by Winston Chua
Baby boomers resist the label “retired” and “senior citizens.” We hear that “60 is the new 40” and many boomers — children of the World War II generation — are determined to make that statement a reality.
Americans over the age of 65 will climb 36 percent to 55 million by 2020. And there’s no doubt that aging citizens are destined to become or are already a powerful force. But instead of dropping out and moving to “retirement” enclaves, the boomers will continue engaging with society. One of the new organizations created to serve this age grouping is Sherpa, a subsidiary of nonprofit Navigage, which offers workshops, classes, connections and activities. It is a paid membership organization.
The concept of age and retirement is rapidly evolving. What in previous generations consisted of a more passive existence after age 50 has been replaced by people who are looking to stay active in society.
“Sherpa is exciting, personal, and relevant. We have a member’s interests at heart,” said Sherpa Executive Vice President Mary McMullin. “We create personal and unexpected experiences, helping members take care of the nuts and bolts of their lives and realize their passions.
She told The Tribune that seniors today are engaging in personalized activities that would make younger generations envious. For instance, Sherpa members have planned a behind-the-scenes stage tour for an opera lover, front row tickets to an Eagles’ concert, a spectacular 70th birthday party, and researching the latest smart phone for purchase.
Older generation Americans are also in need of a breath of services which can include financial consulting, legal connections and discounted prices to fun events.
“People don’t have to live in a retirement community to find great connection,” said McMullin. “Retirement is not as passive as it used to be.”