The New Retirement


In the February/March 2014 issue of the AARP Bulletin they included an article about the changing economic climate and how boomers are needed in the workplace. There was a time where working adults were expected to stop what they were doing, get their gold watch, and amble off into a land of golf and relaxation. Times are changing, though, and not always for the better.

In many cases, boomers can’t afford to quit their jobs. The cost of living has risen so drastically since we entered the workforce and our retirement plans lost a lot of money in the 2007 recession. On top of that, the days of pensions are all but over.

However, the new retirement isn’t just about having to work longer than we anticipated or not being able to go fishing every morning before dawn. When you Google the idea of a “new retirement,” the internet still thinks we want to know what city to live in or the retirement communities in our area.

Here is the catch.

We, the boomers, are the only people who can change what it means to be retired. Or not retired. We can be or do whatever we want and change the entire conversation for generations to come.

Can you imagine yourself in a traditional retirement community? If you could, you probably wouldn’t be here on this blog. So what can you do to ensure you have a different life from your own parents?

If you’re here you probably already have an interest in living in community with others. This might be a shared home, a cohousing situation, or something else entirely. You want to build a network with other like-minded elder adults. And you want to maintain autonomy in your own life. We’re not asking for much.

Here are three questions you can ask yourself today to determine what your “new retirement” will look like.

  1. Why? Why is retirement a concern in your life? Why do you want to live in community? Why don’t you want to have a conventional experience?
  2. Who? Are there people you would like to get involved with your future? Friends, relatives, partners? How can you begin to build your network?
  3. Where? What kind of place do you envision your future? Do you know the city? Do you know the kind of house? It is a big, shared house? Is it a community of tiny homes?

The sky is the limit so start thinking about what you want and make it happen.

Marianne Kilkenny is an author and facilitator in the Women for Living in Community movement. Her book, Your Quest for Home, can help you ask and answer these questions and provide practical steps for getting started.



Image by woodlywonderworks via Flickr

Women For Living in Community