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Transitions in Aging

Retirement Planning I

What is Retirement?

Photo of a woman watching a man draw on a napkin

  • No longer participating in our previous long-term work positions or day programs
  • We can continue engaging with the community in a meaningful way!

NEXT: Importance of Retirement Planning

Notes and References

So let's start by talking about what retirement actually is.

Retirement is a new life stage, in which we are no longer participating in our job or the day program that we used to attend.1,2 Many of us enjoy our work or spending time at day programs. Therefore, the idea of not doing these things any more may sound scary for us. However, we can all have a happy, fulfilling life after our retirement if we plan for it carefully.3 We should not isolate ourselves at home after retirement. On the contrary, we should think about how to adapt to the age-related changes in our needs or support in order to continually participate in the activities we enjoy.4 For example, some people choose to take part in community activities while others go to programs in a local senior center that can promote health and increase a sense of belonging.


  1. Fesko, S. L., Hall, A. C., Quinlan, J. & Jockell, C., (2012). Active aging for individuals with intellectual disability: Meaningful community participation through employment, retirement, service, and volunteerism. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 117(6), 497-508.
  2. Carstensen, L. L. (1991). Selectivity theory: Social activity in life span context. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 11, 195-217.
  3. Laughlin, C. & Cotten, P. D. (1994). Efficacy of a pre-retirement planning intervention for ageing individuals with mental retardation. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability Research, 38, 317-328.
  4. Llewellyn, G., Balandin, S., Dew, A. & McConnell, D. (2004). Promoting healthy, productive ageing: Plan early, plan well. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 29(4), 366-369.