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Are You Really Ready to Retire?? SLA Annual Conference 2005 Toronto, Canada Sandra Spurlock, LMHC, LSAT.

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Presentation on theme: "Are You Really Ready to Retire?? SLA Annual Conference 2005 Toronto, Canada Sandra Spurlock, LMHC, LSAT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are You Really Ready to Retire?? SLA Annual Conference 2005 Toronto, Canada Sandra Spurlock, LMHC, LSAT

2 Are You Really Ready to Retire?? Plan ahead! Individual Personality Factors Environmental Factors Emotional Adjustments Characteristics of Those Who Have Made a Smooth Transition Checklist: Questions to Ask Yourself Reference and Sources for Help

3 Plan Ahead! An optimal retirement transition requires thought, planning and testing at least 2-3 years before you actually retire. Try to get in touch with who you are: take some time off to pursue an adventure wholly your own; get connected with people with a different outlook. Shock of retirement can be eased by preparing for change in role and status, overcoming denial that these changes will occur. In one study, 25% of the men and nearly half the women questioned had no idea what to do after retirement.

4 Eriksons Psychosocial Stages of Development First Year of Life Infancy: Trust vs. Mistrust If important others provide for basic physical & emotional needs, infant develops sense of trust. Otherwise, a view of mistrust toward the world results, esp. toward relationships

5 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 1 - 3 Early Childhood: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Basic struggle is between sense of self-reliance vs. sense of self-doubt. Child needs to explore and experiment; make mistakes; & test limits. If parents promote dependency, autonomy is inhibited. Capacity to deal with the world successfully is hampered.

6 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 3 - 6 Preschool Age: Initiative vs. Guilt Basic task is to achieve a sense of competence & initiative. If child is given freedom to select personally meaningful activities, (s)he develops a positive view of self & will follow through with projects. If not allowed to make own decisions, tends to develop guilt over taking initiative. Will refrain from taking an active stance & allow others to choose for him/her.

7 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 6 – 12 School Age: Industry vs. Inferiority Child needs to expand understanding of the world, continue age-appropriate gender-role identity, & learn basic skills needed for school success. Basic task is to gain a sense of industry (setting & attaining personal goals.) Failure to do so results in sense of inadequacy.

8 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 12 – 18 Adolescence: Identity vs. Role Confusion Time of transition between childhood & adulthood. A time for testing limits, breaking dependent ties, & establishing a new identity. Major conflicts center on clarification of self-identity, life goals, & lifes meaning. Failure to achieve sense of identity results in role confusion.

9 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 18 – 35 Young Adulthood: Intimacy vs. Isolation Task at this time is to form intimate relationships. Failure to achieve intimacy can lead to isolation & alienation.

10 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 35 – 60 Middle Age: Generativity vs. Stagnation There is a need to go beyond self and family and be involved in helping the next generation. Includes adjusting to the discrepancy between ones dreams and ones actual accomplishments. Failure to achieve a sense of productivity often leads to psychological stagnation.

11 Erik Eriksons Psychosocial Stages Ages 60+ Later Life: Integrity vs. Despair If one looks back on life with few regrets & feels personally worthwhile, ego integrity results. Failure to achieve ego integrity can lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness, guilt, resentment, & self- rejection.

12 Individual Personality Factors Successful resolution of psychosocial developmental stages is important, as discussed above Personality develops throughout the life cycle & is shaped by the individuals potentials and the socio-cultural milieu Locus of control: high locus of control individuals will take a more active role in meeting changes of retirement

13 Individual Personality Factors – More… Self-efficacy: belief that one has the resources needed to make the retirement transition. Level of self-efficacy may be a predictor of postretirement adjustment Flexibility and far-sightedness Personality socialization & adjustment Goal directedness and perception of successful goal attainment (life satisfaction) Dispositional optimism

14 Environmental Factors (Societal) Societys (Websters) traditional view of retirement: withdrawal from ones position of occupation or from active working life no longer true Historical trends: retirement has become available at increasingly younger ages; increased non-work time available to general population; and the American work continues with its emphasis on work as the primary force of an individuals life and as a primary source of identification & worth

15 Environmental Factors (Societal) – More… American cultures major characteristic is change. Renewal, youth & flexibility are stressed, with little room for expression of the accrued experience of the older adult An equation is implied: retirement = obsolescence The greater rigidity seen in some older people can be viewed as a defense against anxiety about adaptation to an ever-changing world

16 Environmental Factors (Social Relationships & Family) Loss of work & social relationships can lead to a questioning of the meaning of existence, and result in a life review This journey of personal self-discovery and the new experience of operating in norm-less, unstructured situations can cause a sense of discontinuity and stagnation Ending of work interactions can weaken ties of friendship – so plan ahead to enlarge ones circle of friends to replace the ones left behind

17 Environmental Factors (Social Relationships & Family) – More… Consider having a protégé. The sponsor will feel (s)he is leaving a legacy behind (work identity of the younger person was shaped by the retiree), and that the retiree is missed Be aware that when we leave work we leave a community. We are then shut out of that circle which we took for granted, and we miss our old self as well Replace the old community with club and wider community participation Be aware of changes in social roles and status

18 Environmental Factors (Social Relationships & Family) – More… Find common interests and concerns with spouse, who may have trouble adjusting to both of you being home Note that your role within the family may change if your spouse continues to work Prepare to get re-acquainted with family members, especially if the family is having an empty nest experience as well

19 Emotional Adjustments Retirement can be an emotional roller coaster because so much about ones life is changing: work role, relationships, daily routines, sense of structure, and assumptions about oneself A gold watch and going away party often does not hide the fact that you are being divorced from your job, your world of work, and your career. This leads to feelings of separation and loss, mourning and exile Societal implication is that the retiree is no longer useful or able to do the job. This may lead to anxiety, resentment, or loss of self-esteem

20 Characteristics Resulting In An Easier Transition Optimal Coping Styles: – Continuers stay connected with past skills & activities, but modify them to fit retirement, sych as volunteering or part- time work in the former field – Adventurers start new activities or learn new skills – such as learning to play the piano or taking an entirely new job - Searchers learn by trial & error. They have yet to find their identity in retirement - Easy Gliders enjoy unscheduled time and go with the flow

21 Characteristics – More… Plan for a balanced portfolio of activities – volunteer work, continuing education, exercise, time with family & friends Remember that retirement requires us to create our own roles instead of relying on advice of family, friends, & societys expectations Build structure into retirement to replace old structure provided by work & family demands

22 Characteristics – More… Have a positive, can-do attitude Note these predictors of an easier transition: pre- retirement self-esteem and presence of friends Take an active role in planning process: specify retirement goals & figure out how to attain them – gives a sense of more control and self-efficacy Interact with retirees to reduce uncertainty and learn from them

23 Characteristics – More… Be aware of critical social and work-related roles youve enjoyed, and understand how these will be affected by leaving the work force Be future oriented Remember the importance of goal stability (the ability to maintain a sense of self- continuity and direction during the retirement transition)

24 Checklist – Am I Ready? Questions to Ask Myself What type of retirement lifestyle do I want? Travel or stay home? How well do I anticipate adjusting to my spouse or adult children being home every day? What are my greatest concerns about transitioning from work to a more leisurely life? What do I most look forward to about retirement? Will I want to work at all?

25 Checklist – More… How do I plan to use my free time? If I am what I do, who am I once I am no longer doing it? Who would I like to be during retirement? What activities do I want to do, and what are their costs? Travel? Hobbies? Service organizations? Will I take any classes? Do I have friends I will be able to see frequently who are not friends from work? Will I be able to develop new friendships through sources other than work?

26 Checklist – More… Do I have a healthy lifestyle? Do I exercise regularly and have good eating habits? Do I have routine health checkups? How does my family fit into my plans? What do I really care about? What has value and worth?

27 Resources American Psychological Association (APA) – American Psychiatric Association – National Institute on Aging – www.nia.nih/gov

28 References Corey, G. (2001). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 6 th ed.,Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA, pp. 73-81. Darnley, F. (1975). Adjustment to retirement: integrity or despair, The Family Coordinator, pp. 217-226. Dittmann, M. (1994). A new face to retirement, Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, found on Web site April 2005, Eigles, L. (1994). Are you ready to retire?, Women in Business, Vol. 46, p 20. Fitzgerald, T.H. (1988). The loss of work: notes from retirement, Harvard Business Review, pp. 99-103.

29 References – More… Greer, M. (1994). Retirements road map, Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, found on Web site April 2005, Kets de Vries, M.F.R. (2001). Is there life after retirement?, California Management Review, Vol. 22, pp. 69-76. Kim, J.E., & Moen, P. (2001). Current Directions in Psychoanalytic Science, Vol. 18, pp. 83-86. Payne, E.C., Robbins, S.B., & Dougherty, L. (1991). Goal directedness and older-adult adjustment, Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 38, pp. 302-308. Taylor, M. E. (1995). Adaptation to retirement role changes and psychological resources, Career Development Quarterly, Vol. 44, pp. 67-82. Watt. J. (1989). Future Retirees Need More Than Their Financial Nest In Order, Journal of Financial Planning, pp. 188-191.

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