Retirement Experiences of Psychologists
Today, almost all Americans can expect to live longer and healthier lives than their parents or grandparents ever thought possible, which introduces an entirely new realm of opportunities and challenges than previously contemplated. Although often underappreciated, how this new generation of well-educated, longer living citizens will ultimately decide to develop personally satisfying lives, beyond relying upon traditional jobs and employment colleagues for meaningful affirmation in retirement, is truly uncharted territory. There are few role models or societal expectations for these unprecedented times—especially for women and ethnic minorities.
This volume brings together distinguished senior psychologists from a wide range of former occupational positions to share their personal retirement experiences—their struggles, their aspirations, their eventual journeys. Many do not consider themselves “retired”—and some even suggest the concept of retirement itself needs examination and refinement. Advances in technology, frustrating physical ailments, and missing friends influence late life decisions. However, even when facing existential unknowns, each of the authors remains optimistic and open to seeking new directions in their lives. How they navigate their individual journeys in retirement suggests some common themes and pathways, although there are also many individual nuances.
The unique personal story approach in this book enables the reader to share the concerns of retirement with each author and find out how they resolved those concerns in seeking a meaningful retirement. It is comforting to learn that there is no one path that applies to everyone. The authors share their thinking and decision-making in approaching their retirement and provide multiple guides for the reader to consider. Readers will also appreciate that “retiring to” something, instead of “retiring from” something, provides a new perspective in examining and shifting life and work goals in later life.
Rodney R. Baker, PhD, retired as Mental Health Director and Chief of Psychology at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He co-authored a history of VA psychology and edited and co-edited four books of career stories of VA psychology leaders. He received the 2017 American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology.
Patrick H. DeLeon, PhD, MPH, JD, is a former President of the American Psychological Association, member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA, and Honorary Fellow of several national nursing associations. Beginning with the first day of the Watergate hearings in 1973, he served on Capitol Hill for nearly four decades, retiring as Chief of Staff for US Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
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Rodney R. Baker
Patrick H. DeLeon
Pamela T. Reid
Diane J. Willis
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