172 Retirement Psychological Portfolio

Based on research by Schlossberg, Nancy K. (2004), adapted by Juanita N. Baker, Ph.D.

Are you thinking about retirement? People often plan for their retirement financial portfolio, but have you prepared your psychological portfolio? Many people neglect this critical aspect of planning for their future and that is where psychologists can help people prepare for a smoother retirement transition.

Psychologist Dr. Nancy Schlossberg encourages people to think of retirement as a career change…you are leaving something, and about to begin something new. In a study of 100 retirees, Dr. Schlossberg found that retirement is not one, but many transitions. Coping with these transitions depends upon: the role of work and family in your life, how satisfying your work has been, the timing of retirement and how well planned for, one’s expectations, the degree to which a meaningful life is established and one’s health and sense of financial security.

There are varied approaches to retirement:

  • Continuers continue using existing skills and interests;
  • Adventurers start entirely new endeavors;
  • Searchers explore new options;
  • Easy Gliders enjoy unscheduled time letting each day unfold;
  • Involved Spectators care deeply about the world, but are less active;
  • Retreaters take time out or disengage from life.

Use your talents, find meaning in new opportunities, be fully alive, enjoy and de-stress too!

Cited Research

Schlossberg, N. (2004). Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

For more details see:


American Psychological Association, April 14, 2005

Additional Sources

Ronald Manheimer (1999). A Map to the End of Time. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Vaillant, G. (2002). Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life. New York: Little, Brown and Company

Freedman, M. (1999). Prime Time: How Baby Boomers will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America. New York: Public Affairs.

Monitor on Psychology cover issue: Redefining Retirement (November 2004)

APA public information brochure: Psychologists Makes a Significant Contribution: Psychology and Aging

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