On Wednesday, June 1, 2011,
Shaquille O'Neal announced he was
retiring from the NBA.
O'Neal used the social media tool Tout, a
real-time video messaging service to make his announcement to fans. Some
may ask why this 39 year old basketball superstar would retire now,
considering his incredible talent and unquestionable success: fifth
all-time with 28,596 points, 12th with 13,099 rebounds and second only to
Artis Gilmore among players with more than 2,000 baskets with a .582 field
goal percentage. Shaq points to his age and says that it getting
very hard to keep performing at the level we've come accustomed to seeing
him play at.
Are you sure you know what happens next after you retire?
One question many of us has is "What's next?". It seems even
Shaquille O'Neal had the same question.
O'Neal's girlfriend stated that he
"doesn't know what he's going to do" since announcing his retirement.
Hollywood acting and even a
UFC fight were suggested for Shaq, but since
his announcement we have seen him mostly relaxing; even playing with
samurai swords and riding in
go-karts. Shaquille most likely doesn't
need to worry about financing his retirement so he probably won't need to
find a part-time job. However, just like so many other retirees find out
after they spend a short time lounging and relaxing they long to be
involved in something productive again. Not necessarily for income, but
for a feeling of involvement. Many people in our culture define themselves
by their job. (Another reason why unemployment is so hard on people) The
mere act of going to work may be a habit that provides that person with a
sense of self-worth.
Pete Wallen - a great example of living in retirement
A great example of a person remaining active in retirement is
Pete Wallen, a tour guide at the
Tour-Ed Mine in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. Pete
worked as a miner for 17 years and then another 25 years as a
foreman in the mines on the 4pm to 12am shift. After 42 years working in
the mining industry, Pete retired in 1992, but he wasn't quite ready to
stop working! Today, you can find Pete giving tours nearly every day at
the Tour-Ed Mine location for school kids and tourists alike. The job
keeps Pete very active in his retirement, and this particular job has
allowed him to stay involved in the industry he grew up with.
When planning your retirement consider qualitative factors in addition
to income factors. "Qualitative factors associated with retirement may be
more important than the financial or quantitative factors. Qualitative
factors include involuntary versus voluntary retirement; emotional and
psychological factors, such as loss of esteem with loss of job and boredom
in retirement; and the decision to relocate or do things that were
postponed during the work life (ie. travel or pursue another vocation)."
Source: Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits for Financial
Planners, 7th edition