S5-EP13: One Year Later: Richard Eisenberg on the UNretired life

Apr 14, 2023


Debbie talks to veteran journalist and prolific writer Richard Eisenberg about his first year of unretirement: the adjustments, the travels and the meaningful work.



Debbie brings veteran journalist and prolific freelance writer Richard Eisenberg back on the podcast one year after he “unretired” from full-time work as managing editor of Next Avenue. When they spoke a year ago, he was just embarking on his new life. Today, he reflects on surprises, what he’s learned, what he’s working on, and more.

Richard defines unretirement as a mixture of paid and unpaid work, as well as the opportunity to delve into unexplored passions, travel, volunteer, and spend more time with family.

He tells Debbie that the biggest surprise so far is how challenging it has been to adjust to a wide-open schedule on his calendar. He has lots of days with a full plate but the blank days are discomfiting. Debbie suggests that he cheat and put “take a walk” or “pick up the dry cleaning” on his Apple calendar. He reveals that he much prefers a paper calendar and carries one around with him, with his appointments entered, changed, and scratched off.

He and Debbie also discuss ageism, the ethics of writing with help from AI (aka Chat GPT), and fraudulent Medicare Advantage marketing. They also talk about the increasing number of age-friendly jobs and why older workers (who value flexibility, autonomy, etc.) are NOT getting them.

This is a great conversation from a down-to-earth practitioner of the art of unretirement. You’ll find links to some of his recent articles in the show notes below. All are about issues related to retirement and aging.

Mentioned in this episode or useful:


Some of Richard’s recent articles


Books he’s read and enjoyed recently:


[B]OLDER podcast episodes about intergenerational collaboration:



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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."