In an ideal world, people would spend years preparing for their retirement — making sure their finances are on track, laying the groundwork for post-retirement part-time work if desired, engaging one’s spouse in dialogue about retirement goals and plans, and developing hobbies that can continue post-career.

Even with advance planning and thoughtful discussions, though, the psychological transition from work to retirement can be challenging. The change in one’s identity is often a source of retirement turmoil because many people equate who they are with what they do, such as professor, roofer, accountant, etc. And, they have often had this identity for many, many years.

Work may also provide a steady stream of opportunities to interact with co-workers and industry professionals, something that will be missed when work ends. How to counteract these forces?

Joining Founders Hall is an important first step in the transition to retirement, even if one is still working happily. Ridgefielders are eligible to join Founders Hall — for free — when they turn 60 or when their spouse turns 60, whichever comes first. The future retiree can try out a variety of interests and meet people unrelated to work, both of which can help a new identity to grow and evolve. Visit founders-hall.org to learn more.