About Us

Welcome to Conscious Creative Retirement! There is no getting around the fact that most of us will live longer, and live better, than any previous generation. And, we are the largest gathering in the age-related groups on the planet. What to do with all this? Despite where you are on the retirement spectrum – approaching, adjusting, creating and enjoying, regrouping and winding down – this website with its on-line community, resources and books can help you make the most of it.

We have created an exciting new book, “Conscious Creative Retirement: 8 Essential Keys to Maximize Your Next Life Chapter”.  Small book with a big message. It is formatted to be a practical guide to give you an all round learning experience – discussion of each of the 8 keys, creative activities that get you thinking and doing (both on Amazon and this website)

There is an Ebook and paperback version for those of you who are traveling and on the move, and those who enjoy a  “hands-on real pages” version– wherever you are in the world, we are there! shop

Our audience is just like us…. creating, exploring and designing their own Conscious Creative Retirement. It’s so much easier to do when you have a community of like-minded friends, resources to help, and great stories to share.

Just so you know that we are real, you can get to know what we’ve done by reading our bios. To know us now, follow our blogs and be sure to join our creative community of lifelong learners – wait for the pop-up window and sign-up!  As we all get to know each other there will be more and more stories and conversations to share!

Suzanne Shaffer is a registered Clinical Art Therapist (retired), and professional watercolor artist living in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, Brad. Over the last ten years, Suzanne has conducted many workshops and taught watercolor painting  to seniors at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, College for Seniors, at UNC Asheville.  She has found her community of students to be amazing teachers as well, in the art of living creatively in retirement, with purpose and passion and a zest for artistic expression.  As a result, she has learned much from her “students” and is dedicated to directing her efforts to working with people who are moving into, or are already in “retirement” and are looking to create a meaningful “next chapter” of their lives.  To learn more about Suzanne, visit My Painting Class Today.

Patty Van Dyke is a retired Art Therapist and California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She lives in Ojai, California with her husband Jock – between them they have 6 kids and 10 grandchildren so life is always hopping! She has been an artist all her life and is thoroughly enjoying having more time to paint and exhibit in retirement. For many years she taught watercolor classes for the Road Scholar (formerly Elderhotel) program as well as having a full time practice in Ventura and working with other artists in a variety of creative pursuits. She and Suzanne Shaffer were once upon a time in private practice together and have remained friends through several moves by each of them. They have always been interested in how creativity is inherent in all of us, enriches our lives immeasurably, and may take a little encouragement and support to flourish. Hence, this website on creativity is a perfect fit and lots of fun for them! To get to know more, visit Patty’s website

We welcome your stories and suggestions. Use our Contact Us page to tell us what we’re doing right or what we can improve on. And if you’ve got a great story to tell of your creative retirement, we’d love to hear it and share it (with your permission, of course!)