More of my friends are choosing to retire. Some are prepared, some not.
I’m not ready to retire just yet, but I am considering working less.
Some folks would like to retire but lack the financial resources to do so. They continue soldiering on with their lives.
My dad could have retired but chose to keep working. My mom wanted him to let go of his work in his later years. Yet dad derived great meaning from his job; he defined himself in terms of his job. I’m not sure he’d made any plans for his retirement.
However, mom got him to promise a business trip to Mexico City would be his last. It was, although, not in the way my parents envisioned. His heart gave way and he dropped dead on the streets of Mexico City. He was 70 years old. My mom was devastated.
Men who have identified their worth through their job frequently have difficulty adjusting to retirement. Military men and union workers often wrestle over how to fill in the time formally taken up by work. They have haven’t prepared for retirement. Their wives complain they can’t get them out of the house. Sadly, these men are at risk for alcoholism or drug addiction.
Fortunate there are resources at hand to serve as pointers or programs.
Encore.org is an organization that helps mid-life and senior men and women identify and establish careers once they leave the corporate world or are downsized. Using Encore.org as a foundation, these individuals find careers, often in the nonprofit arena where they can find meaning and fulfillment during the second half of life.
Life Reimagined is an initiative founded by AARP. It’s a creative model for those who are retiring or who are planning for retirement. Visitors to the site are guided through an interactive process designed to help them fashion new lives (as well as new careers) in retirement. Those interested can also check out the organization’s book Life Reimagined by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber.