Dr. Jan Johnston
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book coverRetirement Journey

Transforming Retirement:
Rewire and Grow Your Legacy

June, 2023 Publication
McFarland and Company, Inc, Publishers (Toplight imprint)

What is YOUR story about your R-rated or retire/rewire years? No worries, no one in Generation Z (born 1997-2010), under age 17, is reading this, although a later reading could help a zoomer understand their boomer grandparents better. Did your parents and grandparents have a chance to retire? If so, how did their R-rated years turn out? What memories are rooted in your circling thoughts? All of us attach stories to certain memories, thoughts, and emotions. We condense them in our own particular words as we typecast our life-story with a certain bent. Are you working through a life of comedy, tragedy, or a mixture of both? Most of us have encountered both comic and tragic territory. Yet, we often are unaware of the roots of our stories. 

What happens to people when they reach the ages of 55+? Some will retire in traditional R & R ways (rest and recreation/recuperation). However, the Baby Boom generation is slipping and sliding into retirement age and it is unclear how their beyonder years (ages 65 and beyond) will unfold in their encore time of life. Many in this energetic population will “rewire” their personalities and skillsets to dive into new territory. This book offers R-rated (retire/rewire) planning for possibilities.  

To Retire, or Not to Retire? That is One Question….

Welcome your future! Spanish philosopher George Santayana advised: “We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.” 

We feel uncertain about transitions at every stage of life. Transitions for kids include the first day of kindergarten, changing schools (especially if the family moves due to divorce), first day at middle school in a new building, first day of high school, and moving away from home for college or work. One of my family therapy clients was petrified to begin high school because she heard a story about students throwing pennies down the stairwells at incoming freshmen on their first day of school. My 14-year-old client was scared about falling down the stairs if too many pennies rained upon her. In retirement we also are concerned with falling and pennies. We know people who fell and hurt themselves. We fear that we may not have enough pennies coming our way to last throughout an unknown number of years of retirement. Unknowns in life keep us up at night with “what-if” thinking. R-rated years make up our last challenging developmental stage, but they have the possibility of becoming our greatest life adventure.

A family biking on the bumpy road

All three generations require training wheels at times!


Also by Janis Clark Johnston, Ed.D.:

It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent: Stories of Evolving Child and Adult Development

Midlife Maze: A Map to Recovery and Rediscovery after Loss

Links to other resources



Dr. Janis Clark Johnston
Email DrJan@JanisJohnston.com • Telephone 708-334-9126

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The Parents' Journeys
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Be Here Now: 1 at a Time
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