A wonderful on-line site, Retirement & Good Living, provides amazing topics and tools for anyone of any age contemplating retirement. A blog that they asked me to write about the “Emotional Costs of Retirement”. was just published. I am honored to share it with you.
Needless to say how you deal with closing that door from your work life actually defines you in a different way. Every retirement book I had ever read was right . . . During our journey through life work shores up our identity, anchors our private and social life, defining us to the world.
All those years of our lives revolve around structure. Structure we create or structure imposed because of job responsibilities and we had a place to go, people that reported to us.
For most of our working life we made our careers the primary focus. It is how we measured ourselves against others and obviously reflected individual self-image. When I retired I deeply felt less valued because I was no longer bringing in a paycheck. A friend who retired 5 years before I did warned me about those feelings. She said it was unnerving when she realized she was no longer” important” in the scope of things.