Retiring Lives

Paper: 978 0 85473 848 9
Price: $26.95  
Published: December 2009  

Publisher: IOE Press
196 pp., 5 3/4" x 8 3/8"
b/w photos
Retiring is a challenging transition, or series of transitions. It affects social, economic, emotional and physical lives, and decisions about relationships, places to live, indeed all aspects of being alive.

Retiring Lives presents fourteen personal real life stories from people at various stages of retiring. Each author recounts their own story about retiring, bringing together many aspects of the experiences: the social, psychological and practical. These inspirational and illustrated stories will encourage the reader to hold up these experiences to their own, learn from comparisons and similarities and extend their own thinking.

The book also includes chapters on setting up and running a retiring group; the process of retiring as an aspect of professional development and reoccurring financial themes; and the benefits, allowances and privileges of becoming older. These contributions will stir the reader into becoming actively involved in the planning for their own retirement

This book is essential reading for those working within the education sector. It will also benefit all those considering retiring or changing how they view their working lives, whatever their professional background. It will be useful for those who want to set up or advise on retiring groups and workshops both within and outside their organizations.

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements; Introduction: Retiring Lives—Eileen Carnell and Caroline Lodge; PART I THE CONTEXT: 1) Dipping Our Bread into the Sherry: Emerging Themes—Caroline Lodge and Eileen Carnell; 2) The History of the “Retiring Women” Group—Marianne Coleman; 3) What We’ve Learned from Setting up the Group—The Retiring Women Group; PART II THE STORIES; 4) Transitions and Transformations—Eileen Carnell; 5) Part-Time Work as a Way Forward into Retirement—Marianne Coleman; 6) Busy Doing Nothing…—Jennifer Evans; 7) Even Busier in the Third Age—Ashley Kent; 8) Dogs and Duvets: Living in Rural France as a Retirement Project—Alison Kirton; 9) One Step Forwards and Two Back, Then Hopefully Forward Again—Diana Leonard; 10) Retiring Backwards—Caroline Lodge; 11) Through the Airlock—Alex Moore; 12) Barbara Patilla’s Story of a Teacher Retiring—Eileen Carnell; 13) Ann Peter’s Story; 14) Bet McCallum’s Story; PART 3 PRACTICAL STUFF YOU WON’T FIND TOGETHER IN A SINGLE PLACE: 15) Retiring as an Aspect of Professional Development—Jacqui MacDonald; 16) Helping People to the Other Side: Recurring Themes from a Financial Advisor—Sid Reddy; 17) Reasons to be Cheerful—The Retiring Women’s Group; 18) Bibliography and Contacts—The Retiring Women’s Group; Notes on Contributors.


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Reviews & Endorsements:
“Due to the nature of working in education, many of the stories are reflective retirement experiences that aim to share with others what they have learned. Interestingly, the stories do not represent ‘stereotypical’ images or narratives of retirees, and explore some interesting issues evolving around: friends, family, self-discovery, exploring creative, physical and relational self, part-time work, moving abroad, retiring early, individual/group activities, volunteering, social networks, dealing with illness, loneliness, and depression. Retirement seemed to be a time for connecting with things that really matter in their lives through reflection and preparation processes….Given the compassionate ‘lived cases’ and valuable resources, this may well inspire some readers to form a group where the creative activities could be utilized by those thinking about retiring, when making decisions and planning their futures. Organizations and institutions could also turn to this as a resource if they decide to take some responsibility for preparing those who are contemplating changes to their working lives. Essentially, the book is a very valuable resource providing stories that are ‘positive and upbeat’ whilst acknowledging some of the ‘dark side’ associated with retiring. The most important thing I have learned from reading the book, perhaps, is that transition into retirement can be eased with preparation and social support.”
- International Journal of Lifelong Education
"With the added years of health and vitality that have been visited upon a new generation of retirees, we/they are in uncharted territory, entering a stage of life not seen before in human history. Many of us are wondering how we’ll live, what we’ll do, who we’ll be for the next twenty or thirty years. This is a tremendous challenge and a tremendous opportunity—surely easier for some than for others. The authors of this book show the many ways that some retired professionals are moving through the transition in human terms and with the support of group of kindred spirits. Some feel joyful at the freedom and chafe at the disbelieving tone of social conversations while others take a longer time to adjust and find new networks and friends, 'a steep learning curve,' according to one. Stories are laced with sudden illness, death of spouse—'whatever our best laid plans…illness can upset everything at any time.' Most are adept at reflecting on the experience and finding undiscovered strengths and sensations. The book is a worthy read for anyone thinking about retiring."
- Jacquelyn B. James, Ph.D., Co-director of Research, Sloan Center on Aging and Work/Workplace Flexibility, Research Professor , Lynch School of Education, Boston College