Jill Sandler is doing retirement right. She planned ahead by saving money and finding activities to keep her busy before her last day as a state administrator. She’ll tell you one of the perks of being retired is having her Sundays back. No more preparing for the work week ahead. But free Sundays or no, her schedule is packed full on the other six days of the week. 

Jill has been a steadfast volunteer with the Tallahassee Senior Center’s Advisory Council and Arts Council for many years. She also assisted the Tallahassee Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit by getting background information for people who’d been victims of crime and participated in the Citizens’ Police Academy. She’s worked with Grace Mission providing vital services to people experiencing homelessness and even provided ride assistance when Star Metro changed their routes. 

These days, Jill volunteers as the Chair of the Health Services Committee at Westminster Oaks where she enjoys the community’s activities and has friends of all ages. “Everyone looks out for each other,” she says. Jill helped organize an independent living seminar at Westminster Oaks that filled an auditorium of interested attendees. She’d like to continue to assist more people in this area by educating them about their options before they transition to retirement. 

Participating in pickleball and water aerobics several times a week keeps Jill physically active. She even has a personal trainer she works with weekly to keep her fit. Jill’s advice to both young and old is to “take care of your body, watch out for your knees, stay busy, have people to play with, and take advantage of the activities at the Tallahassee Senior Center.”

As if all that isn’t enough, Jill is an avid Mah-Jongg player and established the Mah-Jongg group at the TSC in 2012. The group started with one table and grew to five tables prior to the pandemic. She loves to teach others how to play Mah-Jongg and has developed lasting friendships with other players. 

Jill’s true passion however is doting on her two dogs, Buddy and Max. Buddy is 11 years old, blind, and has only one ear. Max is seven and belonged to Jill’s sister, Andrea, before she passed. Jill says with a laugh, “A lot of my life is managing dogs!”

When asked her secret to positive aging, Jill responded, “caring about people, having things to do, thinking about your future and your financial health, establishing relationships, helping others, and accepting help when needed.” 

By Melanie Lachman