Volunteering, staying social can help seniors adjust to retirement

Preparing for retirement doesn't end when you walk out of a financial adviser's office.

About one-third of retirees adjust poorly to retirement, according to research summarized by John W. Osborne in "Psychological Effects of the Transition to Retirement" (2012).

Men, in particular, can be prone to imagining their retirement from full-time work as an endless vacation, only to discover a more complex and sometimes frustrating reality. Adjustment problems in retirement can include being bored, a lack of interests, social withdrawal, loss of a sense of meaning or purpose, and depression, said psychotherapist and author Philip Chard, who writes a weekly column on mental and emotional health for the Journal Sentinel. These problems can also lead to conflicts with spouse and children, he noted.

Rich Bickle, who recently returned to race-car driving after his second brief retirement, summed up the worst-case scenario during an interview with Journal Sentinel sportswriter Dave Kallmann: “I bet you I know 10 guys … three or four years after they retire, they’re dead."



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