“Done With Work” – Life After Retirement book review

  |   life after retirement, retirement transition

Review posted by By Jack Beauregard


Done With Work coverRetirement creates an unnatural life sequence. Throughout our lives most events proceed in order, from beginning to middle to end. But by its very nature, retiring changes the normal flow. Retirement starts with the ending of the life you experienced for decades, and moves toward the beginning of a new life after leaving your current position.

Dr. Larry Gard’s new book, “Done With Work”, provides insights and personal examples of how you can make a successful transition between the “Ending” of what you have been doing for decades and the “Beginning” of the next stage of your life. As the founder and CEO of the Successful Transition Planning Institute, I highly suggest that you spend your time reading this book since it will help prepare you to move into a new life of meaning and purpose.

One of the many things that I found effective about this book is Larry’s decision to interview people who have, or are in the process of retiring, which positions them as reliable sources regarding transitioning. Their stories help you become aware of what has worked with people who have retired and also what did not work during the retirement process. This knowledge can help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Done With Work also reinforces the important concept that you must know who you really are in order to know what you really want to do in the next chapter of your life. Taking the time to identify and clarify your values at this stage of your life enables you to find outlets to express them. The book helps you answer, “who am I?” when you are no longer a player and the person that people turn to for professional answers.

Larry’s interviews provide a unique perspective by capturing the decision-making process of people who chose to retire from their full-time positions and the resulting mental shift that occurs. A number of people interviewed expressed how retirement brought them freedom from career responsibilities, but also made them responsible for creating a new structure for their lives. A common theme that emerged was the importance of having a sense of purpose and taking the time to apply the power of intentionality to create a plan for their lives. Many people interviewed for this book expressed that the loss of their personal and professional identities was a major issue during the process of retiring. A common theme for many of the people who Larry interviewed was the importance of having a clear direction as they entered into the next stage of their lives. Also, finding meaningful activities was a key element in creating a fulfilling retirement.

Larry brings a unique integrated perspective to the consideration of retiring by looking at both the internal psychological factors as well as the external circumstances that can be involved in the retirement decision. I found Larry’s professional observations at the end of each interview enlightening and the concluding chapter of the book insightful. Larry’s counseling experience and practical understanding will help people make successful transitions into the next stage of their lives. I highly recommend this book.

Dr. Larry Gard is a Consulting Psychologist and founder of Hamilton Chase Consulting in Chicago, IL.  He also has been trained as a Transition Advisor with Successful Transition Planning Institute.

Jack Beauregard is Founder and CEO Successful Transition Planning Institute in Cambridge, MA.