The more I read about retirement the more I learn how complex the non-financial issues are. There is a lot
more to the transition than just stopping work, having fun, and minding your money. Because of this, a number of universities have established programs specifically to research the retirement process. Most of these programs publish the results of their research. Some go beyond that by offering workshops and seminars to help baby boomers mentally and emotionally prepare for all facets of retirement. I want to mention several of these academic programs that I have looked at for helpful information.
North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement
One of the most prominent programs is located at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement was founded to fulfill a mission it describes as follows:
NCCCR was established in 1988 as an integral part of UNC Asheville with the threefold purpose of providing today’s accomplished adult with opportunities for lifelong learning, leadership and community service, each combined with the fellowship of peers sharing a common quest for continued growth and service to others.
Center participants help to set annual objectives and implement programs through the Center Steering Council in collaboration with NCCCR’s professional staff. The center draws financial support from public funding, private fees, consulting services, gifts and foundation grants.
For the past 20 years, the Center has hosted its “Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend” on the UNCA campus. During the weekend, attendees can participate in various break-out sessions, workshops, and lectures offered by experts in practical and emotional retirement issues. There are also tours offered of the area for those interested in possibly retiring in that part of the country. In the past, there have been approximately 150 attendees from 26 different states. I’m going to look into this more because it sounds worthwhile for boomers like us who are thinking a lot about retirement but are still a few years away from starting the transition.
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
The Center for Retirement Research is a tremendous resource for comprehensive, cutting edge data on primarily the financial and work aspects of retirement. This is how the Center describes its mission:
The Center provides decision makers in the public and private sectors with critical information to better understand the issues facing an aging population. The Center’s research program spans the four main areas that affect a household’s retirement income: 1) Social Security; 2) employer-sponsored pension plans; 3) household saving; and 4) labor market trends among older workers.
The Center’s work also goes beyond economics. We seek to understand the human behavior behind individuals’ decisions so that we can focus on solutions that work in practice, not just in theory.
I consult this site periodically to find helpful data on retirement planning. The Center also sponsors seminars and conferences although they are primarily intended for professionals in the field.
University of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community
This academic program focuses more on aging issues than boomer retirement issues. However, these aging issues will become our issues before we know it. In particular, the initiatives on health and working are of interest to all of us. I subscribe to their All Things Aging blog which periodically publishes items of interest to baby boomers.
Lots of state and local governments and unions provide retirement seminars to their employees and members but those are not universally applicable to all baby boomers.
If you are aware of other academic and research programs that offer retirement resources or seminars to boomers, please drop a comment and let me know about it.
Photo credit: Lyndi & Jason