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Description: When you read the words “retirement planning” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Well, probably money and pension (and even at an early age you SHOULD be thinking about this) but what else should folks be thinking about as they approach and enter their retirement? I have written in an earlier post to this blog about Ikigai (search it) and about other retirement considerations beyond finances. What do you think folks approaching retirement should be thinking about from a psychological point of view? Once you have a few hypotheses in mind read through the news article linked below and see if any of what it suggests was on your list. Research links to some non-financial retirement planning ideas are down at the bottom of this post if you want to see if your ideas have been studied.

Source: What people don’t tell you about retirement, Dani-Elle Dube, Smart Living, Global News.

Date: January 3, 2018

Links:  Article Link –

So how did your hypotheses do?  Did you come up with one or two of the things that have been studied as part of retirement transition? Certainly, things like the changes in routine and the related shifts in day-to-day activities are important factors in retirement adjustment. The extent to which people’s identities are wrapped up in what they do occupationally can make for a huge post retirement transition. Bridge employment or encore careers are one way in which some people ease their retirement transitions. In previous postings to this site I have written about Developmental Life Design (mainly focusing upon how it applies to emerging adults) and much of what it involves could be a very useful part of peoples’ ongoing retirement planning. This, of course, brings us back to ikigai, the Japanese word on this topic referring to one’s search for inner meaning, self and purpose. Now THAT is a psychological concept worth exploring and what better time to do that but when you have more free time in your retirement! So, start preparing for this NOW by searching for the Developmental Life Design posts I put here at the beginning of this year (2018) and you will find what they suggest useful at ANY age.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Beyond financial matters what else should we think about a plan for as we look ahead to retirement?
  2. When should you start to think about these things?
  3. What sorts of benefits might you accrue today by thinking about retirement planning using Life Design concepts and strategies (regardless of your age today)?

References (Read Further):


Osborne, J. W. (2012). Psychological Effects of the Transition to Retirement/Effets psychologiques de la transition vers la retraite. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Online), 46(1), 45.

Chamberlin, Jamie (2014) Retiring minds want to know: What’s the key to a smooth retirment?, APA Monitor, 45(1), 61.

Latif, E. (2013). The impact of retirement on mental health in Canada. The journal of mental health policy and economics, 16(1), 35-46.

Zhan, Y., Wang, M., Liu, S., & Shultz, K. S. (2009). Bridge employment and retirees’ health: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of occupational health psychology, 14(4), 374.

Wang, M., Zhan, Y., Liu, S., & Shultz, K. S. (2008). Antecedents of bridge employment: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of applied Psychology, 93(4), 818.

Reitzes, D. C., & Mutran, E. J. (2004). The transition to retirement: Stages and factors that influence retirement adjustment. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 59(1), 63-84.

Teuscher, U. (2010). Change and persistence of personal identities after the transition to retirement. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70(1), 89-106.