Warning, Gentlemen: Retirement May Be Harmful To Your Health!
Study after study indicates that traditional retirement (ceasing to work suddenly, devoting time to ‘leisure activities’) can have a highly negative impact on the physical and mental well-being of men, especially those who are entrepreneurial, self-employed and/or senior leaders in their organizations. Encouraging a traditional retirement for your clients, particularly male leaders, may be the worst course of action you can recommend.
Why is this? And why does retirement negatively impact men more than women?
In his wonderful book, How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get From Your Financial Advisor (Sept 2009), Ernie Zelinski points out that men often demonstrate a very different approach to women in developing their self-worth and establishing social circles of support. Experiences from my own 25 years of practice tend to confirm this theme. The difference stems from a range of factors, including some behavioral and cognitive traits more commonly observed in men.
Those who report a high level of satisfaction with their new life role tend to be those who feel connected to their families, their friends and their communities.