Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055

Retirement May Translate into a New Beginning

The fact is people are living longer. Dad riding bicycle 6/17/11

Attributable to greater health awareness, nutrition and modern medicines, a variety of sources tell me that women are living until their early 80's, while men trail a few years behind them. What to do with all that time?

It used to be that retirement signaled an end to your working years. After 40+ years on the job, often with one company, you were sent on your way with a party and perhaps, a gold watch. But times have changed.

You may well have another 15 or 20 years to fill after the age of 65, and you may require and relish the idea of additional income. Maybe, bocce ball and endless card games are not your cup of tea and you'd like to concentrate on what you always pursued as a hobby. You could never do it before; it didn't pay the bills during the years you were busy raising your family. But now, your family's needs are fewer and your personal living requirements are more modest.  It's now or never. You may, as an increasing number of people have, decide to dedicate your remaining years to your lifelong avocation. (see below for Youtube commercial on man who loves to build birdhouses.)

Lately, it's become very trendy to feature seniors diving out of airplanes or bungee jumping (as well it should be.) It's quite an impressive sight to see! However, it's important to realize that not everyone makes it to old age in perfect physical health or strong financial condition. If you're lucky enough to get there with just a minimal amount of complaints, then, perhaps, you should take this opportunity to reinvent yourself.

A new book by Marc Freedman called "The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife" has this to say:  "We can see a wave of creativity coming out of a segment of the population that's been disregarded or cut off prematurely for decades." He continues, "We're starting to realize people at this stage can offer innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity, assets we once thought were the exclusive province of young people."

Of course, in other cultures, elders are often valued for their experience and wisdom. In America, youth and beauty have long been revered. We would require a paradigm shift in order to appreciate that the senior years are just another stage in life and one, that could conceivably bear, a considerable amount of talent, intelligence, and know-how in navigating world affairs.


Life expectancy in the U.S.

"The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife"

Cheerios commercial for man who loves building birdhouses


"Dad riding a bicycle" courtesy of woodleywonderworks' photostream via's Creative Commons License




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©Jill Sackler 2010


Comments (9)

Kathleen Vetrano
RE/MAX Gateway - Falls Church, VA
Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams

Jill,  You have an excellent post here.  Seniors are indeed redefining their senior years and it is surely evolving.  It is the state of mind and of course health. Seniors have so much wisdom and knowledge they have gained and in my opinion-  it is the third phase of living.  It is a time to dream and embrace a new beginning and live to the fullest doing everything you want to do....and perhaps doing those things you used to do!

Jun 17, 2011 06:32 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Jill,  Retirement.....  What's that???  I don't know if I will ever get there.  This guy looks like he is enjoying life.  He has his bike all sooped up.  I think it is probably a good thing that it is not a motor cycle.

Jun 17, 2011 07:16 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Thank you so much, Kathleen. I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

Jun 17, 2011 07:23 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Belinda, with all the hours you're used to putting in, you'll probably never get around to slowing down.  That could be a good thing.

Jun 17, 2011 08:14 AM
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

As youth and beauty live longer into old age and wrinkles, with more disposable income, companies will sit up and take notice. Just look at the number of oldies stations on the radio and television!

Jun 17, 2011 11:47 AM
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Jill, I agree especially as I have witnessed it in my family. And today people are trying to stay fitter and active and that keeps them going. Just the other day I saw an older lady in the grocery store, and she told me she still shops, drives, and is 91 years old!

Jun 17, 2011 12:32 PM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jill, Great post! I see lot's of seniors at my gym working out..and believe me when I say they could run circles around me! I remember taking a step class and this woman in front of me had to be in her 70's..maybe older and every time I thought about taking a "breather" I would just think...ok..if she can do this, so can I! She was for sure my motivation! I love that things are changing. As the boomers are now entering into this phase, I would suspect the damands for things will be a bit different and many places will need to respond to these.

Jun 18, 2011 08:05 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Eric, they've already taken notice. There's no shortage of information, incentives, stories etc. online, print or anywhere else. A lot of what they're building around here is aimed at the 55+ demographic.

Jun 19, 2011 01:52 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Ellen - 90 is the new 60?

Cindy - That's exactly what's going on. The generation that never wanted to get old is aging.  Now, they're demanding improvements in society in a way which has never been seen before. In other words, they're not going down quietly.

Jun 19, 2011 01:55 AM