I’m told that about 75 percent of federal workers in the greater Washington, D.C., area are either immediately eligible for retirement or will be within five years. We also hear the amazing statistic that tens of thousands of my baby boomer generation reach retirement age every day. That means, for many of them, a search for where to live in those retirement years and what to do with the extra time.
I know a little something about retirement, as I retired in 1999 after a 27-year career in state government; Recreation News is actually my third post-retirement “career.” Jane and I have faced the decisions concerning where to live and what to do and I know those decisions are complicated by concern for aging parents, the desire to be near children and grandchildren, and concern with our own health and well-being.
It seems that checking out potential retirement locations and tourism are closely related; so closely, that North Carolina tourism officials are also charged with promoting the state as a retirement destination. Certainly, most people anticipating retirement would check out areas where they think they might like to live. The trip would not only include visiting the community, but also gathering information about amenities and health care.
Take a look at our feature on the RetireNC program-certified communities this month. If you’re about to make that big decision, take the trip to check out areas that interest you, wherever they may be, so you can enjoy them like a tourist before committing to become a local.
Remembering the Reagans
As I was writing this column, the world learned of the death of former first lady Nancy Reagan. While I was working at Hargrove Inc. before joining Recreation News, I was allowed into the archives of the Reagan Library and into the National Archives to gather materials for an exhibit on the company’s role in producing every presidential inaugural since Harry Truman’s.
In the National Archives, I found a video clip of Nancy Reagan introducing the new president as “her roommate” at a special event Hargrove had put together because the weather forced cancellation of the inaugural parade. You can still see the huge American flag float that served as a backdrop for the event at American Celebration on Parade at Shenandoah Caverns near Mount Jackson, Va.