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Although we all look forward to it, retirement is a change. Research gives us a few good tips to help us to understand how to adjust well to retirement. Retirement is an important life transition, a developmental milestone. Negotiating the transition well means developing new patterns of involvement in the context of changing roles and lifestyles.
Here are four interesting facts about adjusting to retirement:
- Early research saw retirement as a sequence of predictable phases i.e. honeymoon, disenchantment, reorientation, acceptance and termination.
- More current research supports the idea that people’s adjustment to retirement evolves over time as a result of complex interrelation with physical health, financial status, voluntary retirement status, and feelings of personal control.
- People with financial security, well managed health and a supportive network of friends report high life satisfaction when retired.
- High personal competence is associated with higher retirement satisfaction. One of the reasons for this may be that highly competent people can optimise environmental press (A good explanation of environmental press can be found at http://aginginplace.com/aging-in-place-and-environmental-press/ )
So if we understand that adjusting to retirement happens in phases, it is complex and does depend on one’s financial and social supports and our own personalities, we will be better able to enjoy a fulfilling retirement.