Royce Shook

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Retirement a major life transition

Retirement is a major life course transition for which some people plan more than others. As planning positively affects the adjustments you have to make when you retire, understanding that planning to have enough money is important is not the only thing that is important. When planning you can find a lot of material on how to be financially prepared but there is not much on the activities you can do or plan to do in retirement. A recent study found that retirement activities can be categorized into three types: transformative leisure, bridge employment, and interpersonal leisure. Moreover, these plans are affected by people’s opportunities, time perception, and partner support for these activities.

Bridge employment is one that many retirees think that they would like to, or must, take on. Bridge employment is meant to help someone make the adjustment to retirement from working. It is a big jump from working 40 plus hours a week to working zero hours a week. So, bridge employment can help. In my circle of friends, we all did some bridge employment. Most of us did this for between six and eight years, before settling into full-time retirement. Bridge employment is not for everyone and my research shows that between 30 and 40 percent of us take on bridge employment.

Interpersonal leisure is the time we spend with friends and family. During the last two years, this type of leisure has been taken away from many of us and we are looking forward to being able to see friends, go out to dinner with friends, or take in a sports activity with friends, to see grandchildren and other members of our family. It is an important aspect of our quality of life.

Transformational leisure is something that very few of us take on. This leisure may mean taking a course, skydiving, completing that degree, volunteering or travelling to places we have on our bucket list. It is, for some a luxury they cannot afford and for others, it is a luxury they cannot afford to miss out on.

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