Five Stages: Reorientation, with AgeWave, Harris Interactive, and Ameriprise Financial, conducted a survey in 2005 in which they identified the emotional aspects of retirement and found similarities with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ On Death and Dying, which outlines the five stages of dying. It’s kind of creepy but the analogy is a useful one. The fourth stage of retirement? Reorientation.

You’re done with the honeymoon (Liberation), you’re firmly in what is considered the trickiest part of retirement – Reorientation. In this stage you’ll start figuring out what you want to do with your life and you’ll find yourself buzzsawing through that list much faster than you anticipated. So what happens? You end up watching a lot of TV! Is this bad? Well, not particularly unless you envisioned a more exciting life than just watching the boob tube.

Now, what can you do to combat this lack of stuff to do? Find a purpose! That could mean putting your time towards a favorite cause, going back to work, or starting your own business. The key to longevity is a purpose and no one lived any longer because they sat in front of the television.

“This is where depression is at its highest among retirees. Many will figure it out, but some people get trapped, and they spin out in a life living without a purpose.” Scary huh?