By Audrey Adelson, MSW, WLCP
Retirement means different things to different people. For some, it means playing golf every day or traveling to places that they a have longed to see their entire lives. For others, it means spending time with grandchildren or partaking in hobbies and interests that they never had time to do while they were busy working in their careers. Still, for increasing numbers of people, particularly Baby Boomers, it means working. Some have been forced to change course as a result of a struggling economy or a faltering of investments, while many others want to keep working, but on their own terms.
While many Baby Boomers identify themselves as a spouse, partner, parent, sibling, friend, etc., they also strongly link their identity to what they do professionally. For the first time in history, this is even more of an issue for professional women who have few role models and will create their idea of retirement from scratch. It is true that most Baby Boomers want to spend more time with family, but a significant number would also like to continue working – with flexibility. Boomers want to maintain the income and lifestyle that they are currently living and many have a strong desire to remain involved and make a difference.
This flexible retirement is a new way of thinking. It can be a win-win for everyone including Baby Boomers, their families and employers if planned and executed with the right amount of forethought. The Emory WorkLife Resource Center has compiled some resources to help you learn more about this New Retirement and for those of you whom may be considering it:
The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College
Atlanta Regional Commission
Unum – Long Term Care Planning
Coming of Age
The Transition Network
Emory’s Emeritus College (primarily for retired Emory faculty and administrators – or those considering it,
but others may find some of their programs useful.)