Aging Options

Strong community ties start with multiple generations being engaged

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By the time you’ve worked three or more decades the idea of retiring sounds pretty good.  But, the question Marc Freedman asks is do you really want to make that leap from going 100 miles an hour every day to a full time life of leisure for now until forever?  Freedman is the CEO and founder of, an organization that promotes careers in retirement so he might be biased.  Still, I’ve met retirees that by the end of their first week in retirement have already signed up for 40 hours of volunteer work a week because a) they’ve already driven their significant other up the wall or b) they’re bored.

Freedman argues that for the last 50 years or so, America has pursued an age segregation mentality.  For people who suddenly find themselves within a community with no opportunity for engagement with other generations, an important door closes.  He argues that being the social animals we are, the more we become aware of our own mortality the stronger our need to connect with younger generations.  To successfully age, Freedman calls for us to approach our housing decisions in later life through a lens that embraces many generations.

How about you?  Are you contemplating life in a community of elders only or are you thinking about ways in which you can continue to play a role in the growth of the next generation?  How did you go about the decision process and if you’ve been at for awhile what do you like or not like?  What would you change and what would you keep?

Here’s Freedman’s article and his thoughts about staying engaged with other generations.

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