Slowing down and entering a perpetual vacation for the rest of their lives is no longer the goal for a large percentage of retirees, so retirement takes on multiple possibilities as social conventions accept broader solutions at all levels of society. Age Wave, the firm started by psychologist and gerontologist Dr. Ken Dychtwald that researches population aging and businesses’ response to it, found retirees fall into four psychological groupings:
Ageless Explorer. This group personifies the pursuit of the new retirement–a very active new phase where they would rather have a cramped schedule than put themselves at risk of being bored and complacent. They seek new career opportunities and participation in their communities. They’re typically confident about their financial preparations for retirement and its emotional challenges. They don’t see themselves as ever becoming “elderly.” For “Ageless Explorers,” retirement is a food festival with more surprises and discoveries just a few steps ahead.
Comfortably Content. These retirees embody a classic vision of the easy-going, low-ripple later years, where relaxation and few challenges are the goal. Work is something they did before retirement. They feel financially secure, travel, and pursue leisure activities. For the “Comfortably Content,” retirement is comfort food at the favorite dinner.