Holistic Retirement: Structure, Community and Purpose – by Eric J. Kruger

Planning for a Fulfilling Life After Work
During and After COVID – 19
Beyond the Financial and Legal Aspects 

Abstract

This article addresses the importance of including all the major aspects of a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle in retirement. The large majority of books and articles on retirement planning focus just on the financial and legal aspects. The article emphasizes paying attention to eight major facets of life after full-time work as critical to a successful, fulfilling, and balanced existence: in two words, “Holistic Retirement.”

ENTERING RETIREMENT: DANGER AND OPPORTUNITY

  “We realized we had spent more time planning our vacations than planning for our retirement,” a successful business couple who had come to me for retirement coaching in Tennessee avowed. Research shows that they are far from a minority. “I was looking forward so much to retirement,” a recently retired professional in New York told me. “After a few weeks, I realized I was lost and disoriented. I became quite depressed. Amazingly, I yearned to go back to my office to work!” Tellingly, a newly retired client exclaimed to me: “I realized after a month that I’m now unemployed – and utterly unemployable…”

Most Americans go into retirement psychologically, emotionally, and financially unprepared. Some – less than 40 percent of Americans, according to “Financial Security at Older Ages,” a recent report by Barbara Butrica and Stipica Mudrazija at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College – have made adequate financial plans for their lives in their later years.

Of those who do, a surprisingly high proportion report feeling adrift and demoralized in spite of their financial planning. Some actually do go back to work, at times on a part-time basis. (A growing number of people over 65 are finding that they cannot afford to retire. This is the focus of another article).

Many books and courses are available on how to prepare for one’s later years financially and legally. An increasing number of the Human Resources departments of companies indeed are offering workshops on this important topic. However, there are very few books, courses, and company workshops giving guidance on the equally crucial emotional and psychological, non-financial aspects of the transition from “working” to “not working.”

A study published in the Journal of Population Ageing found that those who were retired were about twice as likely to report feeling symptoms of depression than those who were still working. Research from the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs found that the likelihood that someone will suffer from clinical depression actually goes up by about 40% after retiring. A recent article by Ismael Conejero, Emilie Olié, Philippe Courtet, and Raffaella Calati reports that the percent of men over 65 in the US committing suicide is four times higher than the percent of men under 65.

An instance is the case of one of my clients who came to me for what I have come to call “de-retirement coaching.” She is a famous architect who has pioneered the use of inexpensive self-built housing for lower-income families. Now in her nineties and in good physical and mental health, she is working on writing and illustrating her memoirs. In one of our recent coaching sessions, she startled me by asking me with total sincerity how she should commit suicide. She felt that her life had lost all its meaning; no one, or maybe just a few persons, would ever be interested in reading about her life’s work. (With regard to the latter, the issue was that she had a purpose, a project, but it had lost its validity in her opinion). Above all, she was living alone – and lonely. While she had children and good friends, they were all far away. She had no groups with which to interact, obtain feedback, validation, and encouragement. Writing is usually a solitary form of creativity, admittedly, but most writers benefit from belonging to some kind of community of writers. We will return to her situation later in this article. 

What most people don’t realize ahead of time is that retirement makes one have to face a totally new set of challenges. A review of the literature (cited in the Bibliography at the end of this article) reveals that people who retire appear to fall into three groups:

Some individuals do seem to thrive in retirement. About 60% of retirees claimed in a survey that they are living the best part of their lives. To be sure, those who thrive in retirement tend to have planned not only the financial and legal aspects of their post-work lives but also the psychological and life-style aspects. “I love the freedom of retirement, of not having to work, of being able to do the ‘work’ I really want to do!” a retired professor of education, now joyfully involved in leading spiritual meditations, exclaimed to me.

A second group start out relishing retirement at first, taking wonderful trips, playing with the grandchildren, then become disoriented and depressed. This includes even some individuals who looked after the financial aspects of their retirement well and have enough money to live comfortably. At issue is the fact that they appear not to have looked after the seven other ingredients of successful retirement that form the focus of this article. Such is the case cited of the individual mentioned in the opening paragraph.

A third group find retirement terrifying to contemplate before they even enter into it, and find that their fears – of emptiness, lack of structure, loneliness – are realized when they do become fully retired. Some belonging to this group finally do adapt to build a new life, but not without stumbles and false starts.

The important conclusion that emerges from this research and these interviews is that about 40 percent of retirees find themselves going through an unexpected and unknown turbulence once they quit their working lives.

THE CONCEPT OF “HOLISTIC RETIREMENT”

To get to the gist of this article, the cause of this malfunctioning, ranging from malaise to deep unhappiness, even depression or worse, appears to lie in people’s failure to ensure that certain essential components of a fulfilling life – beyond one’s finances – are integrated into their new lives. My research and interviews have revealed eight critical components – including planning one’s finances and legal situation – that when included in one’s new life in the workplace ensure all-around well-being; if these are ignored, or insufficiently included, life can indeed be far less than fulfilling.

This article focuses upon entering retirement well and living a fulfilling life in one’s retirement years. It is centered on the concept of “Holistic Retirement.” “Holistic Retirement” involves not only the financial and legal aspects of a life in the workplace but the psychological, physical, even spiritual parts of one’s existence in later years.

HOW THIS ARTICLE CAME TO BE WRITTEN

The challenge of creating a fulfilling life in retirement came to me unexpectedly: I am a professionally trained executive coach as well as an economist and inter-cultural management consultant. Some of my older clients wanted a different kind of coaching: retirement coaching, (Or rather, as we laughingly came to dub it, creative de-retirement coaching!) I discovered that this work required fundamentally different approaches from my other lines of coaching and consulting involving paying critical attention to new aspects of life such as community and relationship. Furthermore, when I myself took the decision to be semi-, indeed three-quarters retired, I found myself quite disoriented, in disarray. Just as most people can’t give themselves a decent haircut by themselves, so did I find myself groping, spinning, errant in a new landscape with no map, to coach myself as I had others. I couldn’t get up in the morning. I was lost and I felt my life had lost meaning.

METHODOLOGY

In my discomfiture, I decided to interview friends, acquaintances and clients who had retired in the various cities in the US and in Europe in which I had lived, and who seemed to be living fulfilled lives – and ones who were not. Their replies, for which I will ever be grateful, became key stepping stones for my new journey. Some people have been or are my coaching clients. I amplified this by searching for books and articles on the subject. There was an abundance of material on the financial and legal aspects of retirement. By contrast, the number of books and articles addressing the importance of addressing the psychological and emotional facets of a life in the workplace could be counted on the fingers of one hand. The key items are listed at the end of this article. It was in the course of this research that the concept and importance of holistic retirement came to me.

APPROACH

I analyze first the reasons how and why retirement can be a thoroughly disorienting experience. Then we examine some essential components for retirement to be a positive experience and how to integrate them into one’s new life. Fortunately, one can build in these essentials at any age, even well into retirement. The earlier they are planned for, of course, the better the final outcome.

FOR WHOM IS THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN?

This article is written for would-be retirees or retirees already into this stage of life. It is also written for the growing number of directors of Human Resources departments in both large and small companies who have begun to offer workshops to their employees approaching retirement on sound planning for the non-financial as well as the financial aspects of life ahead, alongside their offerings on ensuring “diversity and inclusion” and healthy living.

WHAT IS GAINED – AND LOST – IN RETIREMENT?

People are quick to identify the benefits of retirement: they include the freedom to do what one wants, more time with loved ones, time to take extended travel trips, imagined or real, freedom from having a boss and a schedule and so forth. Less apparent are the losses:

REPORTED GAINS FROM RETIREMENT

LESS APPARENT LOSSES UPON RETIREMENT

Freedom from stress, others’ expectations

Freedom from routine and commuting

More time with loved ones

Time for projects

Time for travel

Time for hobbies

Time for sports

Time to do nothing

Regular income

An office or place of work to go to

A clear identity

Structure

Community

Sense of purpose, meaningfulness, self-worth

Professional recognition

A sense of belonging

WHY RETIREMENT IS A FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT PHASE OF LIFE

For most of us, our lives are divided into three major phases: childhood / adolescence; working adulthood; and retirement. The first two stages have the following characteristics: they are usually quite structured; they are embedded in community (even a solitary artisan or computer techie eventually meets with customers or suppliers); and they possess a definite purpose.

Retirement has none of these at the outset: they must be built, from scratch, and on one’s own initiative. Realizing this brought me to the unexpected conclusion that retirement involves work. Indeed, a successful, thriving retiree needs to realize that she or he is “ultimately fully self-employed”!

There is perhaps a hidden lesson in this insight: someone once said: “Working is Giving; Giving is Loving; Loving is Living,” a good mantra for the fully self-employed “retired” individual who has found a purpose in her or his new life.

HOW “UNBALANCED RETIREMENT” LEADS TO LOSS OF MEANING

The absence or weak presence of critical components in what may be termed the “ecology of fulfilling retirement,” my research reveals, can lead to stagnation, non-functioning, despair, loneliness, depression, illness and, all too often, suicide.

Adults in their retirement years (65 years and older) are more likely to commit suicide than the next highest age group 10-19. “Generally, the number of suicides and the suicide rate in Tennessee increase with age through the 45-54 age group, then level off before spiking again after age 75. Previously, adults 85 and older had the highest suicide rate, but lately, the 45-54 age cohort has surpassed them.”

Two recent books reveal that trees, plants, animals, all life forms crucially need community in order to survive and thrive. Deprivation of community, say, by over-foresting or isolation by a highway, leads to withering away and to death. So, it seems, do humans. Human beings, like trees, it appears absolutely need to receive from, and give support to, each other. Otherwise, they too wilt and die. The United Kingdom announced in 2018 that it was creating a Ministry of Loneliness, to address exactly this issue, according to an article in the Smithsonian Magazine.

  It may come as a surprise to learn that the world of work – yes, even with that dreadful boss or co-worker, or uninspiring routine – contains most of these ingredients vital to a fulfilling life. The key ones emerge as Structure, Community, Purpose, and Relationships. The big lesson to be learnt here is that in retirement, we need to make the effort to work at building these into our lives by ourselves.

THE IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS ON RETIREMENT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Covid-19 pandemic, besides causing unfathomable numbers of cases and deaths, is also having a deep impact upon retired persons by dint of the stringent recommendations urged by governments and other entities to contain its further virulent spread, notably: isolation, staying at home, not gathering in groups of more than a few persons, not touching people when greeting, not being close to persons in health care institutions and so forth.

These recommendations, while critical to preserving health and preventing further cases and deaths, strike right at the key needs of retired persons and people entering retirement: community and contact. The recommendations enforce isolation, often the great dream killer and life abbreviator of retirees. Persons over the age of 65 are regarded as particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. Thus following the recommendations is absolutely critical for persons in this age group. This article proposes some creative ways of creating structure, community, and purpose, even for months on end, in this grievous time.

EIGHT ESSENTIALS FOR FULFILLMENT IN RETIREMENT

Based upon my research and my interviews, the persons who are thriving in retirement and the few consultants who address holistic retirement include the following eight essential components, from which I have composed the mnemonic SCAMPERS (© Eric Kruger 2020), surely a sprightly way of remembering them:

  1. Structure and Schedule
  2. Community
  3. Activities
  4. Monetary and legal security
  5. Purposeful project(s)
  6. Exercise, good health, and diet
  7. Relationship/love
  8. Spiritual Life

Let’s examine each of these in turn.

  1. STRUCTURE & SCHEDULE

By “Structure and Schedule,” I mean that each of us seems to benefit from some predictability, sometimes regularity, some way of organizing the time ahead of us. This insight came to me most forcefully when coaching a retiree in a deep depression who said he no longer had anything to look forward to. I decided to ask him to make a list of interests he had had earlier in his life, whether he had pursued them actively or not. Our next step was to look up groups focusing on these interests in his community that offered regular meetings and communal activities. Some offered attendance by Zoom or Skype; some promised to resume in-person meetings once the efforts to contain the spread of COVID -19 might make it safe to do so.

After some coaching to overcome his depression and inertia, my client opted to become a member of a few groups that he’d never thought of joining and activities he’d long yearned to do but for which he never had the time. Later, he admitted that the groups that he had joined were offering him regularity, predictability and fulfillment, a sense of structure, community and purpose.

I then asked him to draw up his plan for the next month, the next week, the next day. Seeing the visual plan transformed him: his entire demeanor changed. It was not that we had hit upon his “ultimate powerful purpose on earth.” In fact, the activities were more earthly than sublime: These included working part-time at the local aquarium, joining a gardening club, and volunteering at a hospice. These activities have the following key characteristics: they are “regular, predictable and involving,” in his words. They involve group activity. They have continuity.

The point is that this individual had to make the effort to find or create these. Identifying them, researching them, having the courage to go and join them, involved work. In his working career, he had taken the regularity, the involvement they required, the community his work offered for granted: indeed, often they were planned for him.

Another client who retired found it extremely difficult to get out of bed in the morning. His wife realized she had to make a special effort to create structure with him in his post-work life. They devised a daily routine with pleasurable activities as well as regular necessities.

A friend had retired two years ago from a successful career as an engineer. She found it required a superhuman effort to get up in the morning every day. Eventually, she hit upon the idea of having breakfast at a regular hour every day with a recently retired colleague in a local coffee shop. Just knowing that she might be keeping her friend waiting gave her the impetus to get up and go to the coffee shop.

Importantly, one of my interviewees gave me two tips: first, one doesn’t need structure all the time, and second, it is crucial not to over-structure! Or if you do, structure non-structure, yes, idleness, leisure, day-dreaming by the fire or a river.

2. COMMUNITY

Let us return to my coaching client, the architect who wanted to commit suicide mentioned above. While it appeared at first glance that she had a purposeful project, writing and illustrating her memoirs, this had lost its meaning to her. After listening intently to her, I became aware that, while she certainly had a potential key ingredient, a purposeful project in her life, she was missing one of the most important ones: Community and Structure. Together, we developed a lifestyle that would include her moving to a two- or three-bedroom home with several bathrooms, and having a graduate student living with her, preferably in architecture or graphic design; joining a local Writers’ Group; and serving on the board of the local Urban Planning Commission. The combination of these is providing some daily companionship, a sense of belonging, a community of feedback for her writing, regularly scheduled meetings with people with a joint purpose and still plenty of personal time.

Community does not mean having to be gregarious with lots of people all the time. Indeed, solitude can be precious, savored. What seems to be needed – especially for people living alone – is some contact with people (or animals, even plants, any living being) on a fairly frequent basis; not necessarily daily, but ongoingly. I myself have found it joyfully necessary to have the jolt not only of coffee in the mornings at my local diner, but of “What yer havin’, sweetheart?” from my regular waitress, who actually already knows.

3. ACTIVITIES

Virtually from birth, through childhood and adolescence, and then throughout one’s work life, activity is a given. Some we love, some we accept, some we can’t stand. But we do them. In retirement, activities other than household or garden chores and paying bills, are remarkably absent. To ensure a fulfilling retirement life, it becomes our work to identify and create activities. They can be solitary: a run, making a quilt, taking an on-line course. Or they can involve other people: My interviewees shared theirs with me: Working in a food bank, building a small business, global travel, an oral history project. One even began a new “career,” becoming a world-traveling magician.

Finally, a couple who are both retired, and close friends, gave me a valuable gift by simply telling me: “Stay open to new opportunities.”

4. MONETARY & LEGAL SECURITY

This vital component of holistic retirement is so well addressed in the existing literature and by Human Resources departments in corporations that it will simply be mentioned here. An important aspect of this part of life is not just looking after finances, but making sure one has a well-drafted valid will, including a “Living Will.” Included in this is the very helpful tip that one should be drafting plans for how one’s ordinary possessions beyond the ones one wants to bequeath to family, friends or other charities etc. are to be handled. For example, I have an extensive library on philosophy, political economy, and coaching that my children are utterly uninterested in. But it should not be a chore for them to have to deal with disposing or distributing this collection upon my demise!

5. PURPOSEFUL PROJECT

A business, a school, a hospital, an orchestra, all have a built-in purpose. Even if it’s your own self-built business, its reason for being is evident. Upon entering retirement, unless one has prepared for this, purposefulness ceases. The challenge is that one has to create a new sense of purpose, a project or a set of small projects. Here, my interviews and research found that cleaning out the garage or redoing the kids’ bedrooms only goes so far. Human beings, like trees, seem to need to reach higher. People thrive in retirement especially when they are engaged in a project beyond themselves. A famous astronomer was once asked “Why are we here?” meaning “What is our purpose as humans in this universe?” The astronomer thought deeply for a moment, closing his eyes, and answered, “We are here for each other.” I have found that it is important to interpret this simple phrase not simply as encouraging each of us to serve others, but also to learn how to receive from others. Examples from my friends and acquaintances include designing clinics and hospices specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease; working on a campaign to clean a river or deteriorated neighborhood, writing a book on-line on architecture building a foundation dedicated to giving artistic workshops to inmates, working to develop a local history museum, and so forth.

6. EXERCISE, GOOD HEALTH AND DIET

This vital aspect of holistic of retirement, as is the case for ensuring financial and legal preparedness, is receiving increasing attention: in research, published literature, inside companies that now provide workshops drawing attention to the importance of this trio.

My heroes in this area include groups that go hiking together every week, join aerobics classes, undertake participation annually in triathlons for seniors, and ensure that they are eating and sleeping in a healthy manner.

7. RELATIONSHIP & LOVE

Eric Thurman is the author of one of the rare, excellent books on ensuring a fulfilling retirement. His book Thrive in Retirement: Simple Secrets for Being Happy for the Rest of Your Life is a constant inspiration to me in my new life. He stresses that having relationships and love in one’s life is important at every stage of life, but it is essential in one’s later years. “Loneliness …can poison any hope for happiness during the later years of your life.”

Incorporating “relationships and love” into one’s new post-working life is critical to fulfillment and survival. It can be anything from a lifelong love relationship with a loved one and or children to friendship, sustained even if across the miles with Skyping sessions, to having a beloved pet, to just waving at the neighbors, even to nurturing a favorite plant. Humans need regular frequent contact with other beings. In an increasingly fractured society, reaching across lines of class, race, age, culture, and levels of education, all encompassed by the concept of “diversity and inclusion,” becomes an essential activity to building understanding and relationship, small steps towards peace and global harmony.

8. SPIRITUAL LIFE

I have left perhaps the most important ingredient for a fulfilling retirement until last, if only to give it the emphasis it deserves. As we age, we move inevitably closer to the end of our lives. Is it by accident that as we age, our bodies and sometimes our minds require us to give up certain things? Is this an under-appreciated gift from Nature or Providence offered to ensure that we become more able to spend time in being aware, mindful, appreciative, of the extraordinary experience of being alive, of living in community with others in the context of a miraculous if not always benign environment? Devout Buddhists engage in this awareness all their lives. One’s later years, when the hullabaloo of school and work and society is calming down present us with a perfect unforeseen opportunity for coming into fuller awareness of the cosmic nature of our existence. Religious or not, practicing or not, believing or atheist, we all have a spiritual inner consciousness that is often hard to be aware of in the busyness of a workplace but more accessible in retirement. Intriguingly, it comes alive most in three quite different situations: total, quiet solitude, group meditation or prayer, and a joyfully singing community.

CREATING A LIFE OF HOLISTIC RETIREMENT IN THE AGE OF COVID-19

I mentioned above that I was encouraged to regard retirement as involving becoming “fully self-employed.” That is to say, it involves thought, planning, action, commitment, this time oriented to fulfillment rather than to production, distribution and information dissemination, the usual ingredients of work life. Holistic retirement involves a modicum of effort, best if sustained. How is one to accomplish this in the context of the pandemic, which requires isolation, non-contact and social distancing? Fortunately, the pandemic is occurring simultaneously with recent technological innovations that can bring people together virtually, on a regular basis as desired. No one can dispute that the deep need for human contact, touch, in-person congregation can satisfactorily be met through virtual contact and communication. Yet our new technology – specifically, computers, advanced software, the Internet and above all, means of real-time visual communication and congregation presented by such programs as Zoom, Facetime and Google – presents new opportunities, synthetic perhaps, but possibly only a little less fulfilling than real life. So let us use it, for this is what we have at present. Think of where we would be if all we had was the telephone and the mail service.

Structure, community and purpose, the three key ingredients of holistic retirement, can be created and synthesized effectively with just a little effort.  Here’s a simple strategy, a recipe if you will. Start with creating a plan of your week (or one’s month if preferred), the kind of pan you had in school or college or training camp. Add activities that recur on a particular day that involve either one other person (such as a regular Zoom call with a friend or relative) or with a group of people with a like-minded interests.

How do you find or create such a group? Either through phone calls/emails with friends or by research on the Internet. For example, one coaching client of mine wanted to join a writing group after retiring to a small town where she only knew one person. I advised her to search on the Internet: she found three groups and joined one. It meets weekly by Zoom on Wednesdays, and, weather permitting, on the large covered porch of the local public library, everyone seated six feet apart, bringing their own coffee and muffins. Another wanted a personal physical trainer. A call to friends produced exactly the trainer he needed: specializing in physical fitness for persons over seventy. Another coaching client missed going to church: we did a little research and found a regular service on Zoom. The writer of this article is a professionally trained executive and retirement coach. People may not know this, but every good coach needs a coach. I was able to find an excellent coach in my community: we meet once a week, in each other’s houses, seated well apart, coaching each other on alternate weeks. Finally, another client had a deep need to provide service: she is now counseling patients in hospices, mostly by in-person visits, well-protected by glass and distancing.

The best way of communicating a good strategy for holistic retirement in the age of Covid-19 is to sketch out what a typical week might look like.

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Breakfast

Zoom breakfast with Joe

Do weekly shopping early

Exercise

Swim

Exercise

Exercise

Morning

Reading Group

Hospice counseling

Writing Group

Fix up house,

Weekly centering and meditation group

Lunch

Afternoon

Physical Trainer by Zoom

Physical Trainer by Zoom

Weekly Zoom with friends

Weekly zoom with family

Supper

Weekly Men’s Group, by Zoom or in person well apart

Evening

Reading

Reading

Opera Night on Amazon

Watch film with a friend at home

    

HARMONIZING THE EIGHT COMPONENTS OF HOLISTIC RETIREMENT WITH ONE’S VALUES

Before getting to work – that reminder again that holistic retirement involves work – on integrating the eight components into one’s new life, there is one more important step to take. It requires identifying and writing down one’s key values – the guiding stars of our lives on this planet. A recent holistic retirement client of mine identified her main values as “Service, Spiritual Growth, Environment and Fun/Adventure.” A useful exercise in a workshop or one done alone can be to draft a grid with the eight components in a vertical column and one’s values horizontally across the top. One enters one’s selections in the boxes. A simplified version is shown below:

MY KEY VALUES

MY ESSENTIALS

SERVICE

ENVIRONMENT

FUN/ADVENTURE

STRUCTURE

Weekly food bank duty

COMMUNITY

Clean up river banks

PURPOSEFUL PROJECT

Travel to historical places and write about them

PUTTING ONE’S HOLISTIC RETIREMENT PLAN INTO ACTION

Equipped now with an understanding of the importance of integrating the eight components into a one’s remaining years after a life in the workplace, and harmonizing these with ones’ key values, it is now to “get to work.” Several of my interviewees stressed the importance of regularly making a monthly and weekly calendar, and especially a daily schedule. In the workplace, this is a matter-of-fact task. In retirement, it can change daily, and involves creative work. But the pay-off is fulfillment, and its omission can lead to back-sliding. As one’s own boss at last, scheduling becomes a tool for personal empowerment.

Erik H. Erikson, the German-American developmental psychologist, identified the dangers and opportunities of retirement as follows:

         DANGER               +         OPPORTUNITY                        

         Stagnation                        Generativity

         Disidentification                   Integration

         Despair Purposefulness

         Loneliness                        Resolution

By “generativity,” he meant the activity of passing on one’s knowledge and wisdom to younger generations. Generativity, Integration, Purposefulness, Resolution: these are the rewards of working at creating a new life based upon holistic retirement.

Taking the time and putting in the work – yes, it involves work! – to build upon the eight components of what I have dubbed “holistic retirement” can lead to one’s living some of the best years, despite inevitable ageing and losses. The gentleman who had complained of being “unemployed and unemployable” finally changed his attitude, and avowed to me, and to his friends and former colleagues, that he is now “fully self-employed.” 

Let’s look back to the couple that had told me they had spent more time planning our vacations than planning for their retirement. Once they had put their holistic retirement plan into effect, they revealed that they now feel so much more focused and in charge of their purposeful, pleasantly more structured lives. In fact, their holistic retirement feels “like a well-planned vacation!”

REFERENCES

Bender, Keith A. & Jivan, Natalia A. 2005. “What Makes Retirees Happy?” Issues in Brief. February 2005. Center for Retirement Research.: Boston College, Boston, Mass.

Butrica, Barbara A. & Stipica, Mudrazija. 2020. “Financial Security at Older Ages”. CRR WP 2020-19 December 2020. Center for Retirement Research, Boston College, Boston, Mass. https://crr.bc.edu.

Conejero, Ismael; .Olié, Emilie; Courtet, Philippe; Calati, Raffaella. 2018. Princeton NJ. Dove Medical Press: Clinical Interventions in Ageing. Apr 20;13:691-699. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S130670. Collection. 

Daley, Jason. 2018. “The U.K. Now Has a ‘Minister for Loneliness’. Here’s Why It Matters”. Washington D.C. Smithsonian Magazine, January 19, 2018.

Erikson, Erik 1994. Identity and the Life Cycle. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1994). Previously published by Ballantine Books/Random House, New York. 1959).

Lee, Jinhook & Smith, James P. 2010. “Work, Retirement, and Depression”. Journal of Population Aging. May 19,2020. 2:57–71 DOI 10.1007/s12062-010-9018-0 # Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Levinson, Daniel; Darrow, Charlotte N.; Klein, Edward B.; McKee, Braxton.1978, 1986. The Seasons of A Man’s Life. New York: Ballantine Books.

Parkinson, Caroline. 2013. “Why Retirement Can Be Bad For Your Health”. London: Institute for Economic Affairs: BBC Program, May 16, 2013.

Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. 2019. Status of Suicide Report.

Thurman, Eric. 2019. Thrive in Retirement: Simple Secrets for Being Happy for the Rest of Your Life. (New York: Waterbrook/Crown Publishing/Penguin/Random house. 2019)

Wohlleben, Peter. 2016. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries of a Secret World. David Suzuki Institute. Vancouver BC and Berkely CA: Greystone Books. The Mysteries of Nature Series.

Wohlleben, Peter. 2017. The Inner Life of Animals. Love, Grief and Compassion. Observations of a Secret World. Vancouver BC and Berkely CA: Greystone Books. The Mysteries of Nature Series. David Suzuki Institute.

NOTES

1T. and J. Rourke. Personal communication, October 19, 2019.
2 A. Cohen. Personal Communication, August 8, 2018.
3 P. Duncan. Personal interview, October 8, 2019.
4 “Financial Security at Older Ages,” Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Butrica and Mudrazija, 2020
5 Lee & Smith, Journal of Population Ageing, 2020.
6 Institute of Economic Affairs, Parkinson, 2013.
7 Ismael Conejero, Emilie Olié, Philippe Courtet and Raffaella Calati, 2018.
8 S. Swithin. Not her real name, since coaching is confidential. Personal coaching, June 30, 2018.
9 Bender & Jihan, 2005.
10 B. Ray, personal communication, January 12, 2020.
11 G. Horvats. Personal communication, June 2021.
12 N. Brentworth. Perosnal communication, April 20, 2021.
13 A. Gardiner. Personal communication, November 2019.
14  Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, 2019 Report, p. 11.
15 Wohlleben, 2015, 2016.
16 Smithsonian Magazine, Daley, 2018.
17 H. Brown. Personal coaching client, March 3, 2021.
18 Coaching client, name withheld. February 3, 2019.
19 M. Lee. Personal communication, August 4, 2019.
20 P. Drew. Personal interview, October 2019.
21 A. Fort. Personal communication. June 3, 2019.
22 R. and M. Rothman. Personal communication, July 20, 2019.
23 J. Zeisel. Personal communication December 2018.
24 B. Brolin. Personal communication, December 2018.
25 F. McDonald. March 2013.
26 Thrive in Retirement: Simple Secrets for Being Happy for the Rest of Your Life, Thurman, 2019.
27 Ibid.
28 P. Kronberg. Personal communication, March 2018.
29 C. Vassor. Personal communication, March 2017.
30 Erik H. Erikson, Identity and the Life Cycle, 1959, 1994.

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