Barb retired from the Y after 33 years. She saved as much as she could and now has a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.

Tell Us About Your YMCA Career

What I like about the Y is it’s an organization that is passionate about its members and its community. They care for everyone. Also, YMCAs work with the whole community to ensure that everyone has the best care they can receive.

I worked for the Y for 33 years, starting as a part-time nursery school teacher at the Lower Bucks Y in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. I quickly became a full-time Program Director overseeing all youth programs and Day Camp.

Also, during this time I was a volunteer on the Day Camp Committee with the Philadelphia MRC, offering trainings for camp staff and directors. That led me to be a National Day Camp Trainer and the first Day Camp Facilitator.

After 17 years, I left for Connecticut and worked at the Westbrook Y as Senior Program Director and at the Fairfield Y as an Associate Executive.

My last position was with the Greenwich Y as the Vice President of Operations. John Eikrem was the CEO, and under his leadership we assembled a great team to undertake a massive turnaround and a major expansion.

How was the transition to retirement?

Everybody has some trepidation about retirement. I know I did. My husband and I spent the summer at the shore, thinking about our future as retirees.

I didn’t realize how busy I would be in retirement. Since my family lives in Pennsylvania, we decided to move ‘home.’ We joined the Hatboro Y, where we reconnected with old friends and became volunteers. I now help with the annual fundraising and have been approached to join the Board.

I also became the President of the Central Atlantic Chapter of AYR (Association of YMCA Retirees) with a great group of Y retirees. We work as a team to make our Chapter fun and interesting.

tell us about the process of saving for retirement

The first person to encourage me to save for retirement was John Preis, the CEO of the Retirement Fund. He was making a presentation that I attended. I’m glad I listened to him.

I don’t know how my retirement compares to others, but we are comfortable. After marrying Roy (my second marriage), we were smart — we went to see a financial advisor. He advised to save the most we could for retirement, and we followed that advice.

If You Could Give One Piece Of Advice To Current YMCA Staff About Saving And Planning For Retirement, What Would It Be?

Be smart with your money. Think about seeing a financial advisor well in advance. They will help you prepare for retirement.