Friday, January 30, 2009

Feeling "Golden" in Retirement

For us Boomers, retirement was referred to as the Golden Years.

The transition from work to retirement was the much sought after carrot at the end of a long career. In all the pre-retirement seminars, the instructor drilled into us the need to prepare financially, but little was said about the emotional challenges that we face in retirement.
For Type A Boomers (like me), the emotional challenges revolving around loss of identity, finding a new purpose for getting up, and replacing the affirmation from doing a good job can be overwhelming. Without that “pat on the back” or “attagirl”, retirees are often left drifting while looking for a new sense of self-worth. I feel that the 5 stages of grief accurately describe what some Boomers feel after retirement; especially nowadays since many Boomers are being forced to accept an early retirement or be laid off. So, they often feel helpless because their choice of when to retire was taken away from them. The 5 stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. (see for a detailed description).

I still miss some aspects of working – and when I admit that -- well, some people look at me like I'm nuts. But that’s quite normal after working for more than 40 years. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t miss it enough to ever go back to working full-time.

To help you successfully make the transition from full time work to full time retirement, you’ve got to find something your passionate about and then plan to incorporate more of that into your daily life. A good article can be found at

P.S. - After all that’s been recently taken away from us retirees, I think Retirement should now be called the “Copper Years”.

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