Transitioning to retirement

December 2, 2022

Studies show that transitioning to retirement isn’t always easy, but there are ways for older adults to successfully navigate that journey, according to Dr. John Burkhardt, a clinical psychologist with University Medical Center.

During a November Mini Medical School presentation to participants of The University of Alabama OLLI program, Burkhardt explained the five stages that many people go through as they adjust to retirement. The Mini Medical School lecture series is a collaboration of OLLI and UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, which operates UMC.

The five stages are:

Burkhardt said building a retirement life structure, understanding past regrets to increase self-understanding, and awareness of attitudes and values can help with the transition to retirement.

Ways that older adults can fight boredom in retirement can include practicing mindfulness, staying active, pursuing passions, volunteering and keeping the mind active. Burkhardt said it’s helpful for retirees to enjoy having some time to themselves and living day-by-day. A companion or pet can also give adults a chance to bond with others and not feel lonely. He said well-being in retirement can improve self-esteem, familial bonds and friendships.