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Ready for retirement?

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You may dream about retirement and spending carefree days on the golf course, but many retirees have trouble adjusting to life away from the workplace.

Michael Jordan is probably the most famous person to come out of retirement, though stories also abound of tech executives who cash out of one company set for life only to found another start-up a few years later. However, it's not just athletes and entrepreneurs who are returning to work. Many retirees return to a job because they don't know how else to spend their time, according to John Challenger, executive vice president of recruitment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"These individuals are in a lifestyle rut. Many are not especially enthusiastic about working but cannot seem to move ahead with their lives. They did not explore how they would spend their leisure time prior to retirement by testing different activities and options," Challenger says.

If you're planning to retire soon, Challenger recommends these actions:

* Test your retirement on a trial basis by taking an extended vacation.

*If you're thinking of relocating, consider this: Most retirees retire successfully by staying in the community in which they live - not moving. Rent a place and try it out before selling your original home.

*Post-retirement counseling is most helpful if you don't begin it until about three months after retirement. By that point, you'll probably be ready for a structured plan.

*Maintain opportunities for social interaction with like-minded people. "Becoming a member of a club or joining a group of community volunteers before leaving the job can give the retiree an immediate social connection and recognition as a valued individual," says Challenger.

RELATED LINKS

Failed retirement is an avoidable epidemic

Life in the leisure lane

The new meaning of retirement

Choosing the right recruiter
Network World, 01/14/02

Amy Schurr is an editor for Network World's Management Strategies and Features sections. If you have any career topics you'd like her to cover or want to comment on this newsletter, you can reach her at aschurr@nww.com.

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