Will You Reinvent Yourself in Retirement?

So much is written about the transition to retirement being – at least in part – a “reinvention” of you. Retirement experts and those who are content with their retirements all seem to project this message. I think I get it. I feel the reinvention process taking place in me.

There are many reasons why a reinvention may be necessary. First, with work ended, your feelings of being successful from that work will also end. Work colleagues with whom you socialized may no longer be part of your life because the common bond of work has been broken. Indeed, the entire topic of “your work” may become irrelevant because no one is really interested in your past successes.

In short, a reinvention in retirement may mean redefining what success is to you and finding new friends that have nothing to do with your work life.

Although I count most of them as friends, I don’t socialize much with my work colleagues. I have plenty of interaction with them on a regular basis. I am better off using my non-work hours exploring new interests with different and new friends. If I can spend all of my free time not talking or thinking about work, I believe this will help me adapt to a time when work is no longer part of my life.

I have also developed a strong intention to live in the present as much as possible. When I retire and as I meet new people, I don’t want to be forced to talk about my previous experiences as a lawyer to carry on a conversation. I want to talk about what is happening now, with me and with my new friends.

I am trying to develop a stronger sense of altruism so that when I think about “success” in retirement, I am thinking about how I may have provided a benefit to others. ┬áCompassionate living should be part of my reinvention.

A key for me is realizing that none of this happens by accident. Reinvention is a deliberate process. Waiting for something different to happen after you retire is not a plan and may leave to discontent. I have seen this discontent in others.

You may have noticed in recent months my writing here has been less about money and investing and more about lifestyle issues. I think that is evidence that my reinvention is well underway.

What about you? Are you reinventing yourself?


  1. Dieter Hackenbroch says

    I am 68 and going strong. I love retirement, don’t have to get up at a certain time and I have contributed enough to Industry, when I worked as an Engineer. Now I can do my Hobbys,woodworking, playing Piano, going to fine Arts Concerts,travel to Europe to see my sister and watch my grandchildren develope into adulthood. S.S. benefit, Pensions and savings is giving me a good retirement income. I don’t need more than that, other than health Insurance and I am very healthy right now, but I need to look in to suplement Insurance soone. Thanks for letting me give you my story.

  2. Vicki says

    Well, I must be one of the unlucky ones- I’m 63 and wonder – yea right – wish really why I couldn’t retire at 62. That was the age I kept hearing growing up. I’m tired of being the low one on the totem pole. No medical until I’m 67.

  3. Chrissyanne says

    Reinvention seems to be in order…at 63 and still working full time in a professional position, I’m finding the need to reinvent. I still love my job but I’m slowing down and after a day of work, I am darn tired. I’ve always had projects, hobbies, ambitions throughout my life but how many can I still have when my hands can’t do the fine work they did in my younger days, or that my back can’t take the gardening work I enjoy? I have traveled to numerous places but I now can’t keep up the pace. I love to read but can only sustain a half hour looking at a book or screen before I go all blurry. Yes, reinvention is a must. But before the reinvention, I have to accept the concept of aging. Not an easy thing to do when my mind is still stuck at 35.

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