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September 19, 2012 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-19

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2B Wednesday, September 19, 2012 The Statement

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 // The Statement 7B

Ann Arbor: A retirement haven


from last week: msc & facebook random student in
Are you satisfied with the way Mary Sue Coleman by kaitlin williams/ illustrations bym
has been running the University? Hey! Would you like to be in the

No Marv Sue

Random Student Inter -

i Coleman is a ter- I have no opinion I would, but I don't think I can bi
CilemUnisty- on this - 4% in it twice.
rible University
president - 13% What? When were you in it
I was walking by here last week
and this guy stopped me ...
Oh, Brandon?
Yeah. He's intense.
Yeah, that's Brandon. Thanks
for stopping again. You must
Mostly, although Yes, I think have a very approachable face.
the tuition is too she's great
high - 31% 52%
Would you be able to survive a
summer without Facebook? Yeah, no problem. Good luck!
summer(walks away)
No, sometimes I Yes, I only check (
don't even know Facebook to keep Hey! How about you? Would
that I'm going on up with high you like to be in the Random
Facebook - 31% school friends Student Interview?
14% The what?
For The Michigan Daily. It's
supposed to be fun!


vegan mulholland
You were closer with Brittany.
Closer ... Brianna?
I got it on like the third try!
That's so awesome! So now, you
are a junior.
No. I get that a lot though.
Fifth-year senior.
Wow. OK. Let me think. Then
what are you studying? Fifth-
year senior, so it's probably
something hard...
Do you think it's hard?
It's just obscure. Not hard, exactly.
Obscure. OK. Organizational
That 'obscure' thing has me
completely thrown off. Wait! Is
it in the School of Music, The-
atre & Dance?
Yes? Oh my gosh! I'm so good at
this! Well, you do look creative.
OK, let's see how far my clair-
voyance goes. You are going to
the Union because you want
some Wendy's.
No, that's not good for you.
Yeah, I try not to eat it.

Not even a salad from Wendy's?
The salads aren't that great.
So you want
a veggie sub
from Subway?
See, I'm good at advertising and
promotions as well.
Fine. What are you going into
the Union for?
I'm meeting up with some friends.
Let's see what
you can extrap-
olate about me.
Are you in Art &
No. I wish I had those talents.
Oh, are you in social change/com-
munity-type stuff? Like sociology
or psychology?
Org studies?
No. You're stealing my answers.
Haha OK. Are you in LSA?
Yeah! Well, it is the biggest
school here, but you still win.
What year do you think I am?
Senior! I was thinking senior, but I
was like, "No, she has a young face."
Well, thank you. I'm glad I could
pass for 20. I'll let you get to
your friends now. I'm going to
go work on my intuitive powers.
- Brianna is a Music, Theatre &
Dance senior.

By Rayza Goldsmith

Yes, I don't even
have a Facebook

Maybe, but
I wouldn't be
able to delete
it completely

How long is this going to take?
Three minutes, tops.
Yay! Great! Thanks for stopping.
Now, normally this is where I'd
ask you your name and year and
school and all that, but I thought
it'd be fun today if I could guess
all that. OK?
Then maybe you can guess some
stuff about me. Your name is

(Th1 Jidiigan 0aUt
Come to one of our mass meetings
*Wednesday, Sept. 19
*Sunday Sept. 23
All meetings at 7:30 p.m.
420 Maynard St.

It's difficult to think of Ann Arbor as any-
thing but a college town.
While they don't declare their pres-
ence as forcefully, an older demographic
constitutes a large chunk of the city. Accord-
ing to the 2010 U.S. Census, Ann Arbor resi-
dents 65 and older comprised 9.3 percent of
the total population, but those as young as 50
are choosing to settle here post-career.
Retirees who choose to settle in Ann
Arbor are a different breed from the warm-
weather-seeking, golf-playing folks we
usually associate with a senior population.
That's not to say that there's anything wrong
with Boca Raton or Honolulu, but those who
choose to retire in Ann Arbor say they have
priorities beyond just the weather.
Marlene Ross, 71, is an Ann Arbor retiree
and a volunteer docent at the University of
Michigan Museum of Art. She still lives in
the large, modern house her husband built
and has a strict no-shoes policy inside her
home, making visitors' shoes a hot commod-
ity for her dog Mokzy.
Though she originally hails from New
York City, Ross said Ann Arbor has more
than enough culture to satisfy her.
"I would never leave Ann Arbor," Ross said.
"It's a small town with big city opportunities."
Ross pointed to the University Musical Soci-
ety as one such opportunity. As a volunteer for
UMMA, she has free access to many University
exhibits and musical performances. Ross said
she has seen the acts that perform at Carnegie
Hall in NewYork performon campus.
Ann Arbor's thriving restaurant scene is
also a big bonus for Ross.
She noted that on one trip to Manhattan,
the man at the deli counter told one of her
familymembers: "If your aunt isvisitingfrom
Ann Arbor, she has the best Jewish delicates-
sen in the country," referring to Zingerman's.
"What more can you ask for?" Ross said.
"The culture,' the political' limate; tOnVe-

nience, unbelievable convenience of living in
a small town and yet having all this."
Health is wealth
It's worth noting that a large part of what
makes Ann Arbor a retirement hotspot is the
In a recent study published by the Milken
Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, Ann Arbor
was ranked the seventh small metropolitan
city for successful aging in the United States.
According to Conrad Kiechel, the Milken
Institute's director of communications, col-
lege towns are particularly well-suited to
thriving retirement communities.
"One of the reasons that university
towns did very well," Kiechel explained, "is
because people know about how universities
enrich the cultural offerings for people in
their community."
Another benefit the University provides is
its world-class medical programs and facili-
ties, which Kiechel said is the primary reason
Ann Arbor scored so well in Milken's study.
Bob Pickering, 69, an Ann Arbor retiree
who lives in the University Commons, said
he and his wife initially moved to Maui,
Hawaii to retire, but two weeks after the
move, opted to relocate to Ann Arbor for
medical reasons.
"Family compelled us to comeback and med-
ical reasons compelled us to come back," Pick-
eringsaid. "And frankly, we like Ann Arbor."
Pickering met his wife at the University,
and housing on campus was the first place
they called home.
Lifelong learning
For many retirees, Ann Arbor's oppor-
tunities extend into the academic realm.
A nurpoff nstitutigns exist for the sole
prpoe*of ertating'a culture of intellectual

stimulation for senior citizens.
One such institution is Ann Arbor's Osher
Lifelong Learning Institute, one of 117 life-
long learning organizations across the coun-
try located on college campuses that cater
specifically to an older clientele.
OLLI sponsors up to 120 classes and lec-
tures each year led by retired professors.
Anyone over age 50 is invited to attend these
outings and membership costs only $20 annu-
ally. Today, OLLI has around 1,280 members.
Founded by businessman and philanthro-
pist Bernard Osher, OLLI is based on the
idea that lifelong learning promotes mental
and physical health among older adults by
encouraging them to stay involved in activi-
ties and creating new friendships, according
to Abby Lawrence-Jacobson, OLLI's pro-
gram coordinator.
University Commons, a 55-plus com-
munity, is another University-affiliated
institution that caters to retirees seeking
intellectual engagement.
Founded by retired University faculty,
the Commons - a condominium community
available only to those with a four-year col-
lege degree - hosts concerts, offers lectures
by community members and has weekly
meetings to discuss worldly issues, accord-
ing to Commons resident Karen Gotting.
Gotting, 71, said if you're looking for
a warm place to settle down with tennis
courts, golf courses and allthe other typical
Florida retirement stereotypes, the Com-
mons isn't your solution.
"It's a place where people are very astute
in terms of being politically aware of what's
going on," she said.
A homogeneous city
But despite the cultural pride that that
Ann Arbor's senior population exhibits, its
racill composition is largely-homogenous.

Only 8.9 percent of Ann Arbor's 65-plus pop-
ulation is African American, according to the
U.S. Census Bureau.
Part of this is attributable to a financial
disparity between the racial groups.
According to a study conducted by Nari
Rhee at the University of California, Berke-
ley, Blacks and Latinos are more commonly
in the lowest income bracket for retirees,
and poverty rates for retirees are twice as
high among those groups. Ann Arbor is no
Michael McGee, a financial planner
based in downtown Detroit, makes a con-
certed effort to reach out to the African
American community, which he said lacks
crucial access to financial advice. It is for
this reason, he said, that the black commu-
nity is often less prepared than whites to
"They maybe do not make the right moves
throughout their 30 years of employment
that someone else might make," McGee said.
McGee also said the general lack of diver-
sity in the city discourages many African
Americans from moving to Ann Arbor in the
first place.
McGee said he was one of only three Afri-
can Americans at a conference of 125 finan-
cial planners held at the University.
Nevertheless, McGee is optimistic
about the future of financial planning for
African Americans, noting that he has
seen significant changes over the past
decade in the community's knowledge of '
the subject.
He added that Ann Arbor might see a
change in its retiree demographics as a
result of this knowledge. This shift would
hopefully further enhance the cultural
opportunities afforded by Ann Arbor to
its elderly residents, and keep Tree City a
popular place for sexagenarians to settle,

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