Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, January 9th, 2022
Five and a half years ago, Annette Junell and her husband Brett had an idea. They noticed many of their senior clients faced the same challenges, had the same questions, and shared similar fears about aging.
Why not create an environment to empower seniors and connect them with allies and experts who can help navigate decision-making?
And thus the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series – a monthly educational seminar series – was born. Each seminar draws large crowds. Many “regulars” have helped spread the word about the Retired Living Truth Series, underscoring its impact.
“It started with a simple idea and now feels like a movement,” said co-founder Brett Junell. “We started the Retired Living Truth Seminar Series in June 2016 with 20 people at our first seminar and it has grown to audiences with over 150 people.”
The seminars continue to be offered at no cost to seniors thanks to the help of 14 education partners.
“The fact that people and the community have embraced the seminar series is humbling,” Annette Junell added.
The Retired Living Truth Series has become a community builder, a reason for seniors to gather with friends. It fills a need for seniors and brings experts and those seeking knowledge together.
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” said Lois Parks, a regular attendee. “The Junells with their panel discussions make us more knowledgeable and prepared as we age.”
“You are not here for a sales pitch,” her husband Joe Parks, another regular, added.
“Exactly!” Parks said. “They are here to help us and do so in a fun way.”
And that was the goal for the Junells and other education partners.
“We bring in experts as panelists who ‘tell it like it is’ and don’t dance around hard to hear issues,” Junell said. “Our panelists are candid and are willing to share the good, bad, and ugly issues of aging and how to prepare. The goal is to give people credible resources for both late life relocations and aging in place. Either way, there is a lot to prepare for.”
“Yet many seniors have no idea what is available to them, how much it will cost, or the process for making all the pieces fit together,” added Lisa Arch from FiveStar Premier Residences, one of the education partner organizations. “Beyond helping with immediate needs, our intention is to give individuals and families the direction and confidence, so they feel empowered when the time comes to make a major life decision.”
“The series continues to be education focused with no hidden agenda,” said attorney and education partner, Richard Schulze of the Schulze Law Group.
“Brett doesn’t hold back. He tells it like it is and ensures that everyone involved does the same,” said Linda Doerr, a regular attendee.
Education partners and panelists are held to strict standards and sign off on agreements about educating and conduct.
“As industry professionals,” said Schulze, “we recognized consumers were at a huge disadvantage and we desired a way to empower older adults and their families with great information so they could make educated decisions. This program is a real blessing to our community and a significant life changer for many.”
However, beyond the educational mission, everyone involved is clearly excited about the community aspect.
“We have a lot of fun and have gotten to know the people who attend. They are like family,” Junell said. “This has not only happened to us, but also the attendees. They love to share their experiences and support each other as they go through their personal decision-making processes. There is a lot of kinship and support in the room every time.”
“It’s been a great learning experience,” added Paula Rigdon, another regular attendee. “We get to ask questions and knowing what resources are available has been very helpful.”
Rigdon said listening to the presenters and visiting with others who have gone through similar experiences has helped her evaluate her own retirement plans.
Northern Nevada area seniors are invited to join the 2022 series of candid conversations about topics that matter.
The topic for the next seminar on January 13, is “The Truth about Alternative Medicine” and will focus on how we can combine the best of Western, Eastern and Integrative Medicine for treating and preventing illness, and enhancing our ongoing health and well being as we age.
Future monthly topics include dealing with legal and financial issues, healthcare, and downsizing, among others.
Upcoming seminars in the 2022 Retired Living Truth Seminar Series are:
– Jan 13: The Truth about Alternative Medicine
– Feb 10: The Truth about the Latest Scams
– Mar 9: The Truth about Avoiding Dementia
– Apr 14: The Truth about The Psychology Behind Letting Go
– May 19: The Truth about Downsizing Made Easy Method
– Jun 23: The Truth about Best Solutions for Liquidating the Extra Stuff
– Jul 21: The Truth about Choosing a Retired Living Community
– Aug 18: The Truth about Paying for Retirement Living
– Sep 15: The Truth about Advocating for Yourself and Those You Love
– Oct 13: The Truth about a CPA and an Attorney Who Walked into a Bar
– Nov 17: The Truth about Planning Travel in Retirement
– Dec 15: The Truth about Your Well Being
The monthly seminars are held from
10-11:30 a.m. at the RSAR Building at 5650 Riggins Court, Reno (near Meadowood Mall).
The seminars are free for seniors and their guests. Pre-registration is required because seating is limited.
Seat reservations can be made online at www.RetiredLivingTruthSeries.com or by calling (775) 432-6398.