Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend

Discover the challenges and opportunities of choosing where and how to relocate in retirement at the Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend (CREW). CREW is an educational program that will give you an understanding of retirement lifestyle choices. You will gain increased confidence in whether, where and how to relocate, no matter where you are thinking about moving. For those interested in the Asheville area, we offer an optional Sunday program that includes information sessions and small group tours.

Upcoming Programs 

June 3-5, 2016 (registration now open)


About the CREW Workshop

This practical, action-planning workshop will help you consider:

  • What retirement lifestyle suits me?
  • Am I ready to relocate?
  • Which community is the best fit for me?
  • What type of housing will meet my needs now and for years to come?
  • How will I find community in my new hometown?
  • What do I do with all my stuff?

We will help you explore the personal and social aspects of this transition to retirement: How will a move affect your relationships and identity? Should you start over in a new location? How can you remain productive and lead a meaningful life in your new community? At CREW, you will be able to make concrete plans to enter and embrace an exciting retirement, wherever you move.

Cost & Registration

The 2016 CREW program is now open for registration. Download the printable registration form.

Register before May 15
Friday and Saturday, $400* per person.
Sunday (optional), $50 per person.

Register on or after May 15
Friday and Saturday, $450* per person.
Sunday (optional), $75 per person.

*Fees include materials and most meals but not lodging. Accepted payment methods are check, Visa or MasterCard.

To register by phone, call Laurel Jernigan at 828.250.3871.

Refund Policy: Your registration fee is refundable (minus a $50 administrative fee) until May 15, 2016.  After May 15, your fee is refundable minus a $75 administrative fee.  You may defer participation for one year.

Registrants will receive a complete agenda, program details and directions one month before their program.

CREW Agenda

On Friday, you will begin by exploring retirement lifestyles. Do you plan to travel? Take classes? Continue to work or volunteer? Enjoy wellness or creativity? How will these decisions impact your choice of a new community? Couples will gain greater understanding of one another’s expectations about day to day life in retirement. Singles will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities associated with their retirement and relocation decisions.

On Saturday, you will examine criteria for choosing a new community, housing choices to meet long term needs, and how to actually make the move. Friday and Saturday programming is for those considering a move anywhere in the country or the world.

Our optional Sunday program is for those considering Western North Carolina as a potential place to move. Learn about small towns outside of Asheville, cultural and educational opportunities as well as health care resources in Asheville, and an overview of Asheville real estate. Spend the afternoon in realtor-led small group tours, visiting properties to get a feel for what’s available in Asheville, including pricing and amenities.

View sample program agenda here.

CREW Format

Lively seminars, thought-provoking discussions and practical decision-making tools help you plan your move, from choosing a location and housing to settling into your new community. With about 75 fellow participants, you will hear from local retirees, many of whom relocated to the Asheville area, about their transition to retirement and lessons learned. Relocation and real estate professionals will offer tips on how to best navigate the moving process.

Learn practical steps to an exciting retirement and relocation at the Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend!


What is the difference between the “Paths” and “CREW” programs?

We offer another retirement planning program called Paths to Creative Retirement (Paths) twice a year - spring and fall.  Paths helps participants plan a meaningful retirement that matches their values and priorities, whether or not that includes relocation. 

Both workshops address mid- and later-life transition issues. Paths focuses on personal transitions to a meaningful retirement, including timing, identity, relationships and, for some, relocation. CREW focuses on the challenges and opportunities of relocating, specifically, and all other issues are seen through that lens.

Another difference is size: Paths limits enrollment to 35 people to accommodate an intensive and highly-interactive format of facilitated small group discussions. Paths participants receive personal attention as they consider next steps toward a meaningful retirement. CREW brings about 75 attendees together in a large group format incorporating interaction with peers in some discussion groups. Participants can expect to leave CREW with the ability to make more informed decisions about relocating.

Who attends the Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend and what are they seeking?

Typically, participants come from all over the country. Both singles and couples, they are usually in their 50s and 60s. Many are still working though they may be 2-3 years from retirement. Most are interested in relocating and want help determining where and when to make their move. Some, but not all, are interested in learning more about Western North Carolina.

Does CREW address issues for singles as well as couples?

Not only do we encourage singles to attend, we do our best to connect them with one another and to offer programming specifically for them. However we even encourage couples to explore their transition issues individually before negotiating them as a couple. Couples often say we help them open up communication pertaining to retirement and relocation.

In addition to information, what will I gain from CREW?

Printed materials, presenters, panelists and local retirees provide information and insight to help with your planning. Other participants are also a wealth of knowledge; you will likely see that others are asking the same questions as you about this process, and find questions you hadn’t yet thought to ask.

Is CREW about moving to Asheville?

No. CREW is about relocating anywhere, and Friday and Saturday programming is for those who are considering any location in the country or the world. However many attendees are interested in learning about Asheville. For those attendees, we offer an optional program on Sunday including information on other communities in our region, health/cultural/educational resources in Asheville, and Asheville area real estate.

Do I need a car for the weekend?

CREW is held on the University of North Carolina Asheville campus, located a mile north of downtown. No hotels are within walking distance of our campus, therefore most participants rent a car.

2015 CREW Sponsors

Many thanks to these businesses for their support of CREW and of lifelong learning at OLLI at UNC Asheville!

Living Stone logo

Biltmore Farms Hotels logo

Discounted hotel rates for OLLI members and friends

Beverly Hanks logo

Deerfield logo

Gillespie Dentistry logo

Where to Retire Logo

2015 CREW Tour Guide Leaders

Many thanks to these wonderful area Realtors who volunteered their time and expertise to educate CREW participants about the Asheville Real Estate market!


Contact Laurel Jernigan at 828.250.3871 or