MU Extension MU Extension       University of Missouri    ●    Columbia    ●    Kansas City       Missouri S&T     ●    St. Louis

Feature Articles - Aging


Life after retirement

Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, Human Development Specialist, University of Missouri Extension


Retirement is a major life change. The transition from workforce to retirement is challenging and requires adjustments. Changes in identity and unstructured time, questions about self-worth, and purpose in everyday life may often be overlooked. Retirement means the absence of job titles, affirmation from professionals, and routine work schedule. The loss of prestige or work identity can be tough for some retirees.


Most people experienced time pressure during their working years. When approaching retirement, they are excited about having free time to do what they have wanted to do. During the first six to 12 months of retirement, some take time to rest or remodel their homes, while others take trips. Retirement takes something more than leisure to satisfy people who spent several decades making achievements with professional skills and prestige. Most people are active and work-oriented.


Minds, hands and bodies continue to function after retirement. Retirees have a lot of expertise and skills that can help individuals, families, organizations, institutions and communities. Retirees should become involved in projects or groups that can tap their interests and talents, as well as help others. It is important that retirees use their freedom and time doing things that are satisfying (e.g., taking classes, learning new skills, developing hobbies). It is also important for retirees to find a balance between physical exercise, mental challenges and social interactions. Retirement doesn’t bring satisfaction and meaning effortlessly, but having a positive attitude, engaging in meaningful activities and being active are ways to have a happy retirement.


University of Missouri logo links to

Site Administrator:
Copyright  ADA  Equal Opportunity

MissouriFamilies is produced by the College of Human Environmental Sciences,
Extension Division, University of Missouri

Last update: Tuesday, March 29, 2011