Reimagining a Retirement Fit for Boomers, and Those Who Are Next in Line


A Pittsburgh native, and the first person to graduate from college in his family, Mr. Clinton migrated to New York at 22 and never left. Dressed neatly in a crisp sky-blue Oxford shirt, blue vest and gray slacks, he recently sat for an interview about the retirement evolution. The interview has been edited and condensed.

Why are we having a “new retirement” discussion?

When I was in my 50s, the role models of people in their 70s was bleak. Those people, who are now in their 90s, are living traditional, post-retirement years. We have become the new role models. People are realizing they are living significantly longer than they thought. They want to reinvent and reimagine their lives, not wind down. The opportunity to have a second career and a bigger life have become a reality.

Why are baby boomers spearheading this movement?

Boomers were the original activists who believed in change. They are the challengers. It’s part of their DNA. They challenged the war, sex, created Earth Day and were part of the gay movement. They are now challenging what it means to age and live longer. A generational attitude has met the longer life phenomena and is creating this zeitgeist moment. The new longevity is the social movement of our times that will affect everyone moving forward, which will benefit Gen Xers and millennials.

Does traditional retirement still exist?

Yes, that retirement construct still exists. Some people want to leave their job at 65 and move to a sunny state to hang out with their friends. That construct has never been disrupted or challenged until now. Re-imagineers, people who are reinventing a dynamic second half of life, have advocated for abandoning that outdated concept and have created a new version that happens later in life. The new retirement is a rewire to their next career. Many have focused on individualized entrepreneurialism, going back to school, following their previous passions and building a bigger life for themselves. They are driving the new longevity economy.

What’s the reasoning behind the fanciful, creative vocabulary you and the Roar community use?

What we’re doing is challenging the status quo and the representation of people over 50 in language and images. Using words like re-imagineers, life-layering, the new longevity, second lifers, helps shift perception. It’s to change our thinking. These words and vocabulary, along with imaging, influence how we think. The self-imposed ageism images matter in terms of how we reflect what we look like and where we see ourselves in advertising and entertainment. If you don’t change the language, if you don’t change the images, you can’t change the cultural construct.



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