Retirees: Climbing Maslow's Ladder

Stein, Michael K.
November 2001
Journal of Financial Planning;Nov2001, Vol. 14 Issue 11, p30
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the pursuit of retirees on self-actualization. For most of the last century, the central retirement issue was survival. How could retirees adjust to the loss of employment income in a way that would allow them to survive, to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. In the thirties, there was a trend toward providing predictable pensions. Retirees were climbing to the safety level. The use of pension plans grew, both corporate and governmental. The insurance industry created and marketed retirement annuities. Most important, the Social Security Act was adopted, which provided a safety net for millions of covered retirees. After the Second World War, retirees began to assert themselves as a distinct group. Retirees began to take pride in belonging to this newly prestigious group. With rising affluence among retirees, in industry arose to exploit their interest in finding success in retirement. Retirees had raised their sights from mere survival, or even secure retirement, to achieving a retirement that was better than their parents and grandparents. They set the goal as having a lifestyle in retirement that was similar to the lifestyle that they had achieved just before they retired--except now they had time for travel, hobbies, family and friends.


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