|The Five Stages of Retirement
The New Retirement Mindscape
Conducted by Ameriprise Financial in partnership with Age Wave and Harris Interactive, this
groundbreaking study found that retirement is characterized by five distinct stages.
The Five Stages of Retirement
Stage 1: Imagination
The first stage begins when people reach their early 40s. They begin looking forward to a time when
they will no longer have to work. As their retirement vision becomes clearer, so does their optimism for
Stage 2: Anticipation
Anticipation is defined by growing excitement and eagerness for a retiree's forthcoming freedom.
However, this excitement is accompanied by a natural anxiety for the unknowns that lie ahead. During
this stage, people begin to plan more activities as their interest in the concept of financial freedom
Stage 3: Liberation
Retirement day initiates this stage. During this "honeymoon" period (typically one to three years),
retirees are busy reconnecting with families, engaging in hobbies, traveling and starting new ventures.
Stage 4: Reorientation
The initial thrill of retirement subsides during this stage, and people become more realistic about
making their savings last. Some retirees will also start to face post-retirement challenges, such as
physical limitations or the loss of social connections. So at this point it's important for retirees to
readjust their expectations and plans.
Stage 5: Reconciliation
In this final stage of retirement, people come to terms with the meaning of their lives. This time is
marked by heightened interest in personal reflection and in leaving a legacy. While most retirees
experience low levels of depression and worry as they confront end-of-life issues, some people do feel
a certain sadness. There is an increased desire for relaxation, and retirees who remain healthy prefer
to stay engaged in hobbies and travel.