TheStreet.com, 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 fifth and final stage of retirement? Reconciliation.
So, this is stage five. You’ve gone through Imagination, Anticipation, Liberation, and even the difficult Reorientation… now it’s time for some Reconciliation. What happens in the fifth and final stage of retirement? Nothing! Okay, just kidding. This is approximately 16 years after you have first retired and it’s when the ship turns around and you start feeling happier about retirement and what it means. This also marks the time when you will start thinking about your eventual departure from this world, though 65% report they are living their dream and 75% say they are enjoying retirement a “great deal.” The key to this part of retirement is that this is when your planning and preparation come to fruition, if you’ve planned poorly then 16 years after retirement will be a bad place to be. Plan well… and you’re golden.