Gray-haired couple walking in the woods with dog.

Would Retiring Induce “Relevance Deprivation Syndrome” For You?

I shared an article last week in the newsletter that made the case that retirement is probably beyond the reach of many of us, but this is something different. This article from Australia makes the case that retirement can be a difficult transition because we spend so much time working that we don’t know what to do with our time.

“Some people could transition into retirement and shrug off their work life like an old coat, and throw it in the bin and move on and never think about it again.”

But others “were very attached to that coat”.

I think another way to understand this is our cultural obsession with “what you do” being the defacto representation of “who we are,” meaning that when we stop working, it can be detrimental to our mental health. After all, if you’ve spent 35-40 years identifying yourself as a lawyer, what will you be when you stop working as a lawyer?

What kind of mental health impact would there be if we suddenly lose our identities? If our work is that identity, how do we retire? Why would we retire?


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