore Fellowship. Or maybe you decide to model yourself on’s Purpose Prize winners—all people over 60 who combine passion and experience for social good.

It might be nothing more—and nothing less—than allowing your own personal light to finally shine for all it’s worth with a solo business. As Civil Rights leader Howard Thurman put it so beautifully, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Whatever form it takes, this period is a wonderful one to celebrate your own life and your connection to others. And this week’s BSR Broadcast is all about honoring the Encore or Third Stage of Life as an immensely generative period when you can give your time, talent, and passion to younger and future generations.

Steve Higgs is the Executive Director of SAGE. SAGE stands for Senior Advocates for Generational Equity, and is dedicated to inspiring older adults to get involved in causes that benefit children, youth, and future generations. Steve is a passionate lover of the natural world, and has a long background in environmental law and nonprofit conservation campaigns, so the mission of SAGE struck an immediate chord: “I believe that we are at a time of major national significance,” he writes. “We have unprecedented challenges facing younger and future generations, and we also have enormous talent, experience, and capacity among older adults to address those challenges. The mission of SAGE gripped me, and it’s a privilege to lead the organization.”

Click here to read more about Steve.

Part of our goal here at Better, Smarter, Richer is helping people celebrate and enjoy their encores, whether it takes the form of entrepreneurship, volunteering, or living out a lifelong dream—any or all of which might constitute giving back (or forward) to our communities and making the world better for future generations. SAGE is a fabulous resource and this is guaranteed to be an inspiring conversation. You’ll be able to listen on Wednesday afternoon, or any time after that!