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Family Dynamics

Important Things To Know About Retirement

Dr. Don-David Lusterman speaks about adjusting to retirement -- spending more time with your life partner and enjoying it.
Dr. Lusterman can be contacted at:


February 13, 2011 - 9:46pm

Sandy Tankoos

Katherine, Dr. Lusterman is not available to answer you at the moment, although I am sure he will shortly. People have different energy levels, particularly as they grow older. For myself, I agree with you. I tried retirement, found it boring and began another career, but not everybody has the ability to do that. Also, not everyone moves to Florida to retire, and young people also live in Florida. One of my sons moved to Florida about 20 years ago. He married and has two children who go to school with other children. There are young people living in Florida. Many of the people I know who did move to Florida are working part time and enjoying the sunshine the rest of the time. As you grow older cold winters become harder to live through so it's natural to choose to move to a warmer climate. I happen to love New York so I stay, but after this winter, I am very sympathetic to those who choose to go south or west. There is of course another issue and that is that many jobs still have a mandatory retirement age. Judges in New York State are required, for example, to retire at age 70. I know people who were forced into retirement at age 65 who would have loved to work longer. I imagine that these rules probably will change now that modern medicine keeps many of us in good health for more years. There are people who feel that they worked their whole life and they look forward to spending their retirement years playing, but the people I know who are in that category are financially well off and are helping our economy by taking cruises, trips across the country, buying lots of gadgets, et cetera. I'm not sure what Dr. Lusterman will have to say, but from my perspective not everybody moves to Florida and those who do, if that's what they enjoy doing, I don't personally have an issue with that.

February 10, 2011 - 5:02pm

katherine schlaerth

Why do people want to retire? Why do they want to go to Florida? I've many contemporaries who have done so and can't quite understand their rational for what seems to me a retreat from life. The thought of living "on the dole" if one is still able to contribute to society in some fashion also bothers me, especially since social security poses such a burden for the next generation.

April 1, 2010 - 6:37am

Sandy Tankoos

Roberta, You might want to check out Stan Gershbein's video in the Profile section of He's retired to Florida and is loving it.

March 31, 2010 - 8:33am

Dr. Don-David Lusterman

Hi Roberta, and thanks for the thoughtful question. I was sorry to hear that you are being forced to retire, and would have been happier had you writtem that you wanted to retire. Still, you show a great resilience, and are looking thoughtfully at your next step. I am concerned that I have made you a little nervous, although sometimes a little nervousness helps us to face new situations with the necessary energy. Your ideas about the strengths of a retirement community are clearly stated and make a strong point: a community with many activities and opportunities to continue growing should produce new friendships as well. Perhaps I have imposed a personal prejudice upon my readers -- in which case l accept that responsibility. You are certainly living in the real world. My concerns are the wishes of ryou and your husband concerning grandchildren. If the community you are considering has restrictions about youngsters, it would be important for you to decide if the rules were comfortable for you. It may mean, for example, that if your family visits, there will be very few children out in the street with whom to play. If questions like this seem sensible to you, I would urge you to make a list and check with the management and dwellers in the particular community. If you and your husband have enough interests that you will not almost always do the same thing, you will have new experiences to share. "Same old same old" is often the enemy of a vibrant marriage. Novelty shared is its friend. The more you and your husband discuss retirement together, the more likely you are to find the one that you will both most like. Good luck to you both.

March 30, 2010 - 9:35pm


Dr. Lusterman, I am in a job where I will very soon be forced to retire due to my age. My husband's business stopped being profitable about two years ago, and he closed his doors and reitred at that point. If we stay where we are, I think our money will not last us long enough; consequently, I believe we have to retire to a less expensive environment, probaably Florida, although we haven't made a definite decision on that as yet. Listening to what you have to say has made me a little nervous. I always assumed that if we moved to a retirement community with other retired people, it would be easy to make a new life for ourselves. I would assume we could make friends who are in our situation and keep ourselves busy with the many activities that these retirement communities seem to have available. Am I not living in the real world? I'd appreciate your advice. Roberta

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