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Nothing Retiring about Today's Retirees

by Hannah Bowser on 2017-10-23T10:17:00-04:00 | Comments

by Heather Hall, Library Assistant, Main Library



The image of the “rocking chair retiree” is a thing of the distant past. If you do happen to see someone “of a certain age” rocking away on their charming front porch, it is most likely because he or she is in between yoga sessions, downloading a new ebook  or having a cup of coffee before heading off to the latest installment of paid or voluntary work…….Maybe the person in the rocking chair is actually the frazzled son or daughter of a retiree. It can be exhausting trying to catch up with a parent who is so seldom at home.

 Although I am not retired, I do know quite a few retirees. Amazing people, one and all! I know a gentleman that builds homes with Habitat for Humanity. He also works with an organization that does people’s taxes free of charge. I know a woman who works on a committee that advises our local WAVE bus system regarding customer needs. She is also a museum docent and a literacy tutor. Wow. 

 I love to watch my retiree neighbors. They school around the streets on polka-dotted bicycles, on speedy golf carts, and on slick, low-sprawling recumbent bikes. Many walk well ahead of winded and bewildered looking pets. All of these retired folks would likely wear me out in an hour.

“Oh, how I wish I had that energy!,” I say to myself, just as I do when I see a child zooming around with Secretariat-like freshness. So, are retirees getting younger? Healthier? Wealthier? Maybe the fountain of youth does exist, and retirees just don’t want to share the discovery with the rest of us?

What can the library offer to explain this phenomenon? Are you a pre-retiree who hopes to learn the secret to an enlivened retirement?  Want to know what motivates and defines today’s retired adults?  Take a look at the following resources to get new ideas, a new attitude, and a few good laughs.


Films on Demand

Retirees in the Workplace: A 78-year-old grandfather works 24 hours a week at Borders Books. A retired doctor likes the stimulation of the job and feels it keeps him young. This film samples the very full work lives of seniors and examines the many reasons why older people remain in the work force.



An attractive, easy to use library of information about productive activities that are available to help retirees lead stimulating and fulfilling lives. 365 Ways... includes suggestions for how a retiree can become involved in education, environmental activities, competitive sports, volunteering, politics, hobbies, and international travel.






It's not just Florida anymore! This definitive step-by-step guide helps anyone to find, relocate, and save on a home away from home.







Ideal for retirees, soon-to-be retirees, displaced workers, the unretired and those who always dreamed of owning their own business, BoomerPreneurs, How Baby Boomers Can Start Their Own Business, Make Money and Enjoy Life, is reader-friendly guide for Baby Boomers who are looking for life on their own terms after years in corporate America. BoomerPreneurs follows a four-step process to identify a business that fits their needs as well as the needs of today’s marketplace.




A former writer for David Letterman's show recounts his decision to retire from big-city life in his mid-twenties, his relocation to South Florida, and his humorous experiences with the older retired crowd that comprised his new neighbors. An unusual and hilarious read!








75-year-old retired cabinetmaker Thomas Gerrin (Jack Lemmon) has been a widower for three years, during which time his well-meaning children have insisted upon treating him as a helpless invalid. Determined to prove that the spark of life still burns within him, Thomas impulsively cashes his most recent pension check and heads off for California to touch base with an old flame (Betty Garrett) whom he hasn't seen in fifty years. En route, he befriends a free-spirted young graduate student named Leanne Bossert (Sarah Paulson). Both agree that any sort of romance would be out of the question: Nonetheless, Leanne is the catalyst for Thomas' new lease on life--and as his children frantically search for their fugitive dad, the May-December "odd couple" encounter all manner of breathtaking adventures and colorful characters.



A German miner is forced into early retirement and falls into a monotonous routine until he comes across Cajun zydeco music on the radio. His friends send him to the United States as a representative at a German folk festival, and he visits Louisiana for an adventure of a lifetime.






Three elderly men savor the perks of retirement by participating in youthful hijinks that betray their outward appearance. As Dave (David Vanderwal) rues the thought of spending his golden years with his sensible wife, lonely Britt (Britton Crosley) dabbles in online dating and suave Bob (Bob Burkholder) begins writing his memoirs.






If you are retired, we know you are busy, but make some time to enjoy the many retirement resources that are available here at New Hanover County Library.


And don't forget about Gale Courses! The library offers free classes in a wide variety of subjects.


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