Situation Samplers for Individual Services*

Personal Planning Meetings:

Situation Sampler #1:

Cady Samuelson

Cady Samuelson feels as if she has "played out the string," done her best and fullest for 40 years as a teacher, loving most of it along the way. "It's time," she announced to her husband, George, who was a bit surprised," I'm gonna retire." He wondered, " Whatever will she do, she lives to teach—that's it!"

For his part, George plans to continue writing the children’s books for which he has developed a large and eager audience. While they feel pretty confident of their financial picture they are wobbly about what retiring will mean for Cady and both of them.

They decide to seek assistance to work through some of what George terms, "the emotional stuff." Personal Planning Meetings can provide an effective way to clarify and sort directions.

Situation Sampler #2:

tine"Kicked out the door at 53, what can I do now?" cried Tine Sato as she stared at herself in the bathroom mirror, tears streaming down her face.

Going back to work at my age, she thinks, especially in this economy will be difficult, at the minimum. "Maybe now’s the time to move on, to retire, whatever that may mean for me," she says to the mirror. "Money, thank goodness, I’ve saved, but I better check it out with my finance guy.

What about travel, doing something new?" She begins to feel some excitement and no little anxiety. "I wish James were here now," she reminds herself of her late husband.

A few days later, mulling all this over, she enters into personal planning sessions to explore what retirement might mean for her.

Personal Retirement Workshops:

Situation Sampler #1:


Florence has more hobbies than, as they used to say, "Carter has pills." All the years she has worked as a nurse she also has been gardening, designing and re-designing her home, and traveling whenever she could squeeze it in to her beloved Greece.

She looks forward with great eagerness to stepping down into retirement beginning 5 years from now, being able to more fully enjoy her various passions but also to continue nursing, albeit at a slower pace.

She feels the need to begin developing a plan for moving in these directions and thinks the Personal Retirement Workshop she just read about might be just the ticket she needs.

Situation Sampler #2:

SamuelMany people are ambivalent about when and how to retire, but they are quite clear that they do want to shift in that direction in the near future. For some, they imagine moving totally away from work. For others, it may be a matter of transitioning from one form of activity to another.

It can be very helpful to participate with others in a guided experience that helps focus options for retirement and that provides opportunities to consider personal factors, social factors, and—yes—emotional factors that may be influential.

Samuel's issue, for instance, was not to retire or not, or what form of retirement to create. But he was conflicted about whether to remain in Cincinnati, where his father still lives (and is beginning to show some signs of deterioration) or to move permanently to Phoenix, his dream location. For Samuel and others who are ambivalent, and who wish to explore options, a Personal Retirement Workshop might be very helpful.

Personal Retirement Groups:

Situation Sampler #1:


Fred loves talking with other people. An early-morning, before-work regular at Jimmie's Coffee Shop for years he finds "schmoozing" with his cronies about the best part of his day. Yet talking with them about deeper more personal issues is not what those informal gatherings are all about.

My goodness, he thought, "that would ruin everything!" So Fred began looking for an opportunity to meet with others in a small group—and with a trained, professional facilitator—to share thoughts and feelings about retirement, a life-changing move he was being drawn to more and more each day.

Maybe there he could get some suggestions on developing a plan, some direction, he thought. At the very least he expected to be able to learn from others in the group… A Personal Retirement Group might be very helpful, he thought.

Situation Sampler #2:

samanthaMeeting with a trained group leader and a small number of people over several weeks, all of whom are exploring whether and how to retire, was just what Samantha wanted.

She had found some real value in small group work in her church and knew this was a good way for her to learn and grow. And she pretty much knew what her main issue was about with regard to her future retirement, too: "How am I still going to matter as a unique and important human being, after my work is suddenly gone?"

This sense of "mattering" is not particular to Samantha but it sits at the core of retirement for most. A Personal Retirement Group, where members can be assisted to share and learn from one another, can be extremely helpful to address meaningful issues pertaining to retirement.

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* The situation samplers are approximations of reality. Real names and stories have been disguised.