Saturday, July 03, 2021

Are you “Partially” Retired? It May Not Be Enough.

 by Gary Stamper

Although retirement is definitely a life event, like turning 21, marriage, or children, it’s not really an event, it’s a significant process.

if you’re like most of us, that process begins with an influencer or a set of influences that start the process. There may be many influences that may kick off the process, some of which may include pre-retirement financial planning, the actual date of one’s retirement, or the question of “what do I do now?”

The influencer can happen at any time and it comes in the form of cognitive awareness of retirement on both individual and relational planes, which hopefully inspires action. On both planes, there are internal and external dialogues, self-reflections, and meaning-makings that needs to be resolved before deciding on a course of action, with every person’s situation and experiences coloring the sense-making that needs to be done.

And while the meaning-making is different for everyone, the process remains pretty much the same. What can be said about the process is that retirement is a psychosocial process of identity transition and search for meaning, i.e., the creation of a new identity, which is triggered by the retirement process.

Self-Awareness and Adaptability

Using the criteria described above, we’ll look at two of the most important cognitive aspects of that meaning-making and we’re taking a very brief look at each from the very different but typical perspectives of (1) career-minded individuals who have held the same employment either with one company, or the same type of job with two or more companies, and (2), more entrepreneurial-minded individuals who have experienced many different types of jobs and employers and perhaps even been an entrepreneur or self-employed at several different careers and fields.

It only makes sense that those who have had the latter, i.e., multiple careers, will have likely developed more adaptability than the former, simply because they have had to adapt, which in turn allows increased self-awareness to rise as it’s needed. That’s basically a learned skill, especially as opposed to an assembly line worker who has perhaps spent the majority of their career doing the same thing over and over. That’s not to say one path is better or worse than the other, they are just different, and, in most cases, each allows its own results and consequences.

So what do you think? What else might be at play here? What about CEO’s of various sized corporations or owners of small businesses and entrepreneurs? How might that affect self-awareness and adaptability and why is it Important?

Traditional retirement planning has typically been all about financial planning with no attention whatsoever ever given to the psycho-social aspects of retirement. The assumption has always been as long as one has enough money, the rest will fall into place.

What we’re now seeing is that partial solutions to life changes just aren’t adequate or sufficient. That's where a Life Coach comes into play.


Gary Stamper is a Certified Professional Coach and the founder and creator of Old Dogs New Tricks, a website that supports men in being compassionate badasses after they retire. He is also the author of Awakening The New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, a book about evolutionary consciousness and men's spirituality.

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