Life After Retirement
Adopt a Companion
Service and racetrack dogs have a lot of life left when their careers are over. Because of their specific training and work tasks, they need time and attention. To connect with retired canines, visit: Militaryworkingdogadoptions.com
Waltz across the dance floor or romance the rhythm of the meringue. Ballroom dancing incorporates exercise and social interaction. It builds confidence and maintains coordination. The Ballroom Dance Center off of Evans to Locks Road offers group lessons, private lessons and Friday dances for individuals and couples.
Learn basics of computer use or online applications and cloud computing at the Kroc Center in classes designed for the 65 and older set. First Baptist Church of Augusta offers free computer classes ranging from basic to advanced. For those who fear tackling technology in a group setting, try a service such as Savvy Senior Training that provides one-on-one education and will even send an instructor to your home. Maintain computer skills by attending and participating in events at The Clubhou.se in Augusta.
A spa day benefits the aging body. Stress reduction improves immune functioning. Facials and massages promote circulation and give skin a healthy glow. Kim Kitts, owner of Balanced Body Spa, says that massage can reduce discomfort due to joint, hip and shoulder pain, thus helping senior adults live more active lives. “Regular, good touch improves overall health,” says Kitts.
Earn a Degree
If you are age 62 or older, you may be eligible to enroll in any one of the University System of Georgia’s 35 colleges and universities for FREE. We have a premier health sciences and liberal arts institution—Georgia Regents University— in our own backyard. Call the GRU admissions office for information (706) 737-1408.
Healthy people in their early retirement years can provide a loving home and positive role modeling to a child. Foster care is a temporary arrangement, and the Department of Family and Children Services works with the child’s family so that the child may return to his or her home. There is no maximum age for foster parents, but all applicants are required to undergo a medical exam. Learn more about foster care: https://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/foster-care.
Teach abroad and get paid to spend a year in Europe, Asia or South America. Organizations like Ciee.org and Teachaway.com place prospective candidates in countries such as China, Chile and Spain. General requirements for employment are a bachelor degree in any subject and the flexibility for an extended stay outside the U.S. Teaching abroad is travel with a purpose.
Host an Exchange Student
Exchange student hosts not only provide a home with “parental” oversight for an international youth attending a local high school, they also gain insight into other cultures. It’s a chance to share what you love about the CSRA and America with an eager audience. Check out Hostfamilies.org and Afsusa.org to get started.
In 2012, about 60 percent of the members of the United Inventors Association of America were age 50 and older. Older adults possess insight into problems and their solutions and have a knack for persistence. While making money from an invention is hit or miss, the mental stimulation builds neural connections in the brain. Sites like Quirky.com pool human and financial resources to get great ideas off the ground.
Buy a blank journal that reflects your personality and begin your memoir, your travel diary, your recipe reflections. Visit Pinterest.com for tips on keeping a picture journal. Start a blog via Blogger.com to post narratives and pictures for a public audience or a selected few. Use Mindlogr.com and Podcastmachine.com to create a video or audio journal. Several online sites such as Mixbook and Shutterfly allow users to incorporate their pictures and text into hardbound books. your own.
Spice up retirement. Attend a free Williams-Sonoma Technique class to learn tricks for serving up savory dishes at home, or take food prep to the next level by enrolling at Goodwill’s Helms College. Ignore the old adage about too many cooks spoiling the broth and invite Everyday Gourmet Chef Service in Aiken to bring the classroom to your kitchen for you and friends.
Woodside Plantation in Aiken and Savannah Lakes in McCormick cater to retirees who want the golf community lifestyle. For those wishing to age in place, Elmcroft in Martinez and Brandon Wilde in Evans offer a continuum of care model. If you’re tired of maintaining a large family home, downsize to luxurious apartment living for seniors at Marshall Square Retirement Resort or Washington Commons. Planned neighborhoods throughout the CSRA feature patio homes with one-level living for folks who want to simplify in a multi-generational environment.
Sharing your expertise is a great way to “pay it forward” and to stay connected to your field or industry. Organizations like Score.com and Micromentor.org can hook you up with people seeking advice and encouragement. Mentoring opportunities may also be available through your church, social club, service organization or professional society.
Know the Neighbors
A 2010 Pew Research Internet Project survey revealed that of the respondents in the 65-plus age group, 48 percent know none or only some of their neighbors. Those who don’t know their neighbors are less likely to engage in face-to-face communication with them about community issues. Familiarity with neighbors increases safety and happiness.
Orienteering combines map-reading skills with cross-country foot racing. Participants are timed as they use a topographical map to find specified land features. For a beginner’s guide to orienteering in Georgia, visit Gaorienteering.org.
Learn a second language. Neurologists have found a correlation between speaking two languages and the delay—in terms of years—of onset of dementia. A possible explanation is that well-developed language centers in the brain improve and protect executive function.
Quit smoking and add quality to your retirement years. Within the first day the risk of heart attack declines and blood circulation increases. Within the first weeks, lung capacity increases, taste and smell sharpen and breathing becomes easier. Smoking cessation reduces the risk of macular degeneration, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke and dementia, and reduces the discomfort of symptoms in a person who already suffers a chronic condition. University Health Care System’s Community Education division and GRU’s Cancer Center offer tobacco cessation programs to the public.
Aspiring aviators can soar with radio controlled planes and helicopters. Buy a kit to build your own or visit a hobby store to purchase a ready-to-fly RC plane. Connect with the Rotors and Props RC Club of Augusta on Facebook to get tips, socialize and find out where you can try your wings.
Sunlight aids in vitamin D production, which is necessary for calcium absorption for strong bones. People over age 50 need 800-1000 international units of vitamin D each day. Food alone does not supply enough. To maintain healthy bones and avoid or minimize osteoporosis, spend about 15 minutes outdoors in sunlight (with no sunscreen on exposed skin) two to three times a week.
Travel the World
Travel the world in 100 days, give or take a few. Fred.Olson Cruise Lines (www.fredolsencruises.com) offers well-appointed, reasonably priced, traditional cruises that depart from the United Kingdom and sail to exotic destinations. Visit Azores, St. Lucia, Barbados, Aruba, Columbia, Ecuador, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, Australia and more. The next ship leaves port on January 8, 2016.
Are you a retired engineer who always wanted to be an artist? A retired doctor who wanted to sing and dance? A retired teacher who dreamed of center stage? Get in touch with your inner painter, alto or actor. The Morris Museum of Art and the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art offer classes for adults in a variety of media. Audition for Augusta Players or Fort Gordon Dinner Theater productions.
Vine to Vino
Tour Georgia’s wine country. VisitGeorgiaWineries.com lists vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms across the state. See how the grapes are grown and processed or enjoy an educational dinner to learn about wine pairings. Plan a weekend trip to visit one or two, or map out a week-long ramble.
If you have an RV and will travel, then national, state, county and privately owned parks will provide you with free hook-ups for a few weeks to a few months and, in some cases, an hourly wage to serve as campground hosts and caretakers. Find more information at Workampingjobs.com.
Augusta hosts an annual Ironman event that has age groups up to and including 80-plus. The triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim in the
Savannah River, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. Find triathlons of shorter or longer distances at Trifind.com, where you can search events by state.
The Yoga Studio in North Augusta offers a seniors yoga class designed for people age 50 and up. Instructors lead the class through gentle stretches and beginner postures. The non-strenuous, non-impact movements promote flexibility and balance while
For physically fit senior citizens, a zip-line course is ideal high-adventure in the great outdoors. Banning Mills in Whitesburg, Ga., is the Guinness record holder for the world’s longest continuous zip-line course and eco-canopy adventure tour.