Updated: Dec 14, 2021
It is not surprising that those in the retirement (or ‘relaunch’) phase can be stereotyped just like any other demographic. In a recent article I found in MarketWatch, author Nancy Schlossberg identifies six types of retirees, based on her decades of writing on the subject.
The Adventurer ‘resets’ and embraces something they have never done before. Imagine having a passion for a hobby or outside interest that involves becoming a volunteer or facilitates an opportunity for self-employment as a second calling.
The Continuer finds a modified way in which the career is extended beyond their initial calling. Author Schlossberg identifies with that as she was a professor who migrated to doing research in her field, and writing books.
The Easy Glider has no plan in particular but will drift through each day allowing the moment to create the opportunity until something grabs them. I have a friend who is preparing for his ‘relaunch’ in a month with no particular plan other than to figure out what he hopes to be in the next chapter.
The Involved Spectator evolves from full-time, active participation in a career to a more passive, ‘standing on the sidelines’ involvement. Consider the tax accountant who, upon retirement, turns to pro-bono counseling on preparing tax returns at the local senior community center.
The Searcher is still mapping out the next steps, either upon retirement or later in retirement. Not unlike the process of determining what the next chapter will be in advance of the ‘relaunch’, this can be an ever-changing evolution over time, resulting in several divergent paths during the transition.
The Retreater, which actually bifurcates into two sub-categories, is unable to decide on what the next step should be. Either they are stuck in the mud and cannot figure out what is next, or they back-pedal and re-examine what is a more appropriate way forward in retirement.
For me, this is no different from how one approaches the way forward as a recent graduate from university. The world expects us to know exactly what we want to do at that point, but very few of us actually do know for certain (or if we think we do, we find out differently later). The trajectory of my career has repeatedly been characterized by ‘when you come to a fork in the road, take it’!
I suspect that my ‘relaunch’ will be not much different. I have been planning this next chapter for most of my working life, and the expectation of what the ‘relaunch’ would hold for me has evolved to take on different dimensions and possibilities over this period. With luck, I will have ample opportunity in my retirement to explore many of these 'degrees' of retiree!
Note: The psychographic characterization of retirees in this post are not my creation. I thank Nancy Schlossberg for the inspiration.