We did it!
Submissions to Voices from the Other Side…of Retirement closed on April 30, 2019. And – ta da! – we’re delighted to announce that 282 retired women completed our online questionnaire. That means we have sufficient content to proceed with the book!
Crowdsourcing content can require a leap of faith – but the retired women of the world really came through. Our respondents hail from 38 states and Washington D.C. in the United States, and from 10 additional countries, and two respondents submitted their questionnaires while cruising on their sailboats!
We were able to reach such a wide audience thanks to the 19 bloggers who helped us reach their followers by publishing our guest posts, the power of social media and online communities, networking through our own circle of friends, good old-fashioned press releases to newspapers, and connecting with organizations such as AARP Maine, Boomers Leading Change (Denver) and Maine Senior College Network. We also reached out to retirement coaches who shared Voices information with their clients.
But more important than the numbers is the quality of the insights and stories that retired women have shared. Their candor about the human impact of retirement on everything from their daily lives to their relationships to their sense of identity has been truly moving.
Which means that Voices promises to be the powerful and relevant compilation of in-her-own-words responses on the non-financial aspects of retirement that we always envisioned it to be.
Why this approach? Because while a lot has been written about planning financially for retirement, no one prepares us for how the transition really feels. And because we believe there’s nothing quite as valuable as real-world insights and advice from women who’ve been through it.
What’s next for Retirement Voices?
Now we write the book! We’ll start by sorting, organizing and compiling the responses, and notifying everyone whose submissions are being included in the book by mid- to late summer.
We’ll also be crafting a book proposal and seeking a literary agent to represent us (if you know anyone who might be appropriate, please let us know!).
To continue building our author platform, we’ll be launching a Retirement Voices blog in the fall of 2019, and a podcast in the first half of 2020.
Let’s stay in touch
We’ll be sending out periodic email updates until the blog launches in the fall. If you’d like to stay informed about what’s happening with Voices and haven’t already signed up, please add your name to our mailing list via the form on the bottom right of this page. If you are one of the retired women who answered our questionnaire (even if you didn’t complete or submit it), you’re already on our mailing list – no need to add your name.
If you have any questions, suggestions or other feedback, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your interest and support!
Co-authors Leslie Inman and Roxanne Jones
“Retirement is a journey, not a destination, and there are many unknowns until you actually live it. This book promises to be a road map to help guide the way—and the more women who share their experiences, the clearer that path can be.”
“Retirement planning has always been about money. But what about the newfound and empty 40+ hours a week you suddenly had on your hands? How did you fill your time? How did your life change? How did you feel? This important book will share how women faced the realities of retirement.”Marcia Mantell
“Resources like this book can provide real-world guidance to make the most of retirement and the third part of our lives. And women helping women to fulfill their dreams never, ever gets old.”Kathy Gottberg
Who we are
67, earned an MBA from Boston University and has worked in senior management positions in the corporate, higher education and nonprofit sectors. She was a real estate agent in Florida and New Hampshire and owned an import business of Guatemalan handicrafts. She has retired three times, most recently (and for the last time!) in 2017. She now spends her time as a hospice volunteer, making images with her camera, socializing with friends and family, playing pickleball, volunteering with a local aging at home organization, gardening and working on this Retirement Voices project. She lives in Harpswell, Maine with her very-retired husband.
Leslie’s retirement journey was recently featured on Boomer Retirement Briefs™. Click here to read the story.
is an award-winning freelance copywriter specializing in health and medicine. Before going out on her own in 1995, she held PR and marketing communications positions at organizations as diverse as the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston University and a healthcare software company. She turned 65 in 2018 and is on a glide path (versus a hard stop) toward retirement as she figures out what it’ll look like for her. She lives in Cumberland Foreside, Maine, with her husband and cat.
How this project came about
If you read our bios, you know that we’re taking different paths to retirement. Conversations with our retired female friends have revealed similarly diverse approaches, attitudes and emotions toward the process and reality of retirement. Some have found it seamless and easy, others struggled for a while, and still others never seemed to find their way and adjust to this new life phase.
Leslie found this diversity intriguing and wanted to learn more about how women adjust to retirement—maybe turning it into a book. She approached Roxanne about teaming up to do so. Approaching “official” retirement age and wondering how and when to downshift, Roxanne self-servingly answered, “Yes!”
We started by developing a few open-ended questions and conducting phone interviews with retired female family members and friends. Common topics emerged like relationships, time management, life purpose, volunteering, exercise and health, spirituality and mortality, the guilt around doing “nothing,” daily routines, and sense of identity. And every woman we talked to affirmed we had a topic for a book—one they wish had been available when they retired.
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