Retirement Planning

by Judith Maginnis Kuster - Mankato State University (

Most of us will spend a quarter of our lives in retirement The term "retirement planning" produces visions of financial advice, which of course is vital, and for those without a good retirement program, Yahoo's best sites for Retirement Planning offers a good place to explore.

But rather than focus on the financial aspect of "retirement," this column will suggest many exciting opportunities the Internet provides for the growing population of life's "veterans," which may also include several of our clients.

Retirement may provide time to reconnect with former acquaintances and professional colleagues as well as meeting new friends. Good Internet resources for finding people include:

Various kinds of discussion forums (mailing lists, newsgroups, chatrooms) can provide places to find new friends. Thousands of forums either dedicated to a personal or professional interest can be located by searching: Websites provide opportunities to find answers to emerging questions as well as explore old and new interests.

Consumer Protection is another important issue for all of us, including seniors. The Internet provides good resources and an easy mechanism for reporting concerns.

Some who reach retirement want to start a new chapter in their lives,and leave behind their former profession. Others may wish to continue keeping active or connected to the professions. Charles Van Riper wrote (in the WMU Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing, Fall, 1987), how he enjoyed professional contacts years after he retired.The Van Riper article is on the Internet with permission of his son John. Mentoring students, clients, and new clinicians through the Internet provides that opportunity. Consider for example, the benefit of a master clinician mentoring a newly graduated clinician. Or a retired clinician, a 20-year-old who stutters and an adult mentor who stutters, teaming with a local clinician. Or a retired clinician corresponding directly with an individual recovering from a stroke. Or a team of retired professionals willing to respond to questions forwarded to them from ASHA by students, clients, parents and clinicians.

Don't overlook volunteer opportunities on the Internet. One phenomenal project: Enlisting volunteers to put online the entire federal census records, the U.S. GENWEB Project, the project's home page, provides both information on the project itself and access to county-based genealogy records (churches, cemeteries).

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Kuster, JM, Retirement Planning, ASHA , Spring, 1998, p. 43