Chapter 18 : Older adult mental health

At what age would you like to retire? Or would you prefer to continue working as an older adult as long as you are healthy?



In the US today, people will spend 10 to 15 percent of their lives in retirement (Santrock, 2019, p. 564). Whereas previously, people tended to pass from full-time employment to full-time leisure, today there is a growing trend of people delaying retirement and of slowly decreasing hours as their work permits (Santrock, 2019, p. 564). Not all people who reach "retirement age" will be lucky enough to have the finances to retire. People who retire in good health, with hobbies, in close community, and with an educated and solid financial background tend to have higher levels of ease and enjoyment in their retirement (Santrock, 2019). Those who have poor health, low income, and less contact with friends and family tend to have a harder adjustment (Santrock, 2019).


I would personally love to retire slowly and over a long period of time. I would like to start decreasing my amount of work in my 50's if it is financially feasible. If I am still working in arts and circus, I can imagine wanting to work part-time on different projects in different capacities for many years. It really is a passion of mine. If I continue to become a movement-based therapist, I can imagine also finding creative ways of continuing to engage with people for many many years. When self-employment is an option, one can retire and resume work and retire again. Life does not need to be dictated as neatly as a life led working a standard job. I like this flexibility.

Santrock, J. W. (2019). Lifespan development (17th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.