chapter  7
26 Pages

When to call it quits: retirement

"Retirement", said French author Simone de Beauvoir, "may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap". Indeed, deciding when to retire is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions one makes during a lifetime, and even more important is how one constructs a flourishing existence during this psychologically challenging life- and identity-altering transition. One of the other problems associated with accurately predicting what life will be like after retirement is called "impact bias". When a person thinks about an emotionally tinged event such as retirement, there is a tendency to over-estimate how strongly he will feel, the duration of the feeling, and other elements that impact him. The retirement transition is centrally concerned with adequately coming to terms with one's real and imagined losses, such as to one's identity, relationships and purpose.