Research with retirees and pre-retirees
The years before retirement in Australia is a time of transition, that is partly behavioural but is also a search for meaning and a rethinking about identity.
Lots of changes can happen at this time. Some people cut back on their work hours, some people retire and then go back to work. The decision to retire is (of course) partly about money. Many pre-retirees worry that they will not have enough to live on. But it is not just about the money.
People who have defined themselves in terms of their work, need to spend time thinking about their identity - who they are and who they want to be.
For some, the realisation that their workplace is stressful and therefore bad for their health can be the trigger to thinking about a life without work.
Some use rituals - such as travel and renewing their wardrobe - to help them get their heads around this time of their lives.
Our insights about retirement come from our sensemaking framework, illustrated above, and from survey research we have conducted on this market.