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The 4 Stages of Retirement.

I have learned that there are 4 stages of retirement according to Riley Moynes, a retired fellow from Surrey BC.  I stumbled into this information after talking with my darling who found it while checking out Ted Talks.  I have a link to it on my website ( as well as below.

 (The 4 phases of retirement | Dr. Riley Moynes | TEDxSurrey – YouTube)

The 4 phases are:

Phase 1 is the holiday after years of working (can last a year or more). 

Phase 2 is the realization of what you have lost/left behind (friendships, Identity, worth, etc). Depression sets in and we notice a decline in physical and mental health.  (This is the trap we want to avoid/getting out of it, can last a long time, or be very brief.)

Phase 3 (in an effort to break out of phase 2), we pursue trial and error activities as we try to rebuild our sense of meaning/self; we knowingly try to find things (painting, volunteering, mentoring, etc.) to make our life meaningful again. The important part of this phase is that we keep trying to find our way out.

Phase 4 (We have found a way out) and we reinvent or, “rewire,” ourselves to this new, enjoyable page in our lives. We find activities that are meaningful and give us a sense of satisfaction (This is the phase we want to reach)  Often, according to Riley, we find this contentment by being of service to others.

So my question to my dear readers is, what have been your activities for breaking out of the Phase 2 Funk?

Published inMy Blog

One Comment

  1. I like the summary of the four phases, and they resonate, at least so far, in my limited experience.
    As I retired VERY early, I did a lot of psychological preparation. I anticipated the first while would feel like a vacation, so I didn’t worry much about that. I put a lot of thought to what you have described as Phase 3, the rebuilding of identity and meaning. I went straight to work “rebranding” as it were, and for the most part, it kept me moving. IN the last few weeks I have noticed though, that despite having projects and new “work” in front of me that I really enjoy and look forward to doing, I’m still experiencing that slump that you referenced for Phase 2. Maybe, like the phases of grief, you have to experience them all, even if it’s in a different order. I’m falling back on my interest in positive psychology to find some small tweaks that will help me restore my motivation and enthusiasm for my various projects.

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