New retirees are like young college graduates – after years of the same routine, they're on their own and need to find a new path to follow.
This is how the author and former consulting professor Nancy K. Schlossberg sees it. And she should know, having written about the transition to retirement for decades and changed paths herself a few times in the past few decades. Now at 91, she is embarking on a whole new journey, serving as a consultant for Zoom programs on life transitions.
She came across the six types of retirees as she identified them when she retired herself more than 20 years ago. "I was at sea for a bit when I retired," she said. “My area of expertise was transitions and advice. I expected it to be easy and not. “After searching, she decided to write about retirement, adapting to a new lifestyle, and making the most of this next phase. She began interviewing retirees about the routes they had taken to their current location.
These are the six types of retirees and what defines them:
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This type of retiree ventures into the unknown and takes on a new job they have never done before.
A man she spoke to was head of a research group for Congress in his sixties when he lost his job. He went on a sailing trip and thought. When his wife and child died years ago, massage therapy helped him heal. He came home and told his wife that he was planning massage therapy. Another woman who interviewed Schlossberg was a housewife – the manager of a small family business, as she describes women who stay home to raise a family – and in the midst of retirement because their children had grown up and moved out. She loved art museums and applied to be a lecturer.
Everyone can experiment with a new hobby or profession depending on their interests. One way to get into the field is to do an internship, Schlossberg said.
"Then there were people like me who kept doing what I did, but in a modified way," she said. Schlossberg was no longer a professor or had a job with a salary, but she went down a path she knew – interviews and research in an area in which she had worked for decades.
The Easy Glider
One man told her he was "lazing around" like doing nothing and seeing where life leads him. "A light glider is a person who has no agenda, who wakes up in the morning and asks what to do, and lets them show up every day," said Schlossberg.
This route doesn't work for everyone. Some people may feel crazy when they don't have a new routine or purpose in retirement. But for others, especially those who have physically demanding jobs, it's a way to enjoy the little moments of the day with relief.
The spectator involved
This is the type of person who wants to dive into a field even though they don't want to turn it into a full time job. For example, a retired museum director who is constantly attending art exhibitions or a retired political adviser who is still heavily involved in political events like voter registration. "They are really involved, not as workers but as spectators," said Schlossberg.
Almost everyone is a seeker at some point in retirement as they figure out their next move. Someone can be a seeker as soon as they retire or years after they originally retired, as Schlossberg did. She was a continuator – she wrote book after book – but then she realized she had had enough of it. After some time to think about it, she decided to help organizations in other ways, such as by developing Zoom programs for transition. "Little did I know that I would be a seeker again and then find a new twist on a subject at my age," she said. "Everyone will be a seeker."
When she first interviewed retirees, she saw this as the more depressing transition. In essence, the retreater is a "couch potato," she says, who "can't figure out what to do". However, there are two types of retreaters: the one who is depressed in retirement because of no purpose, and the one who “pulls back” until he can determine his next steps. "It's like taking a break," said Schlossberg.
Retirement is a time to explore. Find out what interests you, what doesn't and how you plan to spend your free time in this next phase. Test a few different areas such as: B. Voluntary work or visits to events and facilities that match your interests. “It's very much like a college graduate,” said Schlossberg. “There are some people who know exactly what they want to do, and that goes for retirees too. But there are those who don't know, and it's time to explore, seek, just go wild. "
Schlossberg continued speaking with MarketWatch about how people can determine which path will suit them best, and how to make the most of that transition even during a pandemic.
Some people use retirement as a time to expand their careers that they would have wanted to pursue if they had decades ago, when money was tight or there were more hurdles to achieving those goals. It is important for retirees to estimate how much these activities could cost before continuing to make sure they can afford this new avenue and retirement necessities such as housing, food, utilities and an emergency account. Your trip could even be lucrative and generate more income.
See also: Look to your childhood for a new purpose in life
"There is no simple answer, there is no formula for it," said Schlossberg. “It gives you a sense of possibility. I think people like to hear that about the paths – because it's about the possibility. "
Market observation: Do you have any advice on how people can get over feeling overwhelmed by these paths, especially if they identify with more than one retiree archetype?
Schlossberg: Some people can be helped by reading books or talking to a counselor or someone who is passionate about careers.
We live longer. I mean, who would have ever thought that when I was 91 I would still work? It seems incredible to me. But we live longer and have time to do things. Not everyone turns 91, but longevity makes a big difference. So look for help. For myself, I always try to think of a small project. One that I did in between a few years ago was volunteering at a wonderful senior friendship center. Next, I put a group together, and I still am. It's called "Aging Rebels". It wasn't about making money, it was thinking about issues that affect – like loneliness, futility, everything that older people think about.
Market observation: Do you think the pandemic will have an impact on people's transition into retirement?
Schlossberg: Much of it will be available to people due to the pandemic. It made the divide between rich and poor even bigger than before, so I think there must be short term and long term goals. In the short term, what can you do now to make sure you have a roof over your head. In the long term, what do you want to do in the long term? I think you need to think of both at the same time.