The Time of Our Life: The Emotional Roller-Coaster of Retirement
November 22, 2021
Hosted by Ron Roel
Retirement is dead. Long live retirement! For many Americans these days, traditional retirement, as we’ve known it, is gone—or disappearing. We no longer work for one employer for decades, then leave the workforce with a pension, kick back and relax. At least not all the time. For one thing, we’ve living much longer, so many retirees need to think beyond filling their days with a lot of golf. But how to reimagine about this chapter of life, a time of both vulnerability and opportunity—and Covid? In today’s episode, Carol Waldman, who retired (sort of) from a long career managing a large senior center, and Vicki Ellner, who started to retire from a wide-ranging career in health care and patient advocacy and decided to “rewire” instead, thought better of it, talk about the roller-coaster of emotions as they navigate their so-called retirement years. Carol and Vicki talk about the vulnerability of losing one’s work identity, the stress and anxiety of feeling a lack of control. At the same time, this can be the most open part of life, a sense of never feeling so free, with no set plans and restraints on our time—except that there’s ultimately less of it. Long-time friends and colleagues, Vicki and Carol talk about their individual searches for meaning and purpose, finding new experiences and ways to give the most and get the most out of this sometimes-strange place in life. Retirement can be a time of dealing with grief and grievances; acknowledging loss and letting go of things. Yet, it also allows us to become more of who we are, to find new space for joy and enjoyment in our lives. And as we transform retirement from a time of sheer leisure to one of renewed activity, we need to find ways to rebalance ourselves and make sure we’re not so busy in retirement that we long to go back to work!
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.