who keep using existing skills and interests. They still use skills, interests and activities but modify them to fit retirement. “I am a continuer. I don’t teach or have a salary, but I still write and speak about things I’ve always been interested in.”


who start entirely new endeavors. They see retirement as an opportunity to make daring changes in their lives. “I’m not talking about becoming mountain climbers, but these are people who start something new. For example, a bank teller might become a docent in a museum. An investigative reporter might become an artist. It is about adventures in new arenas.”


who explore new options through trial and error. This means you look into different activities. You talk to people in the fields you’re interested in. You volunteer for different projects or programs , and if you don’t like one, you try something else. This is much like what happens to many high school and college graduates who don’t know exactly what they want to do when they graduate, so they search and struggle to find their way.

EASY GLIDERS…who enjoy unscheduled time letting each day unfold. “They let the day unfold. Maybe they’ll babysit the grandkids one day. Maybe they’ll go the movies. They may just hang out. They don’t have an agenda, and they are comfortable not having one.”


who care deeply about the world, but engage in less-active ways. This may be an art director who is retired but still goes to art museums, or a politician who is still a news junkie.


who take time out or disengage from life.

There are two kinds of these folks: people who are couch potatoes and people who are taking time out to figure out what to do.

Many combine paths, and over time, one’s path might change,” “The point of looking at paths is to realize the many options for everyone during retirement.”

Based on interviews with more than 150 retirees, Nancy Schlossberg identified the following ways that people approach retirement: From an article by Nanci Hellmich for USA TODAY

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