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Active seniors embrace new age of retirement

For Stan Squillace, it wasn't as traumatic as you might think. Retirement from a longtime job and a move from a longtime home mark change - plenty of it.

But it's change he got used to - very quickly.

Squillace started working for the United States Army in recruiting in 1971, spending the last 32 years in the same position as director of advertising and public affairs for the Southeast region. It was a job he enjoyed but has found little time to miss.

"I left my job on Feb. 2. On Feb. 3, I slept late and it got better from that point," Squillace said of retirement. "I really loved the job I had, but I have not had any trouble adapting to that (new) lifestyle.

"I'm one who likes new stuff. I wanted to do something new."

So he and his wife Elayne sold their home in the Connemara subdivision in Snellville and moved to Hoschton. There, they settled in The Village at Deaton Creek, a subdivision for senior lifestyles, leaving behind the home in which they resided for more than 20 years and put three kids through Brookwood High School.

"It was very, very easy for me (to leave)," Squillace said. "It was more difficult for my wife."

Their friends at Connemara threw them a going away party and joked about how far away they were moving. But it's a trek more and more people their age are making.

As the population ages - the Atlanta Regional Commission's Lifelong Communities Study says that by 2030, 20 to 23 percent of the metro area's population will be over age 60 - those people are also becoming more active. And moving to places where others are active as well.

Squillace is 66 and says, "I've never been as busy as I am since I retired. It's actually not a joke. People have asked me to do things and I haven't had time."

This is not your father's retirement. Squillace stays busy with projects, trips, children and grandchildren. But he also stays active with bocce, senior tennis, bowling and trivia.

Then there's softball. A self-professed softball fanatic, Squillace is not just a player in his league (a pitcher, of course) - he's the commissioner. And the league isn't just some pick-up deal. The teams are sponsored - just like you'd see in little league.

"It's great," Squillace said of the softball. "It's people the same age getting out and still having fun. It's done socially as much as competitively. But it is competitive."

That competition starts back up Sept. 12, and you can bet you'll find Squillace on the mound. But in the meantime, he'll have plenty to keep him busy. After all he's not tired, he's retired.

E-mail Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.