My husband and I are empty nesters. Over these past few years, as blog readers know, we helped to support his parents, now deceased. These days we regularly touch base with my parents by phone and in person as often as possible, and though they are currently independent and active, at times they welcome our help.
Now we, too, are also beginning to think about retirement, and it’s never far from our thoughts. Even with no specific deadlines and daily jobs we really like, even as time passes in a relaxed sort of way, we find ourselves imagining the next developmental stage of our lives. What will we do? Will we work part-time? How about ushering some evenings at theatres? Will we be able to travel as much as we want? Oh, and how will our financial resources hold out?
The proprietors over at the Inside Aging Parents blog, and especially Bill Shanks, are writing some interesting posts about the beginning of retirement and the necessary decision-making, and their thoughts address many of my questions. If you, too, are beginning to think about this late-in-life developmental stage, I encourage you to head on over there and check out Bill’s posts.
I’ve just read the post, Two New Green House Stories, over at Allen Power’s blog. His post tells a story that illustrates how Green House® “at home” expectations and environment make an enormous qualitative difference for an aging senior. And be sure to read far enough along to get to the mattress anecdote — it ‘s a hoot.
I’m pretty excited about what’s about to happen at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC), where my parents currently live in a cottage. On January 5, 2011, two months plus a few days away, VMRC will break ground for Woodland Park, the site for its new Green House® homes. I’ll be attending the groundbreaking ceremony.
Right now the construction site is a large meadow, and what is most noticeable are the large number of trees still standing after demolition. I plan to post lots of pictures as the Woodland Park construction proceeds.
Here’s the floor plan. Click on the image to make it larger.
Read 10 Reasons Seniors Continue to Work, in Us News and World Report. While earning money is the top reason people continue to work, the October 7, 2010 article points out that other reasons, such as staying intellectually sharp and keeping active are significant. Interesting to me is reporter Philip Moeller’s comment, “If work isn’t satisfying, older employees are likely to seek different jobs or, increasingly, strike out in entrepreneurial ventures where they can work for themselves.”
Amazing that even as we fight to recover from the worst recession and the highest unemployment rate in years, many people still think positively about work — in terms of satisfaction, intellectual stimulation, and interaction with other people. Moreover, it will also be fascinating to observe how the working trends change the way people transition into the what we think of as traditional retirement.