Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 37
 
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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“Retire in 3D” Will Offer Boomers Ways of Viewing the Aging Process

Ellen Gilbert

“Baby boomers have changed the face of every stage of life and now they’re about to retire,” observed Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC) Director Susan Hoskins. “The logical question is, how will they change this one?”

“Retire in 3D!” a PSRC-sponsored program to be held on Saturday, October 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. will take a look at the some of these potential trends with programs that address, among other topics, building sound financial plans, knowing essential legal information, volunteerism, and issues regarding relationships and sex after age 50.

The keynote speaker for this year’s program is Willo Carey, Executive Director of Wider Horizons, a multimedia service developed by WHYY, the public broadcasting service for greater Philadelphia. Wider Horizons was designed “to address the needs and interests of the growing population approaching and in the second half of life — baby boomers planning their retirement or new careers, retirees and active elders, children of aging parents, and the frail homebound.”

Many “boomers” are “in denial” about retirement, Ms. Hoskins wryly noted. “They say, ‘I’m not old.’ They want to continue to work, but maybe not spend 60 hours a week at it. They want to make time for family and travel, but they haven’t done a lot of planning for retirement. Now with the economic downturn, many of them who haven’t saved are imagining that they will have to work forever.”

“Every year we do a fall conference to educate the community on an important aspect of aging,” continued Ms. Hoskins. The theme of the event is often about planning for the future, so this year we decided to focus on a younger demographic and how they are planning to cope with the later stages of the aging process.”

While many people look forward to the pleasures of playing golf and relaxing, Ms. Hoskins observed, retirement sometimes comes as a rude awakening. “You can’t play golf in the wintertime up here, and many people miss having the kinds of responsibilities they enjoyed when they worked. If you used to manage a multi-person office, what are you going to do with that skill now?”

Using one’s accumulated skills is, Ms. Hoskins believes, among the keys to a happy retirement. She cites the example of someone in the area who recently retired and discovered that he is happier as a math tutor than he ever was in 40 years of working in the corporate world.

“It’s not just about financial planning,” said Ms. Hoskins, citing the main concern of most retirees-to-be. “Life after 50 should positive and upbeat. These people are such a fabulous resource.” On a related note, the PSRC’s GrandPals program provides opportunities for retirees to read to, and mentor local elementary school children.

The question of whether or not people will remain in their own homes or move to retirement communities when they retire also looms large. So do issues regarding couples: “We certainly have wives who complain that husbands come home and try to organize them,” commented Ms. Hoskins.

As an added bonus, Ms. Hoskins reported, Community Without Walls’s On Stage Ensemble theater troupe “will start the day with fun scenes on retirement from their own experiences.”

“Retire in 3D,” which will take place at the Suzanne Patterson Center, is free, but preregistration, at (609) 924-7108 is encouraged. Most of the workshops will be offered twice. The program will include refreshments, lunch, and a resource fair. It is, according to Ms. Hoskins, “completely and totally open to anyone who’s interested.”

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