This page contains information and links that may be helpful to those seeking to stay engaged
with life in retirement. The content is updated and added to periodically (I would like to say
"regularly" but "periodically" is more accurate).
My BLOG (click here to access) also focuses on staying engaged in retirement but I reserve the
right to go off topic if the spirit so moves me.
Special for Mother's Day
The Successful Retirement Guide Kindle Edition will be available at the special price of 99 cents
on Amazon during Mother's Day weekend.
Volunteering provides us with opportunities to make a difference, to give back, to help others in
need. It takes many forms from fairly structured assignments to informal helping of neighbors.
With older adults living longer and healthier, many are looking for volunteer opportunities in their
post-work lives. There are many non-profit organizations, churches, hospitals, schools looking
for help. Fortunately there are also groups and web sites to help bring the volunteers and those
who need them together. Here's a list of websites to get you started:
American Red Cross
Corporation for National and Community Service
Executive Service Corps
Habitat for Humanity
Humane Society of the United States
Literacy Volunteers of America
March of Dimes
USA Freedom Corps
Volunteers in Medicine
Volunteers of America
MySpace, Facebook and the like have become the rage for social networking on the web as well as
for demonstrating dance moves and musical talents, politicking, proselytizing, marketing and similar
purposes. The content is as diverse as human kind.
If you would like to explore social networking/lifestyle sites aimed at folks closer to maturity than to
puberty, the following list of sites and their taglines may be of interest.
Boomer Girl -- Welcome to the Club
BOOMj -- Boomer Nation Lifestyle Network
Boomer Living -- ...enhancing the lives of Active Baby Boomers
BoomSpeak! -- Your whole life's in front of you
Boomer Time -- Having fun...while changing the world
eGenerations.com -- Connect. Learn. Explore.
eldr -- Celebrating aging
eons -- Lovin' life the flip side of 50
Growing Bolder -- no tagline
GrownUps (NZ) -- 50+ Community
Life Two -- ...Midlife Improvement
Maple and Leek (UK) -- Live it up at 50+. Adventures start here...
My Boomer Place -- Like MySpace, but better...for young people over 40
My Primetime -- Personal Trainer for Life
Redwood Age -- Think. Share. Act. Live.
reZOOM.com -- Redefining life for an ageless generation
Second Prime Time -- Where people 50+ connect, create and contribute
Free Language Lessons
There are many reasons to learn a new language. Among them:
• Improving your understanding of literature, film and music.
• Building new friendships.
• Ordering food and beverages.
• Stimulating your brain and helping with conceptualization and flexible thinking.
• Connecting with people and culture when you travel.
• Reading road signs and maps while travelling in other countries.
• It’s fun!
You can begin simply with a basic course to see if you like it. Many towns, schools and colleges
offer introductory or conversational courses. There are also tape, CD and DVD programs as well
as web sites (some of them free). Two free sites you may find helpful are:
This is a broader topic than "successful retirement." We begin to age as soon as we are born
and we all age at the same rate - if you and I are born on the same day, after 23,731 days we are
both 65 years old.
But we may differ substantially on how much we have aged mentally and physiologically. Some
of the difference can be traced to genetics and there isn't much we can do about that (at least yet).
But much of the difference results from the lifestyle choices we have made throughout our lives,
and continue to make as we move into the future. Better lifestyle choices can help us age more
successfully and delay senescence.
John Rowe and Robert Kahn in their book Successful Aging (Pantheon, 1998) define successful
aging as the ability to maintain three key behaviors or characteristics:
1. low risk of disease and disease-related disability;
2. high mental and physical function;
3. active engagement with life.
Another way of putting it is that there are three essential components: physical, mental and social.
There is a plethora of research which demonstrates that to maintain physical well-being we need
to exercise and live healthy life styles. We can also become informed about the physical aging
process – what is normal and what isn’t. It is surprising how little most of us know about what to
expect as we age and what we can do to offset age-related declines.
To maintain mental/cognitive well-being we need to exercise our brains in new and challenging
ways. Ball-room dancing, solving puzzles, learning a foreign language are all excellent activities.
And it is important to note that recent research proves that you can continue to learn and develop
at any age and stage of life. Don’t believe the old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
because you can.
The third component of Rowe & Kahn’s model is that of remaining actively engaged with life.
Remaining socially engaged or meaningfully connected can be harder if you are no longer in the
workforce and your built-in social circle of co-workers is no longer available. There are many ways
to fill that gap, ranging from joining clubs to spending more time with family, taking classes or
volunteering. Many individuals find that in retirement there is now the time for creativity, exploration,
continued learning and for giving back.
What Is Your "Real" Age?
If lifestyle choices can affect the aging process (see section above), is there some way we can
measure the impact our choices make?
At the Real Age website you can fill out a questionnaire and get an answer to the question: " Are
you biologically younger, older or the same as your calendar age?" They will also tell you which
factors are modifying your calendar age in a positive or negative fashion.
You can also sign up to receive e-mails that provide tips on how to modify your lifestyle choices
to help you eat healthier, sleep better, look younger and live longer.