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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

Another thing that is helpful to people is to 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. Why? Because it is changing your relationships with people, your daily routine, your role and the assumptions you have about yourself in the world.

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

I did a workshop years ago with a big financial company, and we had two couples on a panel: one couple who had retired and moved back to their hometown and the other couple who had stayed right where they were.

The people who had moved had found that home had changed and they were unhappy with moving. The people who stayed put were very happy with their decision because their relationships had remained.

The people who moved had changed everything: They had changed their roles from workers to not-workers. They had changed relationships, routines and assumptions.

The couple who stayed didn't change much -- just their roles from workers to not-workers. But their daily routines were the same. So change, even when it's something you want, can be stressful when you change everything in your life.

Retirement is not something that just begins on day one. With any transition it is a process over time.

What you have to remember is that any big transition in your life like retirement takes time, it's a process. You don't just retire one day.

Retirement is not something that just begins on day one. With any transition it is a process over time and your reaction to the transition will change. When you have a set of relationships, roles, routines and assumptions and then you retire, it takes a while to get a new life, to get a new set of roles, relationships and routines and assumptions.

And it is a process over time, so helping someone deal with it depends on where they are in the process. It's very different talking to someone who is planning for retirement than someone who is dealing with it six months or a year after retirement, because the questions are different and the concerns change.

-- Posted: June 23, 2008
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