Many people give so much of themselves to their jobs that they don’t have the time or energy to develop other interests.
When many people retire, they jump into their new lifestyle with gusto, but others mourn leaving their jobs and feel like they’ve lost part of their identity, experts say.
“Work is the primary source of identity for many of us and absorbs our best energies and creativity, so retirement is a major transition,” says psychologist Kris Ludwigsen, 69, of Martinez, Calif.
Many people give so much of themselves to their jobs that they don’t have the time or energy to develop other interests, and they are left adrift in retirement, she says. “Their job gave their life meaning, and not having that is the worst stress of all. That’s why some people want to continue to work as long as they can.”
One of the issues is whether you enjoy your job or not, says Norman Abeles, professor emeritus of psychology at Michigan State University in East Lansing. If your job is unpleasant, you may think it’s better to get out at whatever cost, not realizing that the cost may be higher than you think, both financially and psychologically, he says.
Many retirees miss both the money and the companionship that their work provided, he says. “It’s important, if you enjoy your work, to continue to work. I worked until I was 80.”
Source: USA Today | Nanci Hellmich