Sun04202014

New columnist tackles senior issues

Joy for seniors

Over the coming months you will be seeing in this column a variety of articles having special relevance for seniors, like retirement (trends and alternatives), travel, housing trends, health and welfare, seniors and the Internet, and many others. I am the Joy in the title and, as a senior myself, I intend this column to live up to its name. Toward that end, I invite your comments about any of the topics being covered here, as well as suggestions for any topics you would like to have developed.

Well, who is Joy Valentine? I am a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Los Altos, where I specialize in helping seniors with their housing issues. I have a master's degree in social work and, prior to becoming a real estate agent, I spent many years in a variety of counseling roles, involving people of all ages and stages in life, from children to seniors, marriage and family therapy, including individual and group counseling and mediation of various kinds.

What is a senior? It is generally agreed that a senior is defined as any individual age 50 and above. (Although, probably those recently-arrived 50 year-olds will strongly disagree with that definition.)

With that definition, the age range is so broad that it can encompass as much as 50 years, making it impossible to treat the entire group as one homogeneous segment of the population.

One of the primary characteristics of this age group, in spite of its breadth and, perhaps more characteristic of this group than of any other, is that life is both a process of culmination and regeneration, of relaxation and revitalization, of reflection and personal growth, and above all, of personal freedom. For many, seniorhood is synonymous with retirement. Senior citizens encompass a great deal more than retired persons. And this segment of the population, as complex and diverse as it presently is, will be changing even more in the coming decade.

Joy Valentine is a broker associate with Coldwell Banker in Los Altos. For comments, call her 24-hour Senior Hotline, 562-1019, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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