Advice from Alumni: Reframe Retirement & Aspire to Preferment

“We need to reframe (and rename) retirement,” says Barbara Hessekiel ’84 Waxman, a life coach and gerontologist. “The word itself means to withdraw, to cease. At 65, with decades of living ahead, that is not what people are aspiring to,” the Colgate psychology major notes. Instead, people should live according to their life stage rather than their age. Waxman recommends thinking of retirement as “preferment,” a time devoted to those things that bring a sense of meaning, joy, and impact. “It reflects the decades spent on the activities, roles, and yes, even work, that we prefer to do,” she says.

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