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The seeds of a satisfying retirement are planted before it begins. And the disruption of the last two years have underscored the importance of several things that perhaps we took for granted. Our guest today, Dr.Maggie Mulqueen, shares her insights on how to navigate the transition to retirement well in challenging times.
Maggie Mulqueen, Ph.D., is a writer, commentator, and psychologist in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Dr. Mulqueen graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s of science degree and then went onto the University of Pennsylvania where she received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology and the Phi Delta Kappa award for dissertation of the year.
She has been an adjunct faculty member of Lesley University, Boston College, and the Norman E. Zinberg Center for Addiction Studies at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Hospital.
A licensed psychologist, she maintains a private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. She and her husband live in the Boston suburbs, where they raised their three sons.
For More on Maggie Mulqueen, Ph.D
Covid has changed retirement — and canceled the celebrations that usually mark it – NBC News
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Everyday Vitality – Dr. Samantha Boardman
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The Second Curve of Life – Arthur C. Brooks
On Transitioning to Retirement
“…The other thing about this is to really understand that it is a chapter. It’s a transition, it’s not a moment in time. Some people could be retired as long as their work life. Just like in developmental theory, there probably is an early middle and late retirement. It’s not one thing. A retired 60 year old is real different than a retired 80 year old. And there’s a difference about seeing it as a transition versus a cliff. And I think for those people, for whom retirement is a cliff, it’s very, very hard. They go into anonymity. They feel that society doesn’t value their wisdom, their input, and they feel really sidelined. And I think for people who can transition, who have the physical, mental, and financial resources, to make this a rich time, to reinvent themselves, whether that be volunteer work or different kinds of paid employment, they have a much easier time of it. It comes back to having a cohort group, a community of people who support you in going through a transition. We need to understand it’s not: One day I was working the next day, I’m retired. It’s really: I’m transitioning.”
On Getting Your House In Order
“It’s something to plan for and to think about. Is it something you want to stop cold turkey? Or do you want to see if you can negotiate some kind of part-time transition, so that you can kind of put your toe in the water or begin to think about how you will restructure your life when the structure is up to you? I would say another deficit, frankly, for many Americans is because we are so work-identity-focused. Many people don’t invest in extracurriculars, hobbies, relationships, and so they don’t naturally have other things to do, even though they might say, Oh, I’ve always been interested in X. If you haven’t invested the time, I would spend a year before retirement trying some of those things out and seeing, is that really true? Does it hold my interest as much as I think it might? Or could I start to volunteer someplace and, and create some other relationships, so when I lose my work colleagues, there are other people who know me and whom I know and care about and have in my life? But I think thinking ahead is essential for people to get their houses in order, in terms of all of the legal thinking about the very hard questions. And I think some people are just very superstitious. They won’t do a will because then they think they’re gonna die. I think many people put off these hard questions because once you start acknowledging you’re at a retirement age, you’re having to at least in the shadows of your mind, acknowledge the fact that your mortality is closer than it’s ever been.”
On Planning for Retirement
“Think through the different scenarios. It’s not one thing. There are different phases within retirement and don’t just plan for the first phase, but for all three or four – or more.”
About Retirement Wisdom
Planning for retirement goes well beyond your 401k or IRA. How will you invest your time after your full-time working years?
You’ll need another portfolio.
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Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet