Retirement Personality

Generally, people don’t change. They don’t change who they are, what they believe, what they do or their basic goals and outlook in life. Your personality and your retirement personality are the same; just because you retire you do not become a different person. Who you are now is very much who you have always been and who you are likely to be in the future. A doer will continue to be a doer. An explorer will continue to be an explorer. A person who likes to rest a lot will continue to do so. An outgoing person will not become a wall hugger and so on. Mistakes are made by thinking things will greatly change when a job no longer consumes your every waking moment. Looking forward to “doing nothing” sounds like a great lifestyle when you are used to working around the clock. But wait! After about a year of laying around the beach community and being totally bored, you may decide that your previous life wasn’t so bad after all. Then again, don’t jump at the first opportunity to keep busy in retirement. Figure out what you want to do. Take your time; think about who you are, what you like to do and what kinds of choices you have. Slowly work yourself into your new lifestyle, trying new ideas and keeping the old things that worked. Some take early retirement and face questions from friends and family, such as: You’ll be bored. Won’t you miss the challenge of working? Won’t you miss the people you work with? Why would you want to make such huge standard of living sacrifices now? How can you live on so little?

To put your strengths and resources to work in a positive way, Dr. Nancy K. Schlossberg identified six ways to approach and understand your retirement personality. The CONTINUER uses existing skills and interests and modifies them to fit retirement. The EASY GLIDER has no agenda and lets each day unfold. A RETREATER is perhaps a negative personality type and takes time out to think or possibly disengage from life. Some may temporarily take time out while reassessing their goals; some could fade away as a couch potato. The INVOLVED SPECTATOR cares deeply about the world but takes a less active role, becoming a spectator rather than a director.  A SEARCHER explores retirement options through trial and error, volunteering and trying various routes to find their way. An ADVENTURER views retirement as an opportunity to start new endeavors, makes some daring changes, and tries new things. The important thing is to plan ahead and keep from taking a wrong path.


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