Blog Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging

New Retirement Includes Purpose as Well as Leisure

Friedman Center for Aging “Your Next Move” Seminar Summary

Written by Kim Furlow, Institute for Public Health

Being in my early 50’s and thinking about “many years from now” when I’ll retire, (not really; it’s probably coming sooner than we all expect!) I decided to attend the Friedman Center for Aging “Your Next Move” Seminar on the “New, NEW Retirement”. It was an eye-opener in many ways and a great seminar for those thinking about retirement; whether now, or in the future.

Led by Chris Frey, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, a counselor and educator with 35 years of experience in counseling people on the retirement transition, the seminar included discussion and Q&A concerning when, why and how one might retire, and how to find purpose and practice good social interaction, and good health and wellness in the process.

According to Frey, it is “useful to take stock of where you are now, as a basis for identifying areas for retirement planning.” He offered “five essential ingredients”:

Frey suggested identifying what we want retirement to “look like” and any barriers that might prohibit the ultimate retirement experience. Finally, listing action steps to overcome barriers and reach retirement goals, Frey says, is essential to making our retirement picture a reality.

Frey also expounded on “push/pull factors” that prohibit those thinking about retirement from actually moving forward with it. He recommends evaluating answers to the following:

  • What pulls me into retirement?
  • What pushes me away from work and toward retirement?
  • What keeps me from looking forward to retiring?
  • What am I excited about doing in retirement?
  • What about my job will I miss the most?

Finding a purpose in retirement, whether part-time work, grandparenting or enjoying a leisure activity is key to a successful life after full-time employment. Frey gave the following feedback:

Helpful resources were offered to help us navigate the sometimes arduous task of retirement planning and live out our later years in a fulfilling way.

Coming away from the seminar, I felt a lot better about the possibility. Giving, growing and enjoying this special time is now an exciting proposition!

For more information about the next Your Next Move Retirement Seminar, continue to visit the Friedman Center for Aging webpage.