‘Becoming’- Identity in Retirement

Retirement. We’ve worked our whole life for this moment, and now it’s here… or is it? Is it all we had imagined? Could it be more? Should it be more?

The funny thing about “retirement” is we talk about it as if we all view retirement the same way and want the same from it, but when we stop and think about it, we might have a hard time defining exactly what it is. We can all agree what it’s not: a time when we no longer work. But that still doesn’t define what it is, or much more importantly WHAT WE WANT IT TO BE!

At Delaware Retiree we define retirement as that stage of life when you have unlimited discretionary time, and you no longer exchange time for money. But for many people, it can be a confusing time, because your work may have defined you for so long. Perhaps you were tasked with focusing on your growing kids, and now they’re long gone and focusing on their own kids. … Whether your profession or your family gave you identity, it can be daunting to step into retirement, a wide OPEN time and space.

For others, they’ve daydreamed of this stage as a time when they can do whatever they wish with plenty of time on their hands. They think of endless days of leisure and recreational activities. But as our key Delaware Advisor, Len Hayduchok, shares, many retirees find themselves either at a loss for a new identity or feeling empty in their pursuits of leisure.

Many in retirement who find ‘success’ in this new phase understand that it should be much more than just filling in their hours pursuing leisure. They come to understand that the possibility of their ‘personhood’ is right in front them. In other words, they fulfill lifelong passions, or perhaps finding a new one.

‘Becoming’ is a process, a journey. Now that life has shifted from other responsibilities such as work and raising a family, there is an opportunity to finally put that time to purposeful use. Maybe it’s a hobby, volunteer work, a new sport, joining a club, or even a part time job entirely different from your previous profession. The “Golden Years” are truly golden when retirees recognize their evolution towards becoming the person they truly are. And enjoying life while they’re at it.

At Delaware Retiree, we’re excited to join with 55 and betters to help unlock the amazing potential of this new season, connecting you to networks and resources that help you find the new you that will flourish in this new stage. Len is one of our key consultants based on his strategic work to partner into people facing this stage. He shares one of the key points to keep in mind:

An essential element of retirement is analyzing priorities while being able to maintain financial stability. This requires a lot of planning, sure, but to do it properly, it is important to honestly evaluate your given situation. Planning is part of that equation.’

With Len’s permission, Delaware Retirees offers a free resource entitled, “Maximize Your Retirement – Don’t Botch it Up.®” It’s an effective exercise featuring a series of questions about your lifestyle, budget, etc. But more importantly, it helps identify who you want to become in retirement. What are your priorities? Your goals and dreams? Is it travel? Service? It also addresses the concept of time. How would you like to spend it effectively and enjoyably?

As you shift into retirement, your “becoming” is an opportunity to embrace. Take advantage of our resources and look for other chances to reflect. Dig in to the community around you. Together let’s make these years golden!

Sign up for our e-news updates!

Skip to content