Lifelong Learning Takes on Another Life
April 12, 2021
Hosted by Ron Roel
As people head toward their traditional retirement years, they often feel conflicting emotions: Part relief and excitement to be done with day-to-day work; and part apprehension, wondering, “What will I do with myself? Sure, I have a few hobbies and grandchildren, and I’d like to travel, but will this be enough to keep me engaged for long?” About 10 years ago, Ed Schwartz, a retired human resources executive, faced these questions and discovered PEIR, Personal Enrichment in Retirement, an organization whose members are passionate about lifelong learning. This approach to learning has become a hot topic in recent years, as research studies have found that continued cognitive engagement is one of the keys to leading a longer and healthier life. And, of course, online learning and virtual workshops have exploded in response to the pandemic. But in today’s conversation, Ed, who is currently chairperson of PEIR, will talk about how PEIR has evolved over 40-plus years as a highly successful and resilient group whose members are not just the audience, but the creators and presenters of all their subject matter. Ed will explain how PEIR has adapted its administration and structure to an online environment. He will be joined by several other call-in members, who will offer examples of the group’s wide offerings. It may be an unusual model for lifelong learning—but perhaps a new model for other enterprising retirees around the country.
Monday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
Thanks to advances in medicine and health, most of us are just at half-life when we reach our mid-40s, with many potentially productive years ahead. But there’s no road map to prepare us for this period. That’s where 45 Forward comes in.
My show provides you with strategies to shift the traditional waiting-for-retirement model to a journey of compelling life chapters. Each show tackles an aspect of health, finance, family and friends, housing, work and personal pursuits as part of an integrated plan. Experts discuss topics like revitalizing relationships, creating mini-retirements, managing the maze of technology, finding your next homestead and caring for aging parents.
The show instills confidence, and hopefully some comfort, amid the stresses permeating today’s society. Fear of the future is not knowing how to prepare for it. 45 Forward does not proffer prefabricated answers, but helps you shape your life amid the daily anxieties of our time.
I’m a veteran journalist who spent a wide-ranging career covering business, politics and social issues, the last two decades focusing on the blend of diverse life skills I call successful aging.
I have written extensively on aging topics, spoken at conferences, radio and TV shows, and launched several entrepreneurial ventures, discovering along the way that the path to aging well also requires an unexpected entrepreneurial vision. I spent 20 years as a writer and editor at Long Island’s daily newspaper, Newsday, helping to found Act 2, a weekly section for 50-plus readers. I created Roelresources.com, a website offering practical advice and inspirational essays for people ages 40 and above. I have been a volunteer and consultant to AARP Long Island, writing articles, advocating for seniors, and developing action plans for the AARP Age-Friendly Communities initiative.
I am active in programs and organizations that support seniors, such as the National Aging In Place Council and the Senior Umbrella Network. I have developed a special expertise in family caregiving, as one of four brothers who took care of their mother for almost 25 years. I regularly collaborate with many professionals who provide services and support for older Americans, and I am completing a book for caregivers on Long Island, “The Caregiving Navigator/How to Plan, What to do, and Where to Turn When Caring for you Aging Loved Ones. And Yourself,” scheduled for publication in early 2021.