Wednesday, May 16, 2012
What is Retirement about
You have decided to talk with a friend about your upcoming retirement. Do any of these three descriptions come close to your way of thinking?
Bob’s (age 55) Ideas:
Bob reports that he is pretty much committed to the idea of retirement. Upon retirement he wants to try new experiences. On reflection he feels that is what he has been doing all along, trying this and that…. not out of a feeling of frustration, more out of curiosity. “I have always had a curiosity and an exploring urge,” he says. I am interested in getting involved community activities in an active way rather than just donating money.
He goes on to say that when he picks up the local newspaper and reads about people in their early 50’s who have died, he asks himself wouldn’t it be a terrible thing to work all this time and never get to actively work in community projects. “When you’re 40”, he says, “you don’t think much about getting old and dieing.
Carol’s (age 45) Ideas:
Assuming that things continue the way they are, I’m going to keep doing the same thing, adding variety when I can and building in retirement ideas. I have never been able to explore my interest in art. I think I could be good enough to actually bring in some money. I might even find work a gallery. When I think about retirement, I don’t feel prepared for it. And, I’m somewhat troubled. I will keep working till my late 60’s or maybe even my early 70’s, assuming that I remain competent. “Work is really important to me. “For me, I will think about retirement about four or five years before I actually do it. But, really it’s hard to think about giving up work at all.”
Alex’s (age 60) ideas:
Alex says that he is surprised how many retired people he knows who are willing and interested in talking about their retirement. “They appear happy” he says, “but when I ask them. It seems that all they do is drive around in the Winnebago’s and playing golf with the same people. He feels that’s appalling for people to spend retirement like that and has made up his mind that he won’t be “spellbound” like that. He is more frightened of retirement than death and can’t ever imagine giving up work.
He sees retirement as doing nothing. Equating it with death and can’t imagine giving up work. “I don’t see it as a happy time at all.”