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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 you can look at all four things and say, "We're considering moving to Sedona." But in this hypothetical situation, we will suppose that your mother is sick and is thinking of moving with you. We're her support system, so the situation is not ideal right now for the move.

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

Let's look at your support. Let's say, you know a lot of people in Sedona and so have a big support system there. You might decide that despite your situation and the stress with your mother, that your support is positive in Sedona.

Another person in the same situation might have no support there and so it's a negative.

Then you look at your "self." Are you good at making major transitions or has it always given you problems? Some people embrace change and love to move; other people have difficulty moving. Are you going to be a positive or a deficit in the move?

Then you have to look at your coping strategies. Are you someone who employs lots of coping strategies or are you someone who employs very few?

Several years ago, I got an e-mail from a man who had read my book and he saw that I lived in Sarasota, Fla., and Washington, D.C. He wrote to me and introduced himself as a dean at Penn State and said, "I am moving to Sarasota in eight months. Could you tell me how I could make some initial contacts? Could you have lunch with me when I come down?"

Try to think that whatever change you make, even if it is a change that you want and it's a positive change, can be stressful.

At any rate, he wrote e-mails to several people in Sarasota so that by the time he moved, he already had made some contacts, though he knew no one here. Each person with whom he had lunch gave him some new people to call. When he had lunch with me, I gave him three more people to call and this man now knows more people than I ever thought of knowing in Sarasota.

Some people know how to move and know how to try to establish and build up a support group. They are, as people, resilient and optimistic and take initiative and use lots of coping strategies. With this gentleman, it was a piece of cake.

Other people I see, when moving from their homes, many times it is a bad situation. They are lonely and wish they were back home with their families and friends.

You should look at potential resources and think about whether or not this move is a good one.

-- Posted: June 23, 2008
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