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You would think an expert on aging would approach his own retirement with care.
And you would be right.
A psychologist and gerontologist, Ken Dychtwald has built a career around consulting and public speaking about the implications of a maturing society. He founded Age Wave in 1986 and continues to serve as its chief executive, and he’s co-author of the new book, “What Retirees Want.”
With entire industries pummeled by the pandemic, millions of older American workers are being forced to find new career paths. If you’re one of them, you’re likely struggling to find your way forward.
Back in 1982, I remember devouring futurist John Naisbitt’s bestseller, Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. Now, Wharton management professor Mauro F. Guillén has published 2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything. It’s equally fascinating, for its predictions ranging from the rise of wealth owned by women to Sub-Saharan Africa being the birthplace of the next industrial revolution. But I was most taken by Guillén’s forecasts about population aging and its implications.
The idea of “slowing down” in retirement is quickly becoming an antiquated concept. To today’s retirees, retirement is no longer simply defined as the end of work, but the beginning of a whole new chapter of life, with new choices, freedoms and challenges.
This new beginning is born in part from the idea of “time affluence.” All of those 9-to-5 days previously spent at work are now a treasure trove of opportunity for those newly retired if they are prepared to use them. But an Edward Jones study, “The Four Pillars of the New Retirement,” found that there is an intention/action gap between what retirees want and what they are doing.
Life transitions can be jarring at any age, but they often pile on top of each other in your 50s and 60s. Transitioning to retirement…to empty-nesterhood…perhaps to a single life…living through a health trauma. Heck, it's partly why our site is called Next Avenue. Bruce Feiler, author of the excellent new book, Life Is In the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age, knows all about it.
I was reminded this week of Kanter’s Law. “In the middle, everything looks like a failure,” according to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School.
Kanter’s Law of management was developed to describe that uncomfortable phase of mid-transition when an organisation is going through great change. The middles of change are miserable, she says, because it’s hard to know exactly how things will pan out. It is also more difficult to motivate people and keep them committed to the end goal.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the decisions you need to make when you’re preparing for retirement. So, let's talk about toothpaste. That's a more manageable topic than retirement, right?
Autumn is making its way into State College, Pa. home to Penn State University. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler and trees are beginning to burst with color.
But for local retiree Greg Guise, 67, fall’s arrival is falling a bit short this year. Due to the coronavirus, the football season for his beloved Nittany Lions has been delayed nearly two months and once the team does start playing, attendance at Beaver Stadium will be strictly limited.
“I’ve been coming to the home opener Labor Day weekend whenever possible for the past 40 years and this year the stadium was empty,” says Guise. “It got me down. To me, Labor Day is like Christmas.”