Boomers Choosing Different Life Changes

Written by Jon Sindell

Make sure you have a life before leaving your job, or you may find you miss those morning meetings.thinking of your lifestyle before you retire

"I don't want to retire like my grandparents," says Lin Menary, a 47-year-old San Franciscan who is packing it all in, literally, and moving to the lovely little California Gold Country town of Twain Harte. "I figure, why not make retirement an adventure?"

Rehearsal Advice For Retirement:
Professor Sapp of the University of Miami encourages tomorrow's retirees to become the human capital of the future by embracing volunteerism.
Why wait? Here are some ways to jump in the volunteer labor pool now:
Build housing for the needy with the nonprofit Habitat For Humanity.
Help the Sierra Club restore wilderness areas.
Retirement Planning Advice
Find Your Sanctuary Outdoors  

It will be an uncertain adventure for Menary is trading the security of a steady job in real estate for the pleasure of a new life selling crafts and furniture decorated in the painting style she cultivated over six years as a hobbyist. And it will be a family adventure; husband Brad, 49, is chucking a steady job in sales to build the furniture Lin's brushwork will grace. 

They are not alone in looking forward to a new kind of retirement. Chris Kelly, editor of Active Times Magazine, says that baby boomers are generally eager for retirement, and small wonder: Unlike previous generations whose members often fell off an emotional cliff at retirement (think Death Of A Salesman), many of us think of ourselves as well-rounded and expect to, well, party forever. 

But some experts think we need a reality check. 

Kelly questions whether people in his generation are emotionally ready for retirement. "I suspect the generation ahead of them, today's retirees, is actually better prepared. They seem to be able to balance being active with the calm pleasure of just living. I don't think baby boomers have ever learned to be calm about anything." 

Professor Stephen Sapp of the University of Miami tells Miami Magazine that our generation tends to fantasize what retirement will be like, without factoring in the one consideration we stubbornly suppress: We will be older then. 

Then what's someone living in the fast lane to do? 

"Slow down," says Kelly, a self-confessed editorial type who is preparing for her own retirement by taking up such physical activities of mountain biking, horseback riding and golf. 

Brad and Lin Menary also agree with Kelly and have been unconsciously prepared for their new-style retirement by pursuing hobbies that will soon enable them to build a new life. And in the beautiful hills of the California Gold Country, they will definitely be able to heed the advice of singer songwriter Jackson Browne, to "take it easy."

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