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Financial Literacy - Securing retirement Click Here
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

So, let's suppose you were expecting to retire, but because of the economy or a situation in your own family, you don't feel that you can. This is something you expected, but over time you realize that you are not going to be retiring. And that is a nonevent.

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

If you choose not to retire or aren't going to retire, that's not a nonevent. But it is when you are expecting it and wanting it and it doesn't happen.

When you retire, you have a party and a whole ritual for retiring. When you are getting over a nonevent, the first thing you have to do is acknowledge that you are having a nonevent. If I don't tell you that I am having a nonevent, there is no way for you to bring me chicken soup or throw a party or ritualize it with me.

Nonevents are so fascinating because they are undercover. We don't really acknowledge or ritualize them. What has to happen at some point is that we need to reshape our dreams. If our dream had been to retire at a certain point and then it doesn't happen, we might give ourselves a nonretirement party.

But then we must think, "OK, I can't do what I wanted to do, so I need to re-imagine what I'm going to do and reshape this nonevent into a positive."

For instance, one might think, "Now I don't have to worry about finding a new purpose -- I still have my work."

We have to reframe things and try to see the silver lining in the situation.

You say, "This is where I am right now and I am going to accept it."

For people who are able to retire and maybe move to a new community, what are some issues to consider before doing so?

The question is, are you relocating to somewhere you know, or somewhere entirely new? Are you looking around the country and saying where do we want to retire to? Or, are you saying, "Well, we used to spend vacations in Arizona, so that's where we're going to retire"?

When someone says to me, "Should I move someplace new for retirement?" I say, "I have no idea but I can help you figure it out by looking at your resources."

I use the "four S" system. Everyone who approaches a transition approaches it with a set of (four) specific resources: Your situation at the time of the transition, your support system, your coping strategies and your "self" -- that is, whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.

-- Posted: June 23, 2008
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