EDMOND — For Vivian Waddell, retirement has offered the opportunity to learn something new and reconnect with the past all in one fell swoop.
The longtime church organist and choirmaster began taking violin lessons soon after she and her husband, Ron Waddell, moved to Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond three years ago.
“My mother played, so I have her violin,” she said. “She's been dead for quite a while, but that violin kept sitting there at the house unused. So I thought since I moved into this retirement place, I have more time. I don't have to keep up the house and all that, so I can do something I want to do.”
Her husband, who retired several years ago after 31 years with the Federal Aviation Administration, said his pace hasn't changed since moving to Touchmark.
“Once people find out you're retired, people think you don't have anything else to do,” he said. “But I've never had any problem finding something to do, to keep busy.”
The Waddells represent a new breed of retiree, those who maintain firm control over their lives even as they step out of the work force. For them, what they're entering may be less of a retirement and more of a new chapter.
That's where places like Touchmark come in. The gated community at 2801 Shortgrass Road, near Kelly Avenue and Covell Road, boasts on its website that it offers “something for every season of life” and comes through with options targeting everyone from the active like the Waddells to assisted living to memory care.
The neighborhood opened in 2006 and is especially attractive to active retirees who may want to downsize and move closer to family, said Melissa Mahaffey, executive director. Many are attracted to what Edmond offers. Many also have an eye toward the future.
“If there was a need, you wouldn't necessarily want your kids uprooted either,” she said.
Retirement options are changing and expanding, and with the first wave of baby boomers now marching past age 65, they're to keep changing and expanding. About 13 percent of Americans were age 65 and older in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center. By 2030, when they've all crossed the threshold, that portion will be closer to 18 percent.
And while many may not consider themselves old — the same Pew study found most baby boomers pin the term “old” to those 72 and older — baby boomers' homes have increasingly reflected at least the possibility of new realities.