The most mature baby boomers have just turned 65 — the traditional retirement age. As a result, we are hearing more discussion about how aging adults plan to approach retirement. Often, it's anything but traditional.

The most mature baby boomers have just turned 65 — the traditional retirement age. As a result, we are hearing more discussion about how aging adults plan to approach retirement. Often, it's anything but traditional.

More than several people I know are putting it this way, "I am not retiring, I'm re-firing."

One woman followed that comment with a wide smile and something resembling a raised fist. My personally favorite intentions involve retiring adults who intend to have an "encore career."

A recently released study, The Sun America Retirement Re-Set Study, completed as a collaborative effort involving Age Wave, Sun America Financial Group and Harris Interactive Market Research, contains some findings worth talking about. For details, go to http://retirementreset.com.

In a lot of ways, this is not the ideal time to retire. More than 46 percent of Americans age 55 and older say their financial assets have not yet recovered from the most recent recession and their homes are worth less than they had hoped they would be at this point their lives. But these same folks see retirement as a new chapter in life.

It's important to note that the last time this kind of information-gathering was done (2001) 38 percent of those queried were positively "re-visioning" retirement. This most recent data (2010), it was 54 percent.

There are other realities. Retirement is increasingly being postponed, often to after age 69. And two-thirds of people surveyed said they intend to remain productive and involved in "a variety of learning and growth opportunities." In some cases into their seventh or eighth decade and beyond.

One of the most frequently read publications for professionals who work in aging is "Aging Today," published by the American Society on Aging. In a recent article its editors reflected on the results of the Retirement Re-Set Study and pronounced, "It's all about value." Not "values" — the word is "value."

Let's illustrate. A whopping 85 percent of the people surveyed indicated notable and enduring appreciation for family and friends. And 50 percent indicated they knew they would be providing intergenerational support for family members. Not surprisingly (sigh) 70 percent expected their kids would need financial help. Whatever our personal, financial situations — we value those close to us, and this study seems to support that we have generous hearts.

According to the Retirement Re-Set Study, older adults are more interested in guaranteeing their investments do not lose value than they are in building "wealth." (and I would submit these investments include time, talent and financial resources).

Whether we are classified as "ageless explorers" (enjoying retirement, financially content) or "strugglers" (slogging through, having a difficult financial time), we are value seekers and problem solvers.

I like to think we all value continuous learning and reliable information — we want to make informed retirement choices and we want our grandchildren to have our best possible planning advice in the hope they can avoid (or manage better) the kinds of problems we have encountered.

If you want some practical tips about how to do that, Oregon State University Extension is hosting AARP's popular, no-fee "Retirement Planning" seminar in the morning on Sept. 28 and 29 in Jackson and Josephine counties. Call 541-776-7371 for details. I think you will find it of value.

Reach Sharon Johnson at s.johnson@oregonstate.edu or call 541-776-7371, Ext. 210.