Coming of Age Philadelphia
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Average Retirement Age Is 61. Surprised? Retiring on 1/4 of 1%. Ouch!

No less an authority than Gallup has determined that the current average age for retiring in our country is 61—UP from 57 in the early 1990s. On the other hand, see below for how older adults are being encouraged to work till their 70s (if they can find jobs!).  And if you hold to the strategy of trying to keep you money "safe" in Certificates of Deposit, surprise, surprise, many CDs pay only .25% these days. Low interest rates are not the only factor that’s making retirement, a period heretofore identified with rest and relaxation, stressful.

We Have Met the Enemy and It is Us

Topics: Aging, Agism, Boomers

It would be nice to think that as the 76-milllion-strong baby-boom generation marches into older age, it will trample age discrimination into the dust. Don’t hold your breath. While some say there are signs of incremental improvement—the bias may be a little less blatant than in decades past — it’s also true that mature folks probably are as likely as anyone to demonstrate a bias against people their own age. Surprised? Disappointed? Or, smart you, you figured that was the case?  Here’s the full story.

Two of Our Founding Mothers Honored

They did start the fire. Nancy Henkin, Executive Director of Temple University’s Intergenerational Center, and Willo Carey, well-known WHYY TV personality and development executive. They “birthed" Coming of Age with two other visionary women. Nancy was honored last week in New York City by Elders Share the Arts for her “extraordinary leadership and vision in helping communities bring together generations with innovative strategies.” And Willo (pictured on the left and no doubt familiar to many from those WHYY on-air fundraisers) will be honored at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Annual “Bright Star of Aging” luncheon on June 6. An apt title for our Ms. Carey.

As Philadelphia Goes, So Goes the Nation?

Could be. The summer is going to be a busy time for Coming of Age nationally. The next community to have a Coming of Age initiative: Tampa. That’ll bring us up to 10 in the Coming of Age network (plus five other communities that present our programs). And it all started here in Philly. We’re also taking our show on the road… to Harrisburg.  Commissioned by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, we’ll be training representatives from Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) from counties from across the state on how to engage older adults as volunteers. We’re also working at the Smithsonian in Washington, D. C. and training more folks to deliver Explore Your Future in Kansas City.

What's On Deck Locally-- for the Fall

Memorial Day has come and gone. A long (and probably very hot) summer is in the offing.  So to keep cool, we're thinking about the fall. Are men in their 60s and older in Philadelphia a special breed? They’re doing what we’ve been told for years they never would—come together to talk about their feelings—in this case about the next phase of their lives (that they’re either in or contemplating). Our first Encore Men’s Group this spring filled up almost as fast as a Bono concert. We’re starting another, come the fall. If you’re a man and interested, go here, and we’ll let you know when the group gets going. Also, coming this fall, our popular Explore Your Future program.  Email if you want the deets.

The Pod is Cast

We took to the airwaves recently, invited by WWDB Boomer Generation Radio talk show host Richard Address-- that's him on the left-- to let his listeners know what Coming of Age is up to in Philly. It’s all been memorialized via a podcast that you can check out here. Also, the current issue of Kiplinger's Retirement Report includes an article featuring Coming of Age. Alas, there’s no online version, but if you have a subscription, we’re on the page one in “Try Something New with an Encore Career.”

Sex News

Like Salt-n-Pepa sang, let’s talk about sex. First up, an LGBT thing. The LGBT Elder Initiative will host a workshop to address obstacles to health and wellness for LGBT older women on Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center. More info and to register? 267-546-3448 or  And why aren’t most men, gay or straight, getting help with erectile dysfunction?  What’s up with that?  Some good news for postmenopausal women, though: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) significantly improves muscle function

Bad News

Coming of Age is All About What People 50+ Can Do. Alas, some of what we’re doing is not so good. For instance, we’re killing ourselves more. Literally. Boomer suicide rates, particularly for men, are up. And if you’re doing something that’s not good for your heart, there’s a good chance it’s probably also not good for your brain.  And lastly, no less than the Huffington Post argues that we’re doing our elders a good bit of disservice.   

Good News

Guess what?  We 50 plussers make better decisions.  It’s all right here.  We’re also volunteering more—or so it says here.  But maybe not; another report says we’re volunteering less. You decide. One thing we defintely are doing is helping our elders more, a phenomenon that is good for all concerned.  And for those of you who don’t like growing older (We don't understand that; we think it’s a great thing to do!) you might try revving up your “cellular garbage disposal” (Bet you didn't know you had one!) to delay the aging process.  BTW, we’re not kidding.

Work for Coming of Age (and other Temple Intergenerational Center programs)

Topics: Jobs, Nonprofits, Work

The Intergenerational Center is looking for a part-time Financial Analyst to assist with a variety of Business Office activities, including conducting daily financial operations and assisting with pre- and post-grant award work such as developing budgets, reconciling expenses, doing budget projections, and maintaining records.