Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Creative Studies, M.S.


Center for Studies in Creativity


J Michael Fox

First Reader

JMichael Fox


The current narratives and stereotypes around retirement and aging are both inaccurate and incomplete. The popular media regularly portrays retirees and older citizens as blissfully happy but bland; or physically feeble and forgetful. Rarely are they portrayed as achievers and vibrant problem solvers. Instead they are perceived by policy makers as a problem to be solved. This project offers a different narrative ― one that presents retirement and aging as a unique time of creative opportunity, possibility, and freedom to choose. The primary outcome of the project is two chapters of a book entitled: Retirement by design: How to discover and shape the amazing in you. This book is the initial stage of a bigger project that will develop a suite of resources for people planning retirement or recently retired from the workforce. The idea is to provide information, inspiration and deliberate ways to help this group help themselves to be creative problem solvers, reject stereotypes, and flourish and thrive as they reach this life changing point. The ideas presented are based in current research from psychology and neuroscience that shows creative thinking is possible over the entire life-course ― few would doubt its necessity.