Joseph Coughlin, founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology’s Agelab, posits this humorous, but important question in his new book, The Longevity Economy.
The point, according to Coughlin, is that the stage of retirement is on the wane, in the sense that more and more people are saying that they hope to work at their current jobs right through their 65th birthdays or else shift gears and find a job somewhere new or work part time.
But at the same time, plenty of people are still retiring for good, and that poses the same problem of identity that has been vexing retirees for centuries:
Without your job, what are you? Senior vice president of your living room? Admiral of the bathtub?
And when you don’t know what you are, how do you know what to do when you get out of bed in the morning?
So, if anything, Coughlin says, the sense of identity loss posed by retirement is now more confusing than it was in the 1950s and 1960s, when the idea of the “golden years” first emerged as a response.
Enter the Fit-To-Retire readiness assessment. And thanks Mr. Coughlin for
highlighting this important point for retirees on the cusp of a new lifestyle. The FTR process was carefully developed to capture emotional and practical information to guide retirees in understanding these four key areas: health and nutrition, personal relationships, social, and self-identity.
So you might want to take the retirement readiness assessment because it would be better to be captain of your retirement ship than just the admiral of the bathtub.