Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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New course at UNM-LA aimed at local retirees

“Switching Gears” focuses on living well in retirement.
March 1, 2017
Switching Gears was inspired by the eminent wave of Laboratory retirees.

Switching Gears was inspired by the imminent wave of Laboratory retirees. Local resources already address the financial aspects of preparing for retirement, so this course focuses on encouraging people to remain active and connected to their community.CREDIT: Dreamstime


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
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“To live well in retirement, individuals should spend time identifying and clarifying their sense of purpose.” - Lisa Caldwell

When it comes to retirement, “people tend to focus on financial security,” says Lisa Caldwell, program coordinator for UNM-Los Alamos Community Education. “But the psychological aspects of transitioning to this stage in life are just as important.”

Which is why UNM-LA is launching Switching Gears: The Next Chapter in Your Life. The interactive, two-day workshop (April 8 and 22) will focus on lifestyle planning for retirement. Activities will help attendees understand how their values and interests should shape their retirement goals.

“To live well in retirement, individuals should spend time identifying and clarifying their sense of purpose,” explains Caldwell, noting that a 65-year-old today can expect to live another 20 years, which is plenty of time to find a second career, serve the community through volunteer activities, pursue a new hobby or field of study, or determine other meaningful ways to stay active.

Organizational consultant and career coach Jacqueline Gould, of Albuquerque’s Craig Dill & Associates, will teach the class, which is made possible by partnerships with United Way of Northern New Mexico and the Lab’s Community Partnerships Office (CPO). 

“This is a new partnership for us,” says CPO’s Carole Rutten. “The Switching Gears class is a new way for our retirees to look at creating the next chapter of their lives. We wanted to bring new ideas and resources to them so that our retirees can decide where, when, and how they want to serve in the community. Wherever they choose to serve, we know that someone’s life will benefit.”

To register for Switching Gears, contact UNM-LA Community Education at 505-662-0346; commed@unm.edu; or in person at UNM-LA, Building 7, lower level. Those who prefer to register online can visit losalamos.unm.edu/community-education. Registration is $100 and includes refreshments and a guidebook.


Following April’s Switching Gears class, UNM-LA (in collaboration with United Way of NNM and CPO) hopes to offer a seminar in late spring or early summer that will include a volunteer fair.