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Paul Arfin Intergenerational Strategies, Neal Cohen

April 28, 2006 @ 12:00 am EDT


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This morning’s program was on a topic that I think more and more of us will be forced to contemplate. Retirement is no longer a sleepy interlude between the end of your work years and death. Paul Arfin, executive director of Intergenerational Strategies, titled his talk “Don’t Retire, Rewire” The program was sponsored by Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch recently did a study on what people expect to be doing in retirement as well as the realities they will face.


The program began with Neal Cohen of  Merrill Lynch circumscribing the problems of retirement in an environment where people are expected to live into their eighties. Then Paul Arfin went into the strategies and programs that could be beneficial to those who are retiring


A thousand years ago life expectancy was 25 years, and that did not change much until the 1900’s. In fact when Otto Von Bismarck established age 65 as the retirement age, very few people lived that long. It would be the equivalent of establishing age 97 as a retirement age today.


Paul Arfin saw the need to assist in helping those retirees, and convinced County Executive, Steve Levy to form a commission on “Creative Retirement,” to address the concerns of this segment of the population. The number of years spent in retirement continues to increase. In retirement people often work, not for the cash but to keep active, feel young, or perhaps doing what they have longed to do, but never could, Arfin said..


According to Paul Arfin, living in a retirement community, may be fine for some people, but not very satisfying to others. Many retirees are looking for the opportunity to volunteer and help others for a variety of personal reasons, including altruism. According to the Merrill Lynch survey 42% of the retirees are looking to do volunteer work, and one of the functions of Arfin’s organization is to create a registry for that purpose.

Picture: Paul Arfin Executive Director of Intergenerational Strategies. On the right Neal Cohen representing Merrill Lynch