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Retirement Is a Process: Things to Think About and Consider PDF Print Email

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By Catherine Nicholas, LCSW, and Richard W. Shoup, DMin, The Counseling Center

Jun. 26, 2019:  Perhaps you can’t wait to retire. You plan meticulously and count down the days. Or perhaps you are so happy with your work, and find such satisfaction in it, you approach your mid-60s with no intention of slowing down. But at some point, a serious consideration of retirement usually becomes inevitable. Retirement might be forced on you by mandatory age limits or because declining strength and mobility make it necessary. If you’ve enjoyed work, you might begin to ask yourself what has made it meaningful, and as you work less, how you can keep doing it in a different way. You might experience a renewed appreciation of the “goodness” you’ve found in helping people or making a contribution and look for other ways to continue doing that.

Some jobs afford the flexibility to step back from professional lives while still remaining in them. Some people give up executive positions, for example, while returning to the roles that first brought them to the profession. Others reduce their hours to one or two days a week. The chance to remain among well-known, respected colleagues while continuing to contribute your skill and experience can be immensely rewarding. So, too, you might find yourself becoming the “wisdom figure” whom others come to for advice and counsel. Those who switch to part-time work often find it gives structure to their days while also affording the freedom to pursue relationships and other interests. 

But many people with full-time jobs don’t have the luxury of cutting back. For them, you’re either all-in or all-out. You might have little control over your work environment, be unable to change or escape difficult situations, and feel very eager for retirement. Yet you face a startling change once you make the leap, one that requires some forethought. Having a general idea of what you want to do in retirement can get you started, but it’s best to leave many aspects unplanned so that you have the flexibility to make new choices along the way.  

It can help to see retirement as a changing time of life, a process, not a goal. People often feel they need to fill every hour of every day, but that can put unnecessary pressure on them. Instead, give yourself a chance to figure it out, and permission to let it evolve. It is ok to feel at sea or lost immediately following retirement. Out of that uncertainty, new ideas and goals can form. In some cases, it can be useful to seek out a trained therapist who can guide you along the way, assisting you in defining your interests and steering you clear of potential pitfalls.  

No doubt, throughout life you’ve had to adapt to changing circumstances. You may have confronted illness, divorce, great loss. You might have suffered professional challenges and reversals. Retirement can be seen as another transition, a period in which to appreciate what you’ve had, feel grateful for it, and learn to let go when the time is right.

Often when one steps back from a professional role, whether partly or completely, the lessening of status and influence are keenly felt. Consider the example of a highly respected dentist with a long, successful career who was forced out of his practice at the age of 75 and never recovered his lost sense of purpose. Yet sometimes just as the old falls away, new opportunities open up: offers of professional or volunteer work that arise from previous experience, for example, or new causes and interests you’ve only recently discovered. Sometimes, just as you begin to lose status and influence, they may begin to seem less worth pursuing in any case; gradually, you may find deeper meaning in furthering your relationships, whether it’s with family and friends or in casual interactions. Often at this stage of life, daily tasks and ordinary work take on new significance. 

Retirement can be a time to try new things. You might take courses, join a book club, attend music rehearsals, and travel. It can be great fun to finally turn the items on your “bucket list” into actual experiences. Now might also be your chance to enhance your exercise routine or to begin one if you haven’t already. Yoga, for example, can be especially beneficial for older people, a way to stay flexible and steady on your feet. But think hard before you give up an activity since at this age you’re not likely to resume it.

It’s important to guard against the deterioration that can come from isolation by finding ways to remain engaged, even if that means choosing an assisted living facility, which offers many activities, instead of remaining in your own home, or sharing space with your children, where you might be left alone most days. Moving someplace new may require more courage and make you feel uncomfortable at first, but over the long term, it might offer greater well-being and independence.

Where to live is often a question couples don’t agree on. If one of you prefers the city and the other the country, or one likes warm weather year-round and the other enjoys a range of seasons, you might be able to split your time between both. It’s important to know where your spiritual home lies. Be sure you plant yourself in a place where you can do what you really want to do.

Friendships, especially long-standing ones, can add enormous richness to lives in retirement. But as the years go by, it’s inevitable that you will begin to lose friends to illness and death. New friends can be wonderful, but they can’t entirely replace the old since they don’t have that shared history of experience, memories, and of who you were years ago. It’s healthy to recall old friends if doing so makes you grateful for what you had and joyful to be reminded of those good times. Then, go on to find pleasure in new places; find value in new friends.

The two halves of a married couple often approach retirement with very different ideas in mind, yet it is possible to find a middle ground that works for you both. Having each other during the retirement years can allow you to have the kind of unstructured together time that you may not have been able to enjoy for years. Whether you create new cherished routines, such as evening walks together after dinner, or pursue separate interests that you talk about afterward, being able to share these experiences can enliven your days.  

In retirement, you may be married or single, working part-time or fully retired, living in a familiar place or somewhere new. Whatever your situation, if you can summon courage as you move forward and stay open to new possibilities, you may find that these later years are deeply satisfying.

Pictured (rotating):  Richard Shoup and Catherine Nicholas.

Photos courtesy The Counseling Center 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 

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Healthcare Services Directory

Assisted Living Facilities

Sunrise Senior Living

500 North Columbus Avenue
Mount Vernon, New York 10552
914-667-5660

www.sunriseseniorliving.com


The Osborn

101 Theall Road
Rye, New York 10580
914-921-2200

www.theosborn.org

Bereavement

The Bereavement Center of Westchester

670 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, New York 10707 
(914) 787-6158

www.thebereavementcenter.org

Chemical Dependency Services

The Maxwell Institute

The Maxwell Institute of St. Vincent's Westchester offers outpatient chemical dependency treatment and education services for adults, adolescents and their families. Treatment includes individual and group psychotherapy, couples counseling, and psychiatric evaluation and medication management when indicated. The Institute welcomes individuals and family members who are experiencing marital and/or work-related distress as a result of alcoholism and other forms of chemical dependency.

The Maxwell Institute also offers community education services through its programs in drug and alcohol prevention in the schools. For persons wishing to become credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors (CASACS) in New York State, the "Maxtrain" program provides the 350 classroom education hours that are an important part of the credentialing requirements.

The Maxwell Institute is grateful for the support of The Community Fund of Bronxville-Eastchester-Tuckahoe.

92 Yonkers Ave
Tuckahoe, NY 10707
(914) 337-6033

www.stvincentswestchester.org/maxwell

 

 

Counseling Services

Counseling Center

Founded in 1971, the mission of the Counseling Center “is to provide a wide range of psychotherapeutic and counseling services to individuals, couples and families by a staff of highly trained, experience and dedicated psychotherapists.
Director: Virgil Roberson

The Counseling Center
180 Pondfield Road Bronxville,
New York 10708
914-793-3388

www.counselingcenter.org

Dentists

Dr. Henry A. Blom

10 Studio Arcade
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-1157


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Bronxville Dental Care

Jenny A.  Kanganis, D.D.S.

Guy N. Minoli, D.D.S.

Since 1994, Dr. Kanganis and Dr. Minoli of Bronxville Dental Care have been leaders in the dental community, providing exceptional dentistry to generations of Bronxville families. They have a long history of excellence and have earned a reputation built on trust, compassion, and dedication. Drs. Kanganis and Minoli believe in a conservative, holistic, and minimally invasive approach to dentistry. Bronxville Dental Care welcomes patients of all ages and offers a comprehensive range of services, including cosmetic and restorative dentistry, implants, and pediatric dentistry. Dr. Kanganis especially loves treating children. As a mother herself of two recent Bronxville High School grads, she understands the importance of helping children to feel comfortable during their visits, while earning their trust and teaching them to become active participants in their oral health.

20 Studio Arcade

Bronxville, New York 10708

(914) 337-6536 
www.bronxvilledentalcare.com


Dr. Anthony Fiore

44 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-3863


Dr. Quentin M. Murphy

77 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-1004


Scarsdale Pediatric Dental

777 Post Rd.
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5000 
Phone: 914. 472. 9090 
http://www.scarsdalepediatricdental.com/


Dr. Michael J. Vitale

1 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-8430

 

Dermatology

Dr. Lesa Kelly

77 Quaker Ridge Road
New Rochelle, New York
914-637-2663


Dr. Neil Goldberg

77 Pondfield Road Ste 2
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-4499

Ear, Nose and Throat

Dr. Mark Fox

ENT and Allergy Associates
1 Elm Street
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
914-961-2515

Home Care

Lawrence Home Care of Westchester

670 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY 10707
(914) 787-6158
www.lawrencehomecare.org

 

Hospice

Jansen Hospice and Pallative Care

670 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, New York 10583
(914) 787-6158
www.jansenhospice.org

Hospitals

New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital

In July 2014, Lawrence Hospital and New York-Presbyterian Hospital established a new relationship aimed at enhancing care, improving access and lowering health care costs for residents of Bronxville and surrounding communities in Westchester County. Lawrence was renamed New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital.

Lawrence Hospital Center was founded in 1909 and is a 291-bed acute care facility with over 1100 employees and 400 physicians. It provides emergency care to approximately 35,000 individuals every year.   It became a designated New York State Stroke Center in 2006.  Its physicians provide expertise in virtually every area of medical specialty and include over 100 primary care physicians. And, Lawrence delivers about 2000 babies every year in the home-like setting of newly designed Labor and Delivery recovery rooms.

Outpatient services include diagnostic testing and laboratory services, ambulatory surgery options, and rehabilitation and sports medicine services. The Hospital has a Women`s Imaging Center where female patients receive diagnostic services in a private setting. Outpatient physical therapy, lymphedema therapy, speech and occupational therapy services are provided both on-site at the Hospital and at Lawrence`s satellite center, The Center for Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, in Scarsdale.

The Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Hospital is fully licensed by the New York State Department of Health. Lawrence`s laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

55 Palmer Avenue
914-787-1000 (main number)

Internal Medicine Physician

Dr. Anne Galloway

77 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-4986


Dr. Kerrianne Page

14 Studio Arcade
914-779-9066


Dr. Raymond Chow

700 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, New York
914-723-2446

Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Dr. Polly Kanganis

4 Studio Arcade, Bronxville, NY 10708
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-771-9441


Dr. Thomas J. Rubeo Jr. MD
Bronxville Women's Care, Pllc
One Pondfield Road, Suite 302
Bronxville, NY 10708
914-337-3715

Orthodontists

Dr. Patricia Halloran

55 Park Avenue
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-1239


Dr. Joseph Ciccio

1 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-4700

Orthopedics

Dr. Peter Rizzo

77 Pondfield Road
914-337-1118


Dr. Michael Elia

1 Stone Place
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-3976

Pediatricians

Westchester Health Pediatrics (formerly Children’s Medical Practice of Bronxville)
1 Elm Street
Tuckahoe, New York 10707
914-337-7474


Scarsdale Pediatric Associates
2 Overhill Road Suite 220
Scarsdale, New York 10580
914-725-0800


Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
495 Central Avenue
Scarsdale, New York
914-725-7555

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