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SPOTLIGHT
Not an overnight event
Retirement requires an investment in your psychological portfolio, says psychologist and author Nancy Schlossberg.
Securing retirement

Spotlight: Nancy K. Schlossberg

That is what led me to say there needs to be another kind of book out there for figuring out what you want to do with your life when you are retired. You might be retired for 20 or 30 years.

Your 'psychological portfolio'
Transitioning to retirement.
More to life than money.
Income withdrawal syndrome.
Coping with income withdrawal.
Recovering from "nonevents."
Should you relocate?

It's critical that we look at your psychological portfolio as well as your financial portfolio.

How is it that someone can have all the money they need for retirement and still struggle with it? It's kind of surprising.

You find that surprising?


One of the men I interviewed for the book was a CEO at a Fortune 100 company and he had an annual pension payout of $1 million; money was no issue. In the interview with me, he slammed one hand onto the table and said, "Retirement is hollow."

For him, it was hollow because it wasn't about the money but about what was his purpose now -- to get up in the morning just to count his money?

And I, of course, interviewed people at mobile home parks and found quite a different experience there. These were all blue-collar workers and they were having the time of their lives.

They had pensions. Of course, that will not be the case 10 years -- or two years -- from now. They were having a ball, they were going dancing at the senior center, fishing, shopping at the mall.

The difference between the CEO and the people at the trailer park came down to a simple thing: expectation.

If you expect to have the same sense of purpose, the same power and the same identity after retirement -- and you feel because of your money and former power that you're entitled to it -- and it doesn't happen, it is a real letdown.

The people in the trailer park had much more than they ever dreamed they would, they had a second home -- the trailers were their second home -- and they were having a ball. So it boils down to expectations.

I think that when you think about your own life, your own identity and your relationships with people and your purpose -- what happens when all of that goes away, when people don't return your calls in the same way?

-- Posted: June 23, 2008
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