Amava is working to empower a new generation of tech-enabled individuals to make successful transitions to purposeful, socially engaged post-career and post-parenting lives. We’re going for a redefinition and a renewal of what retirement means. We think of it as the fashioning of a portfolio life where a person can earn, learn, give back and explore according to individual needs and preferences.
Where the Idea Came From
Our co-Founders read an article written by Laura Carstensen, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity about the significance of the transition from work and parenting for the Baby Boomer generation—just the sheer numbers and some of the implications. Our future CEO got fired up, went over to Stanford and talked to her about the large-scale issues—loss of identity, loneliness and isolation. Carstensen told him these concerns could impact people’s health as much as heart disease, obesity or having smoked their entire lives. When he looked at some of the solutions out there, he saw that they were focused on practical, but not preventative; they weren’t about trying to find a purposeful set of activities for people during retirement. By nature, our CEO is attracted to large, complex systemic problems, so he decided to take up the challenge and work with folks at the Stanford Center of Longevity and the Distinguished Career Institute and bring together experienced people from the tech world and the consumer world to try to figure out a way to address the problem for people on a large scale. He realized that while the issues are complex and the scale is massive, the solution is just about providing people with a compendium of quality opportunities. Conceptually straight-forward, though complicated to deliver.
How We Deliver
We built a platform designed to connect our Members with socially engaging experiences and life-stage focused services to earn, learn, give back and more provided by a select group of partners and Members themselves. Now, we’re growing our community and our partner base. We have a variety of Circles, which are a great resource for social engagement.
Who are Amava Members?
It’s more about stage than age. Sure, there’s a correlation between people who are finishing up their careers and looking for a more balanced life whose kids have left home and those who are anywhere from the mid-forties to mid-seventies, but an Amava Member can be anyone who is looking to start something new or has free time to fill for whatever the reason. We’re here to help our Members avoid what is sometimes referred to as the isolation epidemic by showing them they can experiment with opportunities–a Flexible Job or a Volunteer Gig or maybe some group edutravel experience or a Game Night–so they can find the right balance and new groups of people to spend time with.
What Kinds of Opportunities Are You Talking About?
We don’t judge what our Members are looking for in terms of paid or unpaid work or what they’re interested in. We just try to deliver a wide array of opportunities. Work can be part-time or full-time: everything from Board positions to executive mentoring to tour guiding to working as a barista. Some people want to build on their expertise, and some want to try something totally new. About 70% of our Members will have to find some incremental paid work to make it through their 25-30 years of retirement. But we also want to help people find meaningful things to do if augmenting their income isn’t the top concern. Those things include Volunteer Gigs, like leading national charities, volunteering at community nonprofits and continuing education. Across the site, one of the most popular things people look at is combining travel with work, volunteering or continuing education.