May 24, 2012

Is AARP lossing It's Grip on Seniors? What is next?

What does the logo symbolize?
When I published the guest post from the 48-year-old guy that had received his first invitation to AARP, I wondered if AARP had lost its appeal.  While the organization has a huge political clout, the fact that they still look the same after all these years has me wondering...is AARP  moving too slow while the boomer generation drives by thumbing their collective noses at them?  Is the generation that rules the world declining their invitation to grow old?


It is not so much what AARP does as how it looks and what it symbolizes.  Like the 48-year-old guy, anyone that gets the dreaded envelop holding the invitation to join, the appearance of the AARP logo has them thinking "I can't be old yet! I am only_____ years old."  Nature will not tolerate a vacuum and the one left by people turning away from a the "symbol" of AARP is going to be filled by a group that appeals to those people beginning the second part of their adulthood...they want a new symbol for the next stage in their lives.  That big generation coming down the track is not going to settle for anything less than a symbol that screams Active and Meaningful and Full of Life.

Now I see that PBS has a new website called called *Next Avenue.  The website description says simply When Grown-ups Keep Growing.  The focus for the group is not growing old.  It instead talks about learning, working and staying involved.  I received an email from Encore Careers, another wonderful organization, talking about Next Avenue.  It said:
Dear Friend, 
Just because you’re grown up, doesn’t mean you’re done growing. That’s the idea behind the new PBS website Next Avenue:  
  • http://www.nextavenue.org Aimed at the 50-plus set, Next Avenue focuses on topics people may experience differently in this stage in life, including health, finances, work, leisure and caregiving.  
We’re most excited about the Work & Purpose section. Encore.org is contributing stories about pursuing an encore career for the greater good – how to assess your skills, questions to ask when looking for a nonprofit job, building your professional network and more. Check out our contributions here:
  • http://www.nextavenue.org/partners/encoreorg   There is also a rich video section that draws from PBS’s immense library – and ours. You’ll see: “Money Tips to Make it Through a Layoff,” “Job Searching at 59” and “Launching a Consulting Business.” Sprinkled throughout are video profiles of Purpose Prize winners, a great source of inspiration. 
Spend some time on Next Avenue and tell us what you think at info@encore.org.
Where will your next avenue lead?
 
Sincerely,
Michele
Michele Melendez
Editor, Encore.org
Don't you love that? "Just because you've grown up doesn't mean you're done growing"?  Really, just because we have passed any benchmark in our life doesn't mean we are done...retirement or turning 70 or graduating college is not the end of anything, they are a new beginning. We are not done growing until we are done. Are you paying attention? Maybe we will be seeing more of these younger feeling organizations for this generation.

I think that if AARP is losing it's appeal, is it because people have the idea that AARP equals just growing old. The image of someone filling our needs does not make any generation feel useful and needed.  I didn't get the feeling that the 48-year-old guy was interested in making it better or easier to grow old.  Not even one bit.  He is probably more interested in growing and learning and being better and doing it for a very long time. That is what I feel Next Avenue and Encore is offering...an avenue to the next beginning on the way to becoming a better human being.

b

 I invite you to watch this video from Encore Careers...advertisers could learn a thing or too from this beautiful, simple, creative short video about big opportunities for our second adulthood:









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