In the last decade or so, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Age Wave, a consulting firm specializing in issues related to aging, have co-launched a variety of studies to learn more about the goals, attitudes, and desires of today’s retirees. In a 2013 study, one of the most commonly expressed wishes among seniors was a yearning to leave a legacy—and not just of the real estate or monetary kind. 75% of respondents said that it was important for them to be able to pass along their values and life lessons.
The fact that seniors have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share has not been lost on academia and industry. The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina has developed a program called “Pass the Torch” for companies to use in order to ensure that those approaching retirement are able to effectively transfer what they know.
Across the world, a variety of different organizations have established programs that allow seniors to pass along their skills and mentor students both young and old through talks, workshops and classes. One such enterprise, “The Amazings,” established in the U.K. in 2012, has been billed as “a marketplace for wisdom,” providing the opportunity to learn from seniors about a broad range topics—everything from guitar playing to gardening, chess, and, yes, even nuclear physics.
At Timber Ridge, we too actively support our residents’ desire to experience the rewards of leaving a legacy by offering a variety of volunteer opportunities in the Issaquah and Seattle communities, as well as the chance to serve on a range of resident committees here on campus.
Dr. Tina Freed is a prime example of a resident who is sharing her accumulated life wisdom and professional expertise both here at Timber Ridge and with the community at large. Prior to retirement, she spent many years as a practicing OB/GYN in public health clinics and as head of the Women’s Clinic at the University of Washington Healthcare Center. Now she spends each day visiting residents at Briarwood, our on-campus Health Center that includes skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care.
“I really love that,” says Dr. Freed. “They seem to like me to stop in and chat for a little bit, so I do that every day. There are many things I do around here, but that’s my favorite.”
Just some of those “many things” include working with a resident group to organize a lecture series on aging, creating a support group for spouses whose mates have serious health issues, and starting a healthcare advocacy committee for people in the Timber Ridge community. Dr. Freed is also taking CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) training to join the Issaquah emergency trauma team.
“It’s very, very intensive training, and it’s quite a challenge. We’re having a lot of fun doing it, too. That’s something I’ve just taken on recently.”
Did we mention Dr. Freed is 88 years old?
Clearly her desire to leave a legacy of knowledge and service is a labor of love. Of course, many seniors find leaving a financial legacy to benefit their family or charity of choice to be incredibly rewarding as well. At Timber Ridge, we can help facilitate that desire through our Return-of-Capital® Plan which refunds a minimum of 90% of the original entrance payment to the resident–or to his or her estate–no matter how long the resident stays in our community.
If you would like to learn more about our how our Return of Capital Plan works, or other ways in which the activities, services and amenities of Timber Ridge support the lifestyles and desires of our residents, please contact us at 425-427-2929.Contact Us