Encore Transitions

For many of us, the next decade will bring beginnings and endings in both work and life, but the path to that future is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Today, retirement is not an event, it's a process that evolves over time, and with foresight and planning, you can create a future that's both fulfilling and secure. 

Begin your journey with LearningLife's Encore Transitions, an interdisciplinary series of courses designed to help you imagine and prepare for a post-career life characterized by vitality, happiness, and healthy longevity. 

Courses begin June 6 and take place at the College of Continuing Education and Conference Center. Take the complete series or individual courses.  

U of M Employees: Please review eligibility and instructions on thePDF iconGuide for U of M Employees.

New in 2017: Encore! Encore! Design Thinking, a follow-up course for those who want to dig deeper.


Encore Transitions: The Series
Tuesdays, June 6, 13, 20, 27 (four meetings), 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $475

Are you thinking about retiring? Changing jobs or careers? Encore Transitions is a series of four courses designed to help you prepare for a successful post-career life by focusing on personal, professional, and social satisfaction, as well as timely financial and health matters. Whether it is through service, learning, a new line of work, or other meaningful activities, Encore Transitions emphasizes post-career engagement as a foundation for vitality, happiness, and healthy longevity. All courses include meals. Take all four courses ($475) or individual courses ($140). No discounts.

Pathways to Post-Career Life
Tuesday, June 6, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $140
Instructors: David Alter, Barbara Hoese, Bill Lindberg, and Catherine Watson

What do we mean when we use the term “encore transition?” What is it and what constitutes an “encore life?” To start, it’s a new stage of life—one that didn’t exist before today’s longevity revolution. In this course you’ll learn how deliberate planning from one stage to the next allows you to tailor your “new” life to your personal circumstances, goals, and talents. Sessions include: The Road to What’s Next; Encore Transition/Encore Life; Internal Compass: Identifying Values, Talents, and Priorities; and The Brain: Engine of Desire.      

Financial Planning for Retirement
Tuesday, June 13, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $140
Instructors: Chris Farrell, Mark Fischer, Karen Ciegler Hansen, Nathan Running, and Andrew Thelander

The idea that retirement means saying goodbye to colleagues for a final time and embracing full-time leisure for the rest of life is fading fast. This is in part due to a series of broad, mutually reinforcing changes in the economy and society—changes that have made an aging population an economic asset like never before. In this course you will survey a host of financial concerns such as Social Security, Medicare, long-term care, and retirement and estate planning. More broadly, you’ll learn why economics guru Chris Farrell believes society will be richer, and living standards higher, if we tap into the knowledge and abilities of older Americans who can and want to work.

Aging Well, Being Well
Tuesday, June 20, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., $140
Instructors: Henry Emmons, Jon Hallberg, Barbara Hoese, and Joel Spoonheim

Contrary to what we read and hear, aging is not a disease, a set of conditions, or an inevitable descent into frailty and dependence. And while there are physical and physiological changes and challenges that come with age, a satisfying longevity is possible if you are health conscious and body aware. This course delves into the many aspects of aging, from longevity, resilience, and purpose, to genetics, physical activity, relationships, community, environment, and more!

Launching Your Future
Tuesday, June 27, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., $140
(Reception 3​–​5 p.m.)​
Instructors: Barbara Hoese and Catherine Watson

There is arguably no nobler or more satisfying quest than to discover your reason for being and how to use it to benefit the world around you. The search for purpose—living a life on purpose—is a quest for uniqueness. However, there are no shortcuts. Living and working on purpose is not easy, nor can it be achieved in a single step. It’s a process that works only if you work it. During this course, you’ll use tools and methods to launch or continue your own quest. You also will hear from people who have either just started a new life journey or who have been at it for some time. Learn what they have to say about the ups and the downs, the rewards and the pitfalls. A closing reception will include resource tables and time to connect with instructors, ET alumni, and fellow students.

The following course is not included in Encore Transitions: The Series.

This course is open only to those who have participated in Encore Transitions (any session, any year 2010−2017). Tuition includes refreshments. No discounts.

Encore! Encore! Design Thinking
Tuesday, July 11, 1−5 p.m., $95
Instructor: Virajita Singh

Once you’ve completed an Encore Transitions course or courses, you may decide you want to dig deeper and develop more specific plans for your envisioned future. In this follow-up course, you’ll use the systematic steps of Design Thinking to plan a personal future that is purposeful, sustainable, and fulfilling. An emerging field, “Design Thinking” takes design concepts out of professional realms and into broader society, and because the process involves collective thinking and taps the creative ideas of the many rather than the few, it’s proven to be beneficial for individuals who are working toward an expansive and/or specific goal, like say, your future!

Comments from Past Participants

The course helped me further develop my plans and think about how I will manage my retirement.

Coming into the course I was thinking I wanted to retire ASAP.  The thought-provoking sessions made me come to realize that I don't want to quit, I just want to have more control of when and where I work.

Interesting and inspiring to hear about the possibilities. And that everyone takes their own path.