Retirement Security: It’s Not Just About the Money

Four Basic Human Needs for Engagement
English: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Resized,...
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Retired or not, a person’s sense of worthiness requires some sort of ‘purpose’; a sense of accomplishment from whatever activities are available in his or her environment.  According to Abraham Maslow, the most basic needs are the physiological, food, air, sleep the the like.  The needs that take the most effort, the most conscious effort, and the most ‘human’ly satisfying, are sometimes the most difficult to satisfy in today’s society:  opportunities for creativity, and spontaneity.  In the best of all worlds, retirement allows time for these needs to be met.

“Retirement security is not just about the money”, says the American Psychological Association.

Although there are many guidelines for financial security, there are few for crafting a rewarding life in the new era of longevity and health. With the meaning of “retirement” being actively redefined, there is a gap between what older adults want and need and what their employers and policymakers are offering. Retirement security in its broadest sense requires programs and policies that encourage and support flexible work that allow some choice and control over when, where, and how work gets done, and which work tasks are assumed by which employees or work teams, self-employment, and formal and informal volunteer work.

You can, if you wish, click on the black and white infographic, which will open to a discussion of the current context of retirement in American society.  This discussion will identify barriers to psychological security in later life, also suggest how psychologists can support the rewriting of the retirement chapter for future retirees.

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