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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Adapting to Retirement: The Rise of Wisdom?

In spite of the today’s frequent examples of ageism, which stereotypically assume that age diminishes older peoples’ value to society, and thus contributes to feelings of inferiority, it is obvious that the majority of seniors maintain basic desires to be competent and to contribute to society.

Reflecting the diversity among seniors, many people, including retirees themselves, may also make the assumption that retirement begins a downhill slope ending with death. It seems obvious that if a person is deeply attached to his work life, particularly as a professional, upon retirement, he or she may decrease their sense of self-esteem and withdraw into him or herself. While social networks decline as we reach older ages, most of us, apparently are able to maintain and deepen relations with those close to us.

Wisdom has been defined as “…sound judgment and advice in important and uncertain matters of life.” It is basically about understanding human social relationships.  Obviously, just getting older doesn’t necessarily mean we are getting wiser. It is a function of our continuing social interest. And our ability to integrate our past experiences.

Let's explore an example

Up to now, Michael, 68 years old and married, has faced the economic downturn with some anxiety. Recently, his company management has, in order to save money, decided to close the outer suburban branch where he is employed.

Michael is considering the following options: 
  • He can plan to take early retirement with full pay for the following year, as compensation, or
  • He can plan to move to Calgary in the company head office for two to three more years.

What should Michael do and consider in making his plans?
What additional information do we need?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Retirement: It's Not Just About the Money

 While money is obviously an important factor in satisfactory retirement, we remain social beings. Our connection to others is closely related to our health and happiness.  Does it change who we are and what we need to do in order to be happy.

To start the ball rolling, I wrote an article, 'Till Death Do Us Part: Marital Relationships and Retirement in the  Impowerage Newsletter. I am interested in what you think.

I cheerfully await your response