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Six Types of Retirees

Picture of Randall E. White

Randall E. White

retiree types explored

One of the wonderful things about retirement is that it doesn’t look exactly the same for any two people; you can make it completely your own. For some, an ideal retirement is full of travel and adventure, while for others, a retirement filled with relaxation and family is a dream come true. It’s a special season of life in that you are free to build and shape it however you’d like. And just as there are various ways to define a dream retirement, there are also various types of retirees.

Inspired by work done by Nancy K. Schlossberg, an author, speaker, and former counseling professor at the University of Maryland, here are the six main types of retirees. Read on to find out more and to determine which resonates most with you.

Retiree #1. The Easy Glider

Retirees who take a more laid-back approach to retirement with no real plan or agenda for how they’re going to spend their time are referred to as easy gliders. They’re happy to simply relax and take things day-by-day, letting their retirement shape itself naturally. These types of retirees may have had a physically or mentally demanding job, and now they find relief in a slower pace of life. Or, perhaps, they’ve always been more likely to take a relaxed approach to everyday living.

Retiree #2. The Adventurer

In complete opposition to the easy glider, adventurers dive into retirement head-first, full of curiosity and a drive to experience something new – or everything new. Retirees of this type are likely to take up a new job in a completely different industry so that they can learn something totally new. This can be difficult to do, especially when you’re older, however, so if you’re interested in trying out a new career in retirement, consider becoming an intern. Doing so not only helps you learn the ropes, but it gives you the opportunity to network and make connections with others in your new field of interest.


Retiree #3. The Continuer

Like the adventurer, continuers are retirees who you’re likely to find working even after retirement. However, they’re likely to stay in the same job or industry. These retirees struggle to leave their work behind and often find themselves continuing what they were doing in different ways, such as professors who stop teaching but keep up with their research. If you envision yourself consulting in your field once you leave your job, you might be destined to be a continuer.

Retiree #4. The Involved Spectator

Involved spectators are similar to continuers in that they can’t leave their work behind completely. Usually, they had careers they were quite passionate about and, even though these retirees stop working, they stay connected to their passions as a spectator. An example might be an art history professor who is now the first one in the door at every local art exhibit, or the chef who you can always find visiting new restaurants with friends.

Retiree #5. The Searcher

Deciding how to spend life in retirement doesn’t come as easy to some people as it does to others. Searchers are retirees who are unsure what they want this new chapter of life to look like. Most of us go through a stage like this at some point in our lives, but it’s common in retirement as people adjust from living a life with a routine and a set schedule to suddenly having days completely free of any sort of rigidity. If you find yourself struggling with how to spend your time in retirement, think about exploring a new hobby, joining a local club, or even taking a class at a local college to meet new people and try something new. You may be in for some trial and error as a searcher, but there’s value in the journey as you slowly shape this season of your life.


Retiree #6. The Retreater

Retreaters are a lot like searchers in that they’re unsure what to do once they retire. These types of retirees find themselves retreating into themselves due to feeling overwhelmed or anxious about this drastic life transition. It’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with needing time to adjust – after all, retirement represents one of the greatest periods of change we will ever experience. However, be careful that you aren’t wasting your golden years being stuck in the past. You deserve a retirement that’s full of all the things you dreamed of, and now, after all your hard work, you have the opportunity to make it happen.

Who Will You Be in Retirement?

As we work, we’re often forced to put our passions and interests on the back burner so that we can focus our time on growing in our careers and building our wealth. Once we retire, however, we’re finally given the chance to explore and feed our curiosities and prioritize our own needs and desires. Retirement is the time to explore new interests, devote time to your hobbies, and discover new passions, too.

As you consider your retirement – how you want it to look and what type of retiree you think you’ll be – it’s important to be realistic about how much money you’ll need to support that vision. Not only do you want to be able to afford your necessary expenses, but you’ll also want to have the flexibility and security to pay for things that will make this stage of life enjoyable and meaningful.

At TriCapital Wealth Management, we help our clients build retirement income plans to suit their dream retirement lifestyles. If you’d like to speak with one of our advisors about your retirement plan, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC, member FINRA/SPIC. Advisory services offered through TriCapital Wealth Management, Inc. TriCapital Wealth Management, Inc. is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC.

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