November 22, 2021

- Listen to Ron's Interview with Carol Waldman and Vicki Ellner - 

The Time of Our Life: The Emotional Roller-Coaster of Retirement  

Episode description:

Retirement is dead. Long live retirement! For many Americans these days, traditional retirement, as we’ve known it, is gone—or disappearing. We no longer work for one employer for decades, then leave the workforce with a pension, kick back and relax. At least not all the time. For one thing, we’re living much longer, so many retirees need to think beyond filling their days with a lot of golf.  But how to reimagine about this chapter of life, a time of both vulnerability and opportunity—and Covid? In today’s episode, Carol Waldman, who retired (sort of) from a long career managing a large senior center, and Vicki Ellner, who started to retire from a wide-ranging career in health care and patient advocacy and decided to “rewire” instead, thought better of it, talk about the roller-coaster of emotions as they navigate their so-called retirement years. Carol and Vicki talk about the vulnerability of losing one’s work identity, the stress and anxiety of feeling a lack of control. At the same time, this can be the most open part of life, a sense of never feeling so free, with no set plans and restraints on our time—except that there’s ultimately less of it. Long-time friends and colleagues, Vicki and Carol talk about their individual searches for meaning and purpose, finding new experiences and ways to give the most and get the most out of this sometimes-strange place in life. Retirement can be a time of dealing with grief and grievances; acknowledging loss and letting go of things. Yet, it also allows us to become more of who we are, to find new space for joy and enjoyment in our lives. And as we transform retirement from a time of sheer leisure to one of renewed activity, we need to find ways to rebalance ourselves and make sure we’re not so busy in retirement that we long to go back to work! 

Guest descriptions:

Carol Waldman is a gerontologist with a passion for helping older adults thrive. For almost three decades, she served as Executive Director at the Glen Cove Senior Center, one of the largest senior centers on Long Island, where she had the opportunity to collaborate with many prominent professionals in the field of aging. In her ongoing effort to fight ageism, Carol developed a nationally recognized, award-winning Lifelong Learning Lecture Series, and affiliated with the Hofstra University School of Health Professionals to create a first-of-its-kind conference on Aging and Creativity. She recently joined the faculty of Hofstra University as an adjunct assistant professor in their new Masters in Gerontology: Healthy Aging Program. Previously, Carol was President of the Long Island Coalition on Aging and Co-Chair of the Nassau County Senior Service Providers Coalition. Her core advocacy efforts have included a focus on affordable senior housing and eradicating homelessness. After spearheading the World Health Organization/AARP Age-Friendly initiative in Glen Cove, Carol became Nassau County’s Liaison and Consultant for the county’s age-friendly efforts. Carol has been the recipient of numerous awards and continues to do research and guest lectures on aging issues and is currently working on a collection of short stories that speak to the poignancy of the aging experience.

Vicki Ellner is the Founder of Door to Door Doc & Elder Factor, a company that provides physician house calls, medical care management, and patient advocacy. She is also currently also the Outreach & Government Affairs Consultant for Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, an award-winning Elder Law firm.  During her wide-ranging career, Vicki has developed extensive experience in marketing, community outreach, business development, and government affairs in the healthcare, eldercare and elder law arenas. Trained as a nurse, she soon found her vocation as a tireless advocate for the disabled and the elderly.  She is recognized as an authority on navigating the healthcare/eldercare maze and is often invited to speak by business groups and nonprofits in the New York metropolitan area. Vicki was asked to serve as a Committee Co-Chair for newly elected Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in the area of aging issues. In addition to establishing the Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn, she is a founding member of the Health and Business Alliance, a Queens-based action oriented professional association that pools resources from the business, not-for-profit and healthcare communities to create projects and educational events that enhance local services and improve local business practices. Vicki is also a founding member of the Independent Business Women’s Circle, a Long Island networking group for entrepreneurial and business women. She has been honored by the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society with a Leadership Award; chosen as a “Top Women in Business” by the Queens Courier; and honored by the Federation of Organizations with the “Inspiration Award.”


Carol Waldman:

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