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Reflecting on ‘Part-time’ Retirement and the Economy

Rosemary "Rosi" Heins
“Never again.” Although I didn’t say those words out loud, those thoughts went through my mind last January 31 when I officially retired after 31 years with Extension! So imagine my surprise this past fall when I was asked to return to Extension as Acting Program Leader until Karen comes back.

At any rate, I am now a “failed retiree,” as an Ohio colleague labeled me when I saw her in September at the NEAFCS Annual Meeting in Lexington, KY. I’m also well into my “second act.” Working for pay again has been different and fun, and I’m happy to be able to blend part-time employment with the freedom retirement brings to pursue other interests.

As a baby boomer and part-time retiree, it’s interesting to reflect on the generational issues of the work place and money use. This was a topic of keynote speakers at both at Extension’s Fall Program Conference and the recent Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Research Symposium. Fortunately, we live in Minnesota which has been out-performing most others in job growth. Check out this infographic from AARP:

Minnesota has two green bubbles to check out for recognizing Minnesota’s growth and trends in employment for both millennials and baby-boomers.

The Great Recession we are coming out of has changed peoples spending habits. “How America Shops Now,” an article in the November 2014 issue of Consumer Reports, provides interesting reading. Both the AARP graphic and the Consumer Reports article show some positive signs for the economy. But everything is not perfect for consumers — including the people we serve in our work in Family Development. Yes, more people have jobs, but we also know there are numerous economic disparities.

Soon we’ll be developing our 2015 Professional Plans of Work. We need to consider information from a wide variety of sources as we create those plans. Those sources include credible media outlets like and Consumer Reports, our own and others’ research, and interactions with our constituents. An important question as we begin the new year is: How do we at Extension use all the information available to us to create a stronger Minnesota through education and research?

Rosemary (Rosi) Heins, Acting Program Leader — Family Resilience

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