“If working beyond age 65 is admirable, I say Betty White working and succeeding at 88 is a MARVEL!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 22, November 14th 2010

TITLE: “If working beyond age 65 is admirable, I say Betty White working and succeeding at 88 is a MARVEL!*”


My book of the week is: “Here We Go Again: My Life In Television” by Betty White.  Hence my topic is working beyond age 65 and being active and productive well into your 80s.

For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “career”, “encore career”and  “old age”.


“Career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as an individual’s “course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life)”. It is usually considered to pertain to remunerative work (and sometimes also formal education).The etymology of the term comes from the Latin word carrera, which means race (as in “rat race”, see Chttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Careerareerism).(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)

Encore career

Encore career is a term used to describe work in the second half of life that combines continued income, greater meaning and social impact. These are paid positions often in public interest fields such as education, the environment, health, government sector, social services and other nonprofits. The recent introduction of encore fellowships seeks to open up access to such encore career opportunities to both mid-life careerists and social purpose organizations.This term was first made popular by Marc Freedman, the CEO of Civic Ventures in his book Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life.[1] Popular use of the term:Nicholas Kristof, writing in the New York Times, notes that Bill Gates’ switch to working full-time for his foundation “is part of a booming trend: the ‘encore career’ as a substitute for retirement. Definitions are still in flux, but an encore career typically aims to provide a dose of personal satisfaction by ‘giving back.’” [2] Writes Kristof: “If more people take on encore careers…the boomers who arrived on the scene by igniting a sexual revolution could leave by staging a give-back revolution. Boomers may just be remembered more for what they did in their 60s than for what they did in the Sixties.” Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman cites Al Gore as a “poster child, the model for what Marc Freedman calls the ‘encore career.’ The head of Civic Ventures, a think tank promoting civic engagement as the second act for boomers, Freedman says, ‘Gore found himself by losing himself – literally losing – and being liberated from ambition, the idea that there’s a particular ladder you have to scurry up and if you don’t make it to the top it’s all over. Essentially he found a different ladder.’” [3](Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encore_career

Old Age

Old age (also referred to as one’s eld) consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle. Euphemisms and terms for old people include seniors (American usage), senior citizens (British and American usage) and the elderly. As occurs with almost any definable group of humanity, some people will hold a prejudice against others — in this case, against old people. This is one form of ageism.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_age

Bonus fact #1: Historical changes

By the late 20th century a plethora of choices (especially in the range of potential professions) and more widespread education had allowed it to become possible to plan (or design) a career: in this respect the careers of the career counselor and of the career advisor have grown up. It is also not uncommon for adults in the late 20th/early 21st centuries to have dual or multiple careers, either sequentially or concurrently. Thus, professional identities have become hyphenated or hybridized to reflect this shift in work ethic. Economist Richard Florida notes this trend generally and more specifically among the “creative class”.

Bonus fact #2: Different concepts of career

The traditional concept of career has been concerned with progression up an ordered hierarchy within an organisation or profession.[1]

Career refers to an individual’s work and life roles over their lifespan. This version of a career makes it clear that people can progress through their career horizontally as well as vertically.[1]

Bonus fact #3: Supporting careers

Career Assessments are tests that come in a variety of forms and rely on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Career Assessments can help individuals identify and better articulate their unique interests, values, and skills. Career counselors, executive coaches, career development centers, and outplacement companies often administer career assessments to help individuals focus their search on careers that closely match their unique personal profile.

Career counseling advisors assess people’s interests, personality, values and skills, and also help them explore career options and research graduate and professional schools. Career counseling provides one-on-one or group professional assistance in exploration and decision making tasks related to choosing a major/occupation, transitioning into the world of work or further professional training. The field is vast and includes career placement, career planning, learning strategies and student development.(Source:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Career)



In 2008, Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., conducted a survey of 3,500 Americans ages 44 – 70 (commissioned by Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation) about their interest in encore careers. The Encore Career Survey [4] found that 5.3 to 8.4 million of those surveyed are now in encore careers. “The survey results suggest that the number of people choosing encore careers could grow rapidly. Of those not already in encore careers, half say they are interested in moving into jobs in such fields as education, health care, government, and the nonprofit sector. A companion survey [5] found that half of nonprofit employers find hiring encore workers “highly appealing.” Those with experience hiring older adults are most enthusiastic about doing it again.
“What if, over time, 100,000 people interested in encore careers were persuaded to launch 10-year encore careers? That would mean one million years of service dedicated to areas like education, poverty, and the environment,” writes Marc Freedman in an essay written for the Encore Career Survey. “What if we could persuade a million more to do so? Applying this human talent and experience to the big challenges of our time could be as profound a contribution as those made possible by new technologies or even massive infusions of philanthropic dollars.” (Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encore_career

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: 2010 pension reform strikes in France

The 2010 pension reform strikes in France are a series of ongoing general strikes and demonstrations in France which have occurred during September, October and November 2010.

They have involved union members from both the private and public sectors protesting in cities, including BordeauxLilleLyonMarseilleParisToulouse and Strasbourg, against a proposal by the French government to raise the normal retirement age for public pensions from 65 to 67 and early reduced pensions from age 60 to 62, which the Assemblée nationalehas approved,[1] while temporary pre-crisis taxes cuts are maintained for the benefit of the richest individuals and companies, and top government officials are subject to an ongoing corruption inquiry.[2] Those who object to the changes say the poorest will be most affected by them.[3]

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Saturday Night Live

In May 2010, White became the oldest person to guest-host Saturday Night Live, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award.
(Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_White

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #3: Honorary forest ranger

“WASHINGTON, November 9, 2010 — Betty White’s lifelong dedication to protecting wilderness and wildlife was recognized today when the U.S. Forest Service proclaimed her an honorary forest ranger.” (Source: USDA Forest Service) http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2010/releases/11/betty-white.shtml

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #4:  Betty White plays football on candy bar ad

An extract of the dilaogue is:

“[Football Player Man – Two] …You(‘re) playing like Betty White, out there!

[Football Player Betty White]…That’s not what your girlfriend says.”

(Source: http://lybio.net/snickers-football-player-betty-white-game-2010/commercials/)


One of my all-time favorite sitcom shows was “The Golden Girls”.  Along with Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan, the show was immensely successful and it ran for a long stretch from 1985 through 1992. I watched the show religiously.  Even with my busy schedule, I always found time to enjoy the great comedy. Without fail, I found it hilarious and entertaining.

I have always worked full-time. Sometimes I wish I had furthered my education. I always wanted to improve my career. But I had another important job: I raised a family too. My daughters were my priority.  I had to be there for them.  I was the soccer-mom – running after work to drive them to their activities, piano lessons, Italian school, swimming lessons, etc. Some people called me super-mom.  I was so busy- it was hard. Once my kids had grown, the focus was for me to excel at work. I started to analyze my career. At this point, I was promoted to a better position.  After a few years and having come to a point where I could retire from my workplace, I was itching for my next challenge. I knew that I still wanted to work and be productive. I believed that a second career was in the cards for me. Alas, an opportunity to become a blogger came my way; and I must say: ” I’m enjoying it immensely.”

THE AUTHOR: Betty White

“Betty Marion White was born on January 17, 1922 in Illinois.  She is a woman of many talents – actress, comedian, author and former game-show host.  Her parents later moved to Los Angeles, California during the Great Depression and she attended high school in Beverly Hills.  Betty White was best known for her roles in the Mary Tyler Moore show as sue Ann Nivens and of course the popular show The Golden Girls as Rose Nylund.  She began her television career 3 months after high school but when the World War II broke out she joined the American Women’s Voluntary Services.  Her roles as Sue-Ann Nivins on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls were her  most recognized and popular roles. She began her television career 1939 till present.  White had three husbands:  Dick Barker (1945); Lane Allen (1947–1949) and Allen Ludden (1963–1981) (his death).” (Source/Fact source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)



Some books authored by Betty White are:

  • Betty White’s Pet-Love: How Pets Take Care of Us (1983) (With Thomas J. Watson)
  • Betty White In Person (1987)
  • The Leading Lady: Dinah’s Story (1991) (With Tom Sullivan)
  • Here We Go Again: My Life In Television (1995)

THE BOOK: “Here We Go Again: My Life In Television” by Betty White

Betty’s career and life and the progression of TV are intertwined. She got her start in Hollywood on television in 1949 and for 46 years has been a recognizable actress and star of the medium. The shows, on which she appeared were hugely successful. Her quirky roles made her memorable. There was flakey Sue Ann on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the quaint, well-grounded Rose on The Golden Girls. She has also been on four, count them, Betty White Shows. Her personal life also included TV. Her late husband, Allen Ludden, was a successful game show host. Her sugar and spice and sheer plunk made her a hero of many. Her book takes us behind the camera. She has made us all TV insiders. More, she has made us all good friends sharing her experiences: the good with the not so good. The book can be described as like hanging out with Betty. Thank you mate. Quick pass the clicker!


I see Betty White as the little engine that became a locomotive. I also see her as the entertainer regardless of age, who has stayed fresh and relevant. She is the poster person for those 60 something, with the credo, YOU CAN! Here’s a woman who has maintained a full-time successful career, finding new audiences, even after all of these years; and this 88 years young wiz-kid is still going strong.

I was told about the Keep Going® Award.” The web site asks: “Are you proud of someone who always does a good job? Did someone you know reach a milestone or achievement? Does someone in your life need encouragement and support?  Show them you care by printing or emailing a Keep Going® Award.” (Source: http://www.energizer.com/energizer-bunny/Pages/keep-going-award.aspx)

Accordingly, I recognize BETTY WHITE, 88, with her ‘never quit’ spirit*; and in behalf of all of her fans everywhere, I give her this award. It is well deserved and very appropriate.

My personal comments

I am spiritual.   I believe:

  • That life is a gift. It is NOT more valuable when you are younger. It is equally precious as we age.  It is NOT something to waste.
  • That we were each put on this world with a destiny. It is up to each person to fulfill it.
  • That there is joy out there for each of us.  It is up to each person to find it.
  • That we each have one or more purposes in life. It is up to each person to discover what it is and then to make it happen.
  • That we each must NOT be idle; instead, we must look to the needs and well- being, not only of ourselves, but also, of our family, community, nation and our fellow man worldwide. It is up to each person to figure out what that is and to do it!
  • That as we get older, perhaps we have health issues, are slower and tend to be more sedentary. However, we are also wiser and we know that the glass is half full!
  • That work is good for everyone, regardless, whether as a volunteer or paid, whether as an employee or a consultant, whether full time or part time, whether done at home or at a workplace, etc.
  • That being productive makes us feel good, gives us a sense of satisfaction and self-worth; and I want that for each one of you.

The point

We each have a contribution to make in our interest and also for others. Betty White is my inspiration. She spurs me on. In turn, I hope to spur you all out there in Internetland to accomplish your personal best.  Here are some suggestions:

1. Try your hardest at work … always;

2. Believe in yourself – you are uniquely you!

3. Take advantage of training and re-training opportunities, this in order to work better and open doors; indeed, doing your job more efficiently is a door opener!

4.  Make the move to climb the ladder at the right time in your life;

5. Make a change in career, when and if the time is right – you can do it!

6. Make retirement your personal rennaissance;  with this in mind,

  • Re-career if paid work is still for you.
  • Make fitness and good diet a priority: learn about it and participate!
  • Take interest courses to better yourself.
  • Volunteer at a local hospital, church or religious facility, etc.
  • Join a charitable association and help make things happen!
  • Discover your home town, state/province , country, etc.:  its special sites, history and most of all,  its future!
  • Be a regular at your local library.
  • Travel to the extent possible, taking into account your health and pocketbook.
  • Find time to play – all work and no play makes for a dull person.

Let’s go!

P.S. If you can, please tell me about your new adventures.  I am truly interested.

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 14th, 2010 at 9:51 pm and is filed under Seniors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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