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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

CAREER FLASH

Retirement more stressful than you think: study


At last, retirement! A time to enjoy life's many pleasures -- golf, gardening, travel to exotic places. Yet retirement does not necessarily mean peace of mind.

Lise Lachance and Louis Richer, professors at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, are studying how, for many people who are planning their retirement and for those who have just retired, leaving the workforce can be a period of extreme stress.

"To a large extent, our lives are defined by our careers. Retirement can mean the loss of our identity as well as a major part of our social network. The end of a structured daily routine can mean adjusting to a radical change in lifestyle," Lachance explains.

The research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), also examines the impact of retirement on married life. To this end, Lachance and Richer interviewed 60 couples planning their retirement.

"If your partner is anxious, irritable or even depressed because they going through the transition to retirement, this will adversely affect your own mood, level of enthusiasm and overall mental health," Lachance says.

This study will offer a variety of strategies to minimize retirement-related stress. The researchers' findings will be of interest to baby boomers as well as to human resources professionals and financial planners who will now be better able to advise clients leaving the workforce.

You can find more information about SSHRC-supported research on the Council's Web site at www.sshrc.ca.


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