DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — When people talk about retirement, they typically focus on the financial side. But the change from a career to retirement brings with it many more issues than finances, which is one of the reasons Pauline Johnson, Ph.D., began studying the process.
“It’s a major transition that goes beyond your finances,” she said. “There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty that comes with retirement because, for many years, you almost always identified yourself by your career or profession. Now when you retire, you don’t necessarily have that identity. And it’s hard.”
Johnson is hosting a workshop, “Retirement Pathways,” on April 15 for people who are getting close to retirement or have retired. The free program is 6-7 p.m. at the Marble Falls Public Library, 101 Main St.
The workshop will offer tips and tools to help people as they ponder retirement and let them know what to expect.
Retirement shakes up a person’s life beyond finances, especially the social aspect.
“For a lot of people, their careers made up a big part of their social circle,” Johnson said.
People often forget their social lives play a big role in their well-being, Johnson said. The jump from a regular job or career into a life without one seems ideal on the surface, but, she pointed out, without preparation in areas such as social interaction, it can become a bit of a struggle.
“You need to develop the kind of social interaction that feeds you,” Johnson said.
There also is the lack of structure that often comes with retirement. For years, a person might have worked a job or pursued a career that gave them a level of routine in his or her daily life. But with retirement, that regiment dissolves.
“One of the things we often look forward to in retirement is the lack of structure, which is the beauty of it, but it can also be a problem,” she said.
These are some of the challenges that come with retirement. But it’s not something people really think about as they make their way through career and life toward the green pastures of retirement.
“When I talk to people about retirement, they work so much that they can’t imagine what retirement is like,” Johnson said. “The point of this workshop is to plant the seeds, so they can have an idea what it will be like.”