‘Redefining Retirement’: Theme of Parker Center Annual Symposium in October

The Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging of United Church Homes, based in Marion, Ohio, will host its annual symposium October 4, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. The event will offer opportunities to participate in person or virtually.    

This year’s theme is Meaning, Purpose and Redefining Retirement, exploring what the next phases of life may hold for aging adults. Most research about retirement in the 21st century has focused exclusively on financial planning — an important consideration given the fact that today’s older adults are living much longer than previous generations.  

What hasn’t been adequately explored is the importance of planning beyond finances — finding meaning and purpose in life throughout what could be a 20-to-30-year period. Who am I?  What gives my life purpose?  

The Rev. Beth Long-Higgins

“Many people define themselves by their occupation, which may be less relevant after they retire,” said the Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, United Church Homes (UCH) vice president of engagement and director of the Parker Center. “Women who do not pursue careers may define themselves by their relationships, as a wife or mother. Despite the need to redefine oneself later in life, few people plan for retirement beyond assessing their financial situation.”

“Henri Matisse is best known as a painter and sculptor,” Long-Higgins continued. “When ill health prevented his continued work in those mediums, he maintained his passion for creating art, but shifted his focus to the medium of cut paper collage.”

While some older adults may find different ways to pursue their life-long passion, Long-Higgins said, others may opt to take a different path. As one begins to plan for retirement, it’s important they consider what will be their purpose in the later years of life.

Among the speakers already confirmed for the Fall symposium are Helen Dennis, a nationally recognized leader on issues of aging, employment and the new retirement, and Anna Hall, founder and chief purpose officer with The Purpose Equation.

Join Our Mailing LIst

Follow on Facebook
Quick Links