Each month, as part of our Aging in Atlanta series, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution introduces readers to a member of the city’s thriving 55+ community. This month, we profile entrepreneur, real estate agent, and amateur stand-up comedienne, Shelly Bloom of Hoschton.
Bloom, who relocated to the Atlanta area from Florida in 1999, recently stepped down from a twenty-year stint volunteering as a Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. She currently owns an import company while working full-time in real estate, specializing in helping seniors buy and sell homes in active 55+ communities. Below, Bloom shares a bit about balancing her work, hobbies, and personal life while staying healthy and active at 74.
Q: Can you share a bit about how you got into the senior real estate business?
To make a living following my divorce, I transferred my real estate license to Georgia from Florida. I was given terrific advice once by a (business executive) who said I’d make more money with a niche market than trying to be everything to everyone. Since I’m a senior, I understand their needs. My tagline is “Playing with people my own age!” It serves me well. The best compliment is when clients say they’ve put me in their will so their children will list their property (for sale) with me.
Q: What do you love most about living and working in a 55+ community?
There’s so much to do in an active adult community, where I’ve lived for 15 years. It’s like “adult camp.” We’re all in the same age range and we all look after each other. You can get as busy as you want to be, with over 80 clubs, pools, sports courts, and teams. I love line dancing too.
Q: How did you get into stand-up comedy?
I’ve always had a sense of humor and remembered jokes. I started doing stand-up comedy as my therapy for my divorce in 2006. I figured you’d keep friends around more if you’re laughing than if you’re crying. I started writing my own material which is fun. People ask me to do stand-up for different events.
Q: How do you juggle everything and maintain balance — do you ever rest?
Some days I juggle better than others. I don’t get enough sleep, as I tend to work late. I’ve been lucky to stay healthy — I take no prescriptions. I try to eat healthy. I work out about six days a week consistently, since 1978. Currently, I exercise 1.5 to two hours a day, including walking my dog.
I do not shut down well. I try to relax with my significant other (of 12 years) on the weekends. I love to watch movies or listen to books on Audible or Libby. I’m trying to schedule more travel time. I also enjoy spending time with family, including three daughters and four grandchildren.
I just love helping people; that’s (an) incentive to keep going.
Q: How is senior life different than expected? Do you think you’ll ever retire?
I look forward to retirement and traveling. There’s a certain freedom in your 70s — not setting an alarm clock, not having deadlines. Responsibilities change — I have more time to give back to my community.
I think when our parents were this age, we thought they were really old. Since we’re all living longer, we’re staying healthier longer. I didn’t think I’d be working this much at this age, but my life circumstances changed, and I truly enjoy working and helping people in any way I can.
To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.