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Transitions in Aging

Retirement Planning I

Importance of Retirement Planning

Photo of seniors reading the newspaper

  • Successful aging
    • Remaining independent, living in the community, maintaining ability to make decisions for self, and engaging in activities
  • Being prepared as early as possible

NEXT: Retirement Planning Topics

Notes and References

To age successfully, we should strive to: do things for ourselves (with the necessary support), remain living in the community for as long as possible, keeping the freedom to make our own choices, and participate in enjoyable activities.1

When we are participating in our jobs or day programs, we often feel like an active member of our community and we also have more opportunities to exercise our decision-making capabilities. When we retire from our jobs or day programs, what can we do to continue being an active member of the various communities to which we belong? Also, through the aging process, we will slowly experience some changes in our body. For example, we may find wrinkles on our face, stiffness in our joints or feel tired more easily. Therefore, we need to think about how we can continue living independently in the community if our abilities change. As these changes happen slowly, researchers have recommended that we plan for our retirement as early as possible.2 It's better for us to be prepared so we won't be in crisis when the time comes. Now, let's talk about things we should keep in mind when we are planning for our retirement.


  1. Janicki, M.P. (1994). Policies and supports for older adults with mental retardation. In Seltzer, M. M., Krauss, M. W., & Janicki, M. P. (Eds.), Life Course Perspectives on Adulthood and Old Age. Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Retardation.
  2. 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.