Your tomorrow starts today!

Upcoming Dates: 

Thursday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, February 15 - April 4, 2024 | Lawrence Family JCC

Thursday, 6:00 pm- 8:00pm, October 24 - December 19, 2024  | Lawrence Family JCC
Friday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, October 25 - December 20, 2024  |Temple Solel, Cardiff by the Sea
(Registration opens this spring!)


Price: $400 | JCC Member: $360
Financial assistance available 


The Retirement Academy is an 8-week, cohort-based experience that explores life after work for people who are recently retired or preparing to retire. It serves to inspire participants to embrace and enhance their next chapter in life. The Retirement Academy fosters deep relationships through experiential learning from top-notch educators and professionals, social programming, and a robust alumni network.

We'd like to acknowledge the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation for investing in this program with a generous grant. Their support has helped launch this groundbreaking initiative in our community.

Who you are? 

  • Retired within 5 years or nearing retirement. 
  • Desire a high-quality experience with high-caliber instructors. 
  • Want a cohort experience to build new relationships?
  • Ready to step into the next chapter of life with purpose and a plan. 

Courses and Content

1. Financial Confidence
2. Health & Wellness
3. Relationships
4. Working After Retirement
5. Leisure, Creativity & Travel
6. Purpose, Legacy, & Spirituality
7. The Intersection of Retirement & Aging
8. Creating Your Retirement Roadmap
9. 1:1 coaching session with an executive coach

Planned Outcomes

  • Become aware of how the retirement transition impacts you financially, socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually
  • Recognize your strengths, passions, and skills.
  • Adopt practices that promote greater health and well-being.
  • Explore new possibilities for meaningful leisure time- creativity, travel, and more.
    Develop new and richer relationships with family and friends.
  • Create a personalized set of next steps/plans for your next chapter.
  • Find camaraderie, support, and joy!

Please email for questions about financial assistance.


Expert/Facilitator Bios 


Marsha Berkson (Facilitator) is an Executive Coach, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Co-Active Certified Coach (CPCC), and Member of International Coaching Federation (ICF). With an eye towards employee engagement across all levels, Marsha’s strengths lie in helping leaders establish and maintain company culture built on a Strengths foundation as well as creating personal empowerment for coaching.  From sharpening active listening skills to understanding how to ask powerful questions, she arms leaders with the strategies they need to become coaches on an individual level and on a larger level, act as change agents for the overall organization. Her efficacy comes from her unique approach; showing up authentically for her clients, bringing positivity and warmth to every interaction, and creating personal connections that galvanize people to take enthusiastic ownership and a genuine investment in their development, one that translates into forward movement for the entire organization.

After working with Marsha, clients always note her incredible insightfulness and penchant for refreshing honesty. She acts as a co-pilot to those in the driver’s seat to help them feel supported and equipped with the tools to grow personally and professionally. Marsha’s passion for coaching stems from her innate interest in connecting with people and helping them create meaningful change.


David Fares (Facilitator) is president of New Perspectives a creative, innovative, yet results oriented training, mediation, facilitation, coaching, and consulting company. With life and work experiences as a consultant, an attorney, a mediator, a facilitator, a trainer, a college professor, and a Learning, Performance and Quality (LPQ) business executive, David is well-skilled and highly acclaimed in his capability to balance logic, intelligence, emotional intelligence, learning-accountability, point of view, creativity and passion in the training, meetings/events, team sessions and mediations he facilitates as well as the projects and business initiatives he leads and collaborates on. Known as a collaborator over the course of his career, David has led both strategically and motivationally large LPQ Organizations creating strong internal strategic customer relationships and significant bottom-line results for PacifiCare, Aetna Health Insurance, and Caremore.

He spent years consulting with and improving results and relationships for small and medium-sized businesses with Insperity. He has designed, developed, and facilitated numerous leadership speeches, sessions, workshops/conferences with exemplary results in both individual and corporate performance. His facilitation and mediation expertise are demonstrated by his mediation of well over 300 family, school, victim-offender, business, and estate cases and flawless facilitation of thousands of meetings ranging from team communication sessions, and small executive team strategic off-sites to large interactive multi-disciplinary webinars. In his 14 years as a practicing trial lawyer, David litigated and negotiated innumerable business, personal injury, family law, estates, criminal, and real estate cases.

David graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.A. in Speech Communications and immediately earned his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law. He obtained his Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the College of Santa Fe. He has certificates in mediation and the Six Sigma Quality Process.


Julia Holladay (Facilitator) is a Board Certified Coach (BCC), with two additional certifications in retirement coaching. She is a life transition and leadership coach/facilitator, specializing in the second half of life. In her own second half, she went back to school to earn a Master’s degree in Leadership from USD, before completing her professional certification with The College of Executive Coaching. Julia’s passion centers around helping clients positively pivot from one life stage to another. A skilled communicator and keen listener, her goal with clients is to facilitate personal growth and self-awareness to promote positive actions. Julia capitalizes on strengths and prior experiences, both her own and those of her clients, to identify practical strategies and concrete steps to move forward and flourish. Her group work has been especially satisfying as she fosters connection, curates resources, and creates momentum to build trust, and confidence, and deepen relationships.

Julia is a lifelong learner who loves to share research related to vitality, longevity, positive psychology, and aligning personal strengths and preferences to inform choices that are life-affirming. She believes that as we age it becomes even more vital to reimagine and redefine a new life script. In addition to her MA, she earned a BS in Communication from Emerson College and is an active member of the Retirement Coaches Association and San Diego Rotary.