Adjusting to Retirement: Shift in Identity – A Time For Seniors KAHI Radio Inteview

In September I was interviewed by radio show host Theresa Haleen on A Time for Seniors on KAHI 950am broadcast out of Auburn, California.  The link to the audio is below.  

Theresa and I talked about adjusting to retirement. Adjustment is not always easy and there are a myriad of factors that effect a person’s quality of life and general life satisfaction during retirement years: 

  • finances
  • health / mental health / access to care
  • social circles: isolation vs involvement in broader circles than work related
  • living situation
  • family dynamics
  • widowhood
  • interests other than work related: hobbies / politics / community
  • access to activities of interest
  • transportation:  independence vs dependence
  • hope
  • the ability to set goals and carry out plans

We discussed shifts in identity and finding new purpose in life after retirement.  We touched on widowhood. Theresa has worked with seniors for years and owns her placement agency Assisted Living Options for Seniors.  As a social worker and psychotherapist, I have a special interest in seniors.  The majority of my clients are older adults.

This was my first radio show interview; at first, I was terrified!  A few minutes into our discussion I realized I could open my mouth and intelligible words (mostly!) would come out. Theresa made it fun. I really appreciated her patience with my “performance anxiety.”  The recording is great fodder for improving my public speaking skills!

Each of the three segments is 16 minutes long.  Below is a brief synopsis of each segment. Enjoy!

A Time for Seniors is broadcast on Saturday mornings 6-7am. You can listen to the recorded shows On-Demand (available late on Tuesday afternoons each week) by following the link above (look under Saturday Programs). Each show is available for one week and can be downloaded for listening whenever is convenient.

This discussion that could last for hours and cover many more topics such as how the grief process is part of any change in our lives. Even in a retirement that is welcomed with open arms.

Here are the subjects we touched in each segment:

Segment One:  Introduction to Topic in Relation to Theresa’s Life and Bonnie’s Social Work Bio

  • Theresa considers her age and her friend asking, “When are you going to retire?” Much of Theresa’s identity is wrapped up in her work life. What will retirement mean in terms of identity?
  • Bonnie tells the story of how marrying her high school sweetheart, who happened to be an addict, led her to the fulfilling career of social work.

Segment Two:  Retirement and Identity

  • health crisis and forced retirement vs choice
  • shifting identity
  • having a bucket list
  • meaning and purpose
  • preparing emotionally vs financially for retirement
  • depression, isolation, loneliness 
  • personality: introvert vs extrovert
  • talk to someone about how you are feeling
  • therapy is not just for the young
  • we need social contact

Segment Three: Options for seniors. Suggestions for adding meaning and purpose into life during retirement.

  • maladaptive response to retirement (addictions, bad relationships, eating disorders, alcohol)
  • volunteering and helping others
  • grief and support groups
  • political activism
  • don’t give up
  • find something you are interested in and get involved
  • continue to learn and stimulate that brain

As always, thank you for visiting! Leave your mark. I’d love to know you’ve been here.

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