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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Retirement Decision Making

Recently I came across an article that helps me understand my attitudes toward my upcoming retirement. The article is called “Applying Work-Role Attachment Theory to Retirement Decision-Making”.  There are three variables; job involvement, organizational commitment and career identification.
         In my adult career life that began in 1967 I have primarily been a university professor, with a brief period of time after I left Ontario during which I worked as an Industrial Psychologist (about 5 years) before I joined Kwantlen.
         When I was 65, six years ago, I was almost forced out by mandatory retirement. It of course has now been outlawed as a form of age discrimination.
         There is no doubt in my mind that teaching at the university level has been a central part of my life and retirement will mean giving up valued work role activities. It will also mean giving up a room full of books, fiction and non-fiction, that I have acquired over the years.
         I have less of a commitment to the University it’s self although until recently I have been an active participant in Departmental decision making.
Here are some of the factors that were considered:  all responses were listed between Strongly Agree and Strongly Disagree
How do you respond to them?
1.   I expect to retire in the near future
2.   I am very much personally involved in my job
3.   I am proud to tell others that I am part of the organization where I         work.
4.   My line of work/career field is an important part of who I am.

An attitude toward retirement question was:
1. Retirement means being bored.

Finally, some people reported favorable attitudes toward both work and retirement.  Their responses suggested that “...other roles such as leisure and family even more powerful  ‘pull’ toward retirement.”

I would really like to know how you deal with or intend to deal with your retirement.


  1. Bill,
    Good to hear from you! I have found Bill Roiter's book "Beyond Work"
    helpful in exploring my own feelings. I have over 64 postings with
    some that several deal directly with academic retirement.
    But direct communication can be a lot more specific and useful.
    Yesterday, I lectured in a class for one of my fellow instructors who
    is not feeling well. My blog post this afternoon will be related to
    that experience. What are some of the specific factors you are having
    to deal with?
    Quoting Disqus <>:

  2. Hi Larry,

    I happened across your blog this morning and have read several entries. I too am a university professor who is 66 and contemplating retirement at the end of the 2011 academic year. Although I am completely identified with teaching and love the classroom, I am increasingly discouraged with campus politics and our current academic leadership and no longer want to play their" game. In fact if I could find a meaningful transition,I would cut my ties with the university today. I am looking forward to reading your past and current blogs. I am struggling with "what to do next" and I'm anxious to read your thoughts.


  3. Well, Bill,
    What happened? I am finding that one advantage of teaching at the university level is the amount of time we have control over what we are doing. I wonder if someone working "nine to five with tasks constructed by others" might find it harder to adjust.