Thursday, July 18, 2013

For our DGs who are retired or are considering it

“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.”
– Abe Lemons

When I was asked to do a blog post about retirement, I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task because I’m not retired. Upon more contemplation on the issue, I decided it would be exciting to do some research on the topic. In my doctoral studies, I focused primarily on interviewing for research. Interviews are wonderful, especially when one wants to get a glimpse of how someone got to be where they are. Retirement is also an appropriate topic for me because I get along with older individuals since I am an only child and am used to being around people at least 30 years older than me. For this post, I decided to interview a few people about their experiences with retirement, and I’ll share what I learned from them with you.

Why They Retired
The women I spoke with about retirement are in their sixties and worked in education and the nonprofit sectors. One of the women decided to retire because her father was in poor health and she wanted to care for him. Another was laid off from her teaching position, and after examining her finances, she realized that she could retire comfortably. One of the other women had a high-profile position with a local nonprofit and decided to retire after she had become burned out after working for so many years.

How They Keep Themselves Busy
Even the women who retired a few years ago are still getting adjusted to retirement since it is a significant life change. In fact, one of the women is thinking about going back to work part-time, probably as a substitute teacher since she loves being part of a learning community. She and the other women keep their ears to the ground about activities such as volunteering for nonprofit groups. Some other things that were brought up to keep the mind and body strong were getting involved in yoga, gardening and fencing, as well as adopting a dog that enjoys walks.

Words of Wisdom
One of the women interviewed said if retirement feels right, then go for it! It is extremely important to stay connected with friends and it takes real effort. Some great ways to do this are through email, phone and Facebook. If you’re finding the adjustment to retirement to be difficult, seek counseling or support groups. Although retirement allows freedom through a flexible schedule, it is important to have some purpose in your life and a reason to get up each day.

Dr. Margaret Moodian, Zeta Iota-Chapman, and her husband, Dr. Michael Moodian, live in Orange County, California with their rescue dog, Manny, and chinchilla, Marshall. You can reach Margaret at or follow her on Twitter @mminni100

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