Stained Wood Mosaics


Eric Hoffman

I’m a retired preschool teacher, with degrees in design and developmental psychology. I worked in schools in Boston, Baltimore, Columbus, and San Jose before moving to Santa Cruz, where I was the head teacher at the Cabrillo College Children’s Center and instructor in Early Childhood Education for over 25 years.

Eric Hoffman
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Peace Corps at 64

Sandy Orrillt

Born in Berea, Ohio, my parents and two older siblings relocated to Florida when I was just a tender preschool-aged kid.  I eventually married an avid sailor and we enjoyed the pleasures of the warm Gulf waters with our three kids.  As his yacht charter business failed, complex dark clouds of financial uncertainty loomed large on our family horizon.  After our number one son graduated from high school and was accepted to the Air Force Academy, the rest of us­­ moved lock, stock and barrel to Southern California, closer to my husband’s relatives.  Family nature outings in Cali expanded beyond sailing including snow skiing, hiking, biking and dune buggy play with occasional sailing trips to Catalina Island.  After our son’s USAFA graduation, we now had an honorable rocket scientist in the family, while the rest of us remained devoted to living our best lives outdoors whenever possible.  Continue reading

The Road to Retirement

Leslie Tremaine

Where to start? I started thinking about retiring years ago– reading books on how people made the transition, talking to people who were already over that threshold, fantasizing about what new and creative things I’d do , and of course obsessing about money and how to make all the nitty gritty logistics work out. My early plans were to leave a pretty big job I had and get into one that was much simpler, as a way to ease my way into actual retirement. I can still remember the dinner I had with a number of colleagues who told me how smart I was and talking about their own fantasies of downshifting .
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“Stuff” Seems to Over-Fill the Void Every Day

68 years old in August 2018. Retired in about 2002, it wasn’t a formal event, I just hung it up.

Been happily idle and very busy ever since. I don’t know how that happens but “stuff” seems to over-fill the void every day!

I’ve been a musician since my pre-teens, have six guitars that I haven’t played in a few years – “stuff” has just gotten in the way. I’ll probably get back to playing as I did the after the last 8-year hiatus.

Now my time is spent on the computer, various software interests, cooking, and maintaining the household.

Nothing terribly interesting to anyone but me!


Was there life in retirement in 1983?

Jim E. Faris

When my life as a Hollywood film editor was becoming a greater than normal challenge, I decided it was time to think of other areas of life I wanted to explore. My wife Paula and I were living the suburban life near Los Angeles and thought the location offered little variety or options for learning or socialization. We were familiar with Santa Cruz, CA as our oldest son had graduated from UCSC and our daughter had attended the university in her freshman year and our son Brian was living in Santa Cruz. The town was situated at the Pacific Ocean so we knew the weather would be to our liking. The University was an attraction as it offered a variety of classes with a student body of around 15,000. The University offered a program called “Elders in Residence” which allowed anyone age 62 or older to take two classes  for credit and live in the student dorms with the other students. Continue reading

My Big Happy Jewish Retirement

Cindy Margolin

My goal in retirement was to be involved in and give back to my community.  I also knew that I wanted to be involved with kids, my original professional goal.  Main hobbies were photography and world travel, both of which I planned to expand.

I had moved to Santa Cruz in 1987.  I bought my house as an investment for future retirement, wanting to be close to the beach.  My kids were both away at college, so I left my empty nest in San Jose near the university and moved to the beach.  I built a darkroom and travelled the world.  But because I was still commuting over the hill to SJSU, I really didn’t get to know my community, except for the SJSU Vanpool colleagues and folks who walked their dogs on West Cliff Drive on the weekends. Continue reading

Yesterday’s News Seeks Tomorrow’s Headline

Bruce Reznick

I’m 63, married and I have a son in grad school pursuing his MBA. For a few decades I was a broadcast journalist, a career that ended amidst marginalization, on the job ageism and eventually a buy out (or an unacceptable opt out). Frankly I’m luckier than most folks but still struggling with the day-to-day acceptance of “retirement,” and the “what’s next?

Bruce Reznick

Bruce Reznick

At times I feel amazingly lucky yet guilty that I’m not working, despite a few years out now and fresh memories of a lousy grinding workplace.

I’ve read a lot of literature on retiring “wild and free,” yet I pine daily for camaraderie and age appropriate ‘soft’ adventure. I sometimes feel like I’m the only guy in New York City who isn’t sure where to go each day. So, I guess it’s a work in progress to seek the next rung of satisfaction and collegiality. I think. Continue reading

How I planned my retirement: Adventures at Home and Abroad

Lynn Lotkowictz

About three years ago at age 62, I was finishing up my media sales management career and realized it was time to move on. My pension was set so I was lucky that I had flexibility. I knew I no longer wanted a full-time job.

Retire? But to what? I don’t play golf, crochet, play bridge or enjoy any of those interests my friends do. I adore my grandson and family, but they are 1,200 miles away so a weekend four or five times a year is the best I can do.

Lotkowictz Crete pic

Travel, the outdoors, healthy endeavors and children are my passions. In 2013, I started to work on a plan for the next phase of life. The goal was for it to be meaningful and rewarding. Continue reading

My Work is My Hobby: An Interview with Elliot Aronson


Elliot Aronson, Ph.D., is best known for his research on cognitive dissonance and the jigsaw classroom.  From his widely-used textbook, The Social Animal:  “Elliot Aronson’s standing as one of the world’s most distinguished and versatile social psychologists is reflected in the wide variety of national and international awards he has received for his teaching, for his scientific research, for his writing, and for his contribution to society.”

Questions asked during the interview:

Tell me about your retirement/previous work.  Why did you retire?  Was the decision to retire made/planned by you?  Do you consider your retirement successful?  Happiness?  What’s better/gains?  Worse/losses?  How has retirement affected your relationships?  What is your relationship to OLLI?  What are your recommendations for others?

Elliot Aronson:

The notion of retirement is both interesting and elusive.  When I was about 50 years old, I did not even consider the possibility of retirement.  My fantasy was that, at age 93, while delivering a passionate lecture on cognitive dissonance to a roomful of students sitting on the edge of their chairs, I would collapse and die.  I figured that, if I was going to have to die, I would prefer to die with my boots on.  A charming and romantic notion.

Ellie & Desi

Ellie & Desi

There is an old saying:  “If you want to hear the sound of God’s laughter, just tell him your plans.”  In 1994, when I was still a youngish old man of 62, the University of California system was in terrible financial trouble and needed to slash its operating budget.  Because the retirement coffers were flush, they offered some of us older, more highly paid professors an extra financial incentive if we agreed to take early retirement.  (The plan was called VERIP). I was at the top of my game as a teacher, researcher, and writer. Although the financial incentive was tempting, I wasn’t going to take it.  My boots were still on, as it were.  Why quit now? Continue reading

Lew and Judith – Our Retirement Works

Lew and Judith Feinman

We were married in New York in 1956 and moved to South Florida where Lew was a registered pharmacist, buying into a partnership that eventually owned four drug stores

Judith was a stay at home mom raising two children when Lew came home one day and suggested that they take real estate classes and try their hands at real estate sales.small Judith Feinman Photo

Lew Feinman PhotoLew:  The pharmacies were doing well but the insurance industry and their “third party pay” programs made it difficult for the drug stores to receive timely payments from them.  It was time for a change for me and a way to get out of being a partner in the drug stores.

Judith:  I had never sold anything in my life but I was ready to try. We got our licenses and proceeded to do well enough financially that Lew was able to sell his share of the drug stores and go full time into selling real estate with me.

Lew:    Judy and I hung our licenses in Coconut Grove Realty. We worked as a team listing and selling properties.

Judith:  I learned a great deal about myself and found sales challenging and exciting. Happily we caught a rising real estate market. Continue reading