The Road to Retirement (Part One)

Retirement is an issue that everybody worries about when they get older.

We're regularly bombarded with advice about financial security and the need for a diversified portfolio of securities to meet whatever health costs will arise in future.   With the prospect of longer and healthier lives, it's hardly surprising that outliving our money has become a major worry for many people.   In the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, retirement security was one of the most common themes among concerns of older Americans. 

But there is more to retirement planning than building up a nest egg.   For that matter, there are other kinds of security than what financial planners tell you about.   According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, all humans have an innate need to belong and to remain a contributing member of society.   Can this sense of belonging remain even after we have stopped working?  And how well-prepared are many older adults at the prospect of coming home from the office for the last time?

A new review article published in the journal American Psychologist, explores what retirement really means for many people and why retirement planners shouldn't focus on money alone.   Written by Jacquelyn Boone James and Christa Matz-Costa at Boston College and Michael A. Smyer at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, the article examines many of the barriers faced by older adults, particularly when it comes to having their lives "matter" as it did when they were younger.

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.



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