You may have seen the news about tennis superstar, Serena Williams’ upcoming retirement. In a recent interview, Serena expresses her heartache about her decision. In our retirement headlines segment, we’ll explore an article from MarketWatch that compares Serena Williams’ feelings with those of many retirees upon their decision to retire.

Afterward, we’ll check out a question from our recent listener survey about whether one listener should move to be closer to family in retirement. This answer to this question is tricky and not the same for everyone, so make sure you stay around until the end to hear my thoughts.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:32] Serena Williams feels no happiness upon retirement
  • [7:45] My thoughts on combatting depression in retirement
  • [10:04] What are the benefits and pitfalls of moving closer to the children in retirement?

Serena Williams isn’t the only one who is disheartened by retirement

Although Serena Williams has decided to transition away from playing professional tennis, she does not want to use the word retirement. Instead, she uses the term “evolving away from” to describe her upcoming career change.

In her Vogue cover story, she describes her feelings of pain and turmoil as she embarks on this new phase of life. You don’t have to be a sports legend to feel sorrow upon retirement. Such a huge life change isn’t easy and not everyone approaches retirement with joy. As a matter of fact, almost ⅓ of retirees develop symptoms of depression when they retire.

Who will you be in retirement?

Transitioning from your career can bring on not only sadness, but also identity confusion. Many people have defined themselves by their careers for their entire lives, so stepping away from that identity can leave them feeling empty and even bring about feelings of hopelessness. This is why it is important to define yourself in ways beyond your career. Start by thinking of new ways that you could define yourself. Who are you beyond your career?

Strategies to happily transition into retirement

There are ways to combat the feelings of emptiness and sadness brought on by leaving your career behind.

If it is a possibility, consider reducing your working hours slowly over time. If you can shift from 40 to 30 to 20 hours, the transition is less abrupt and reduces the trauma that can come with such a monumental life change.

Staying in touch with your friends and colleagues in retirement can help you keep a robust social life and ensure that you don’t become isolated.

Another reason that people experience feelings of sadness is that they experience a major disruption in their routine. You can combat this by creating a schedule for yourself and sticking to it so that the days don’t get away from you.

Retire to something, not away from work

I’ve always said that it is important to retire to something rather than away from something so in the years leading up to retirement try out new hobbies or activities that you may enjoy.

In addition to exploring new hobbies and activities, a great way to stay busy in retirement is by volunteering in your community. Think about a cause that you would like to support and find a way to donate your time. Consider mentoring, coaching, tutoring, or volunteering with your favorite non-profit organization.

How are you planning for a happy retirement?

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