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Retirement companionship/support group to start March 8 at JFS

“Shalom Retirement!,” a spiritual companionship group for those making their way into a new phase of life, will meet for four sessions on Thursdays, March 8, April 5, May 3 and May 31 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Jewish Family Services (JFS), 877 Madison Ave., Albany. The program was designed by, and will be facilitated by Audrey Seidman.

“Retirement can feel like a journey from the familiar through a new wilderness. The change can be a grand opportunity to refocus our lives, to ask ourselves what we most value, what calls to us in the time we have left,” said Seidman. According to Seidman, retirement from full-time works invites changes both anticipated and unanticipated. Beyond considering the practicalities of finances, health and living space, there may be new questions of purpose, meaning and life review. For example, do you want to live out your twilight years in an assisted living lincoln ne retirement home? Or would you prefer to stay in your family home for as long as possible? These are important decisions, which require deep reflection and thought throughout your retirement.

Consequently, one thing that many people don’t quite realise the importance of when retiring is equity release. Equity release is a financial product for people aged 55 to 95 which allows you to release some of the cash (equity) tied up in the value of your home. To release equity from your home, you need to get expert advice from a qualified equity release adviser.

Retirement age can feel like it comes upon people very quickly, especially if they haven’t planned accordingly leaving a lot of things open-ended. Social security is very important in these cases as it can help provide a stable income during retirement, however, during this time a spouse may die meaning that their social security is left open, they have already paid into it, so it may possibly go to the surviving spouse. If you are not sure, you may want to ask a financial planner “when should I claim Social Security survivor benefits from the government?” and see what the next steps are to take. Taking the next steps in life can be overwhelming for those who have not thought much about it, that is why a practical and spiritual approach combined can be very beneficial to those who are in need of different levels of assistance.

Seidman, who studied spiritual direction in the Jewish tradition serves as an outreach chaplain with the local Jewish Federation’s Chaplaincy Services, and completed a Sage-ing Mentorship Program.

According to Seidman, the group will be participatory, inviting personal sharing and deep non-judgmental listening, all in service of the discernment of what brings each of us closer to the sacred. “A spiritual direction group differs from a traditional support group,” she said. “Rather than give advice, we are here to be witnesses and companions to each other.”

The group, sponsored by Jewish Family Services, will offer a sliding scale fee of $36-$72 for the four sessions. Information may be obtained by calling 518-482-8856 or e-mailing info@jfsneny.org.



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