376 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    376 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Retirement, as a major life transition, can be both thrilling and challenging in unexpected ways. Written by acclaimed authors in the fields of business leadership, careers, and work, this book goes beyond the typical financial and health-related advice on retirement, providing insights to guide you in broader areas of your life – identity issues, relationship challenges, and questions about creating a new retirement life structure that works for you.

    With lively, engaging writing, the book tells the detailed retirement transition stories of 14 people – and draws on over 200 interviews with 120 people – to explore how retiring involves a renovation of both the person and their life structure. You’ll gain wisdom on the common themes and the wildly different approaches people take to the four big tasks of retiring: making the retirement decision, detaching from work both tangibly and psychologically, building a new life structure for retirement, and settling into a relatively stable retirement life – but prepared to restructure again as life unfolds into the future. Throughout each chapter, you’ll see how the dynamic interplay of self, life structure, and external context affect a retiring person’s day-to-day experience in the final months of their career, as well as their early years of retirement – and how life satisfaction depends largely on alignment among the three. At the same time, you’ll learn how family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the organization the person is retiring from, can play a crucial role.

    This book is for you if you are seeking deep, nuanced insight into – and practical advice on – the psychological, social, and life-restructuring aspects of retirement that can make all the difference for life satisfaction. It is also for you if you are a family member or friend of such a person, a helping professional, or an organizational leader who cares about your older workers and the value they bring to your organization even as they depart.

    Foreword by Dorian Mintzer, Ph.D., Introduction. Understanding the Experience of Retiring, Chapter 1. Retiring Takes Work: The Four Big Tasks, Chapter 2. Task 1: Deciding When and How to Retire, Chapter 3. Task 2: Detaching from Work, Chapter 4. Task 3: Building a Provisional Life Structure for Retirement, Chapter 5. Task 4: Consolidating a Stable Life Structure for Retirement, Chapter 6. The Role of Others in the Retirement Transition, Epilogue. Putting the Lessons to Work, Research Appendix, Endnotes, Acknowledgements


    Teresa M. Amabile is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor, Emerita, at Harvard Business School, and the coauthor of The Progress Principle (2011).

    Lotte Bailyn is the T Wilson Professor, emerita, at MIT Sloan, and the author of Breaking the Mold: Redesigning Work for Productive and Satisfying Lives.  

    Marcy Crary is Professor Emerita, Bentley University. Her research interests focused on diversity pedagogy, cross-identity work relationships, and transitions in the “third phase” of life.  

    Douglas T. (Tim) Hall is the Friedman Professor of Management, Emeritus, Boston University. His research deals with careers, retirement, work-life integration, and leadership development.

    Kathy E. Kram is the R.C. Shipley Professor in Management, Emerita, at Boston University. Her interests include adult development, mentoring, gender in leadership, and change processes.

    "Retiring: Creating a Life That Works for You is a revelation — the most insightful book about American retirement I’ve ever encountered. Its masterful blend of rigorous science and deeply human stories will help anyone navigate their journey into life’s next chapter."

    Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Regret; Drive; and When 

    "Retiring raises many questions, and this book is filled with answers. Based on extensive research, a team of experts has produced an informative, comprehensive look at how to leave work without losing your sense of place and purpose."

    Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Potential and Think Again, and host of the podcast Re:Thinking

    "The word “retirement” means different things to different people. This book is a must-read for anyone who is exploring and/or experiencing this next phase of life. This book brings to life rigorous research based in people’s told stories and articulates the rich texture of the themes and patterns this time of life holds. The reader learns about the various ways that retirement is a journey rather than a destination, noted by winding paths rather than just one formula and one straight line. This is a journey of self-exploration and, in some cases, expanding or changing a person’s way of narrating who they are. As one participant in this study said, “I am starting to learn about myself and remember myself.” Reading this book is an experience of learning in relationships. You will find yourself within the stories people shared, and in the challenges and opportunities the authors frame. Enjoy!"

    Ilene C. Wasserman, Ph.D., President, ICW Consulting Group; Senior Leadership Fellow/Lead Executive Coach, McNulty Leadership Program at the Wharton School

    "This gang of world-class academics has produced perhaps the most helpful guide I have ever read. As an organizational psychologist, I was dazzled by the depth of their original research and their insights about challenges that people wrestle with before and during retirement, as well as capabilities that help people navigate the journey. I was especially grateful for how the book helped me understand why it was a good time to retire from Stanford University after 40 years, and for how their advice equips me to detach from that role, build a provisional retirement life, and be ready to change how I live down the road."

    Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor (emeritus) and New York Times bestselling author of eight books including The No Asshole Rule and (with Huggy Rao) The Friction Project

    "In this era of long life, where many spend more years retired than raising children, retirement planning fails if it focuses only on finances. Retiring: Creating a Life That Works for You, with its deeply researched, richly nuanced stories on the rewards and challenges of retiring, will help you anticipate and construct a fulfilling retirement life of your own."

    Laura L Carstensen, Ph.D., Founding Director, Stanford Center on Longevity, Stanford University, and author of A Long Bright Future

    "This book takes a deep dive into the real-life experiences of people who are thinking about and living through retirement. The authors offer us a rich blend of personal stories and data to shine light on a life transition that’s often shrouded in mystery. Retiring can be your trusted companion on the road to retiring."

    Robert J. Waldinger, M.D., Director, Harvard Study of Adult Development; Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and coauthor of The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness

    "No matter where you are in your retirement journey, this book will enrich, empower, and ease your way into this important chapter of your life. The authors use their multi-year, multi-person research to uncover both the variety and the patterning in the retirement process. Their vivid stories, helpful diagrams, useful summaries, and careful advice about the retirement process will change forever your understanding and your comfort with the ups and downs of this critical life stage."

    Jane Dutton, Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology, University of Michigan

    "Retiring: Creating a Life That Works for You offers a gift for our post-career years, a practical guide to navigating the ups and downs of life’s ultimate stage. This wisdom about identity and meaning helps prepare us for the crucial work of a fruitful retirement."

    Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

    "Without doubt, this book is the best account available about the phenomenological journey of retirement. The authors have masterfully interpreted and connected plots from different life stories to create a collage of lessons on how to approach and live retirement. It is a moving and delightful read that will enlighten you about constructing a retirement life that works for you!"

    Rajashi Ghosh, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Organization and Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University

    "This book methodically demystifies your questions around retirement. It serves as an important reminder that curiosity, creativity, and connectedness are key principles that help navigate times of change. Incredibly valuable for charting your future, whatever your age or life stage."

    Frans Johansson, CEO of Medici Next, and bestselling author of The Medici Effect

    "A multi-decade career becomes a significant part of our self-identity – and that is only one of many complex dynamics at play in approaching retirement. The extensive research presented in this book offers unique and powerful insights into those dynamics."

    Richard Seaman, Chairman of Seaman Corporation, and author of A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business