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
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.
- Switchboard is like a huge CD-ROM telephone directory, providing addresses and phone numbers. You can
search the contents of residential (and some business) phone directories
across the country.
- International Telephone Directory claims to provide links to all online telephone directories on the Internet - from Algeria to Zimbabwe.
- Four11 is the Web's largest database of names and email addresses, containing well over 6.5 million names. It's
the first place I start looking for a person's email address.
- ASHA Membership Directory,
accessible only to ASHA members, includes listings for all ASHA
members (unless they have requested not to be listed).
- Social Security Death Index; unfortunately not all the people being looked for are still alive. This is a valuable resource particularly for those interested in genealogy.
Consumer Protection is another important issue for all of us, including
seniors. The Internet provides good resources and an easy mechanism for
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