Network - Winter 2010 - (Page 31)

O Feature The fourth group of boomers includes the folks who just can’t seem to make up their minds about retirement. There is no smile on their faces, just panic! Yes, they have their finances in order, but what about all the other things that bring joy to life? And so they play that youthful daisy game by picking off each petal and saying, “do I, don’t I, do I, don’t I?” If they really faced the truth, they’d have to admit that they’re afraid of retirement. After all, they, too, thrive on the adrenalin of the workplace. They are just not emotionally ready. In my view, the greatest challenge to making the transition into retirement is not people’s personal financial situation as much as it is a tug of war between the emotions of risk versus pleasure. Retirement represents a major change in one’s life; in fact, it literally represents a complete personal identity shift. For instance, when people retire, they lose their job title and therefore their professional identity. All of a sudden the structures, the organizational hierarchy, the tasks, and the regular paycheque that defined daily work life and identity are gone. Not only that, you lose direct contact with the people who have worked beside you for most of your profession. And, while everyone says they will keep in touch, personal interests change and people tend to drift away. The contrast between the work world and retirement represents a drastic and abrupt change. All of a sudden, instead of being directed by others, retirees need to direct themselves. While some people are excited by this opportunity, others are quite fearful of this kind of independence. And even though a retiree may feel prepared, they will be surprised by the depth of the emotional shift. After all, it is now up to them to develop a whole new life structure, a whole new set of habits and personal schedules to manage their day. If the retiree is a social type of person, they will need to maintain a higher level of interpersonal relationships. To do this, they will need to reach out of their home comfort zone and find people with whom O 31 Retirees Need a By Barbara Bowes he first group of boomers is smiling as it literally counts the days until retirement. The members of this group have their financial situation in order, a three-month trip has been planned well in advance and they are ready to take off. Excitement is in the air. They can’t wait to run away from home, so to speak. The second group also has a big smile, considering itself to be happily retired. Some members of this segment have retired at the magic age of 55 and are having a great time. Some individuals retired at a later age, but they all have a routine that gives them pleasure in their life. Some look after grandchildren, while others spend the winter months in a trailer parked in Mexico or Arizona. Still others volunteer, knit, crochet, read, golf, garden and enjoy summers at the lake. The third group, believe it or not, smiles only when it thinks about getting back to work. Its members are lonely or bored and restless. They are looking for a new job and are literally counting the days until they can return to a more hectic lifestyle. For these individuals, golf and grandchildren, or their other leisurely activities, just didn’t bring the satisfaction they had hoped for. Volunteerism too, didn’t live up to their expectations. While travel focused their attention on interesting sights for a short time; after a while, they just wanted to return home. No matter what leisurely activities they tried, these individuals were not able to feel productive. There was simply no emotional satisfaction with the lazy, hazy days of retirement. Game Plan T NETWORK O Winter 2010 10 0

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Winter 2010

Network - Winter 2010
HRIA President’s Message
HRIA Board of Directors
The Legalities of Mandatory Retirement
Unwanted Early Retirement
Baby Boom or Bust Strategies for Dealing With a Rapidly Aging Workforce
Retirement: Private Savings Plan Contributions Decreasing
Baby Boomer Steps
Retirement Is About More Than Just Money
What‘s Happening Here? HR’s Evolving Role in Dealing With Different Generations
Retirees Need a Game Plan
The HR Office
Index of Advertisers

Network - Winter 2010