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What is your retirement personality?

When you think of your retired self, what do you imagine? Our members often share that retirement provides the time to dive headfirst into something you’ve always wanted to do. Or, you can finally deepen an existing passion that you’ve struggled to make time for while working.

If you’re wondering what to expect and how to plan your time during retirement, the answers may come from you! Your personality and preferences will likely shape your retirement journey. Here are some of the most common retirement personalities we’ve met—think about which one or few most closely describes you.

8 retirement personality types

Globe-trotterSmiling retiree with a bag strap over their shoulder ready for travel

We all started life exploring the world around us, and some never stop. Maybe you’ve got a list of places you want to visit. Perhaps you plan to throw a dart at a map and see where you land! Regardless of the approach, you plan to indulge your travel bug during retirement.

ScholarSmiling retiree holding a laptop against their chest with one arm

Curious by nature, the scholar is always looking to deepen their knowledge and challenge their assumptions. You’re a lifelong learner, and retirement will give you time to indulge your inner student, whether through online learning, reading, or attending workshops and courses. Teaching others in person or through different media might be in the future, too, as you look for ways to share your knowledge.

AthleteSmiling retiree in a workout top holding a trophy

The athlete needs to move and be on the go. You may participate in dance, yoga or sports. And while you don’t necessarily shy away from competition, it isn’t the main objective. The activity is the objective, and the friendships and comradery are bonus. Your retirement allows you more time for the active lifestyle you love.

Work horseSmiling retiree with arms crossed in front of their body

Whether it’s a second career, entrepreneurship or continuing in your chosen field, you plan on working in retirement. For you, work isn’t something you want to stop. It provides a sense of purpose and indulges the lifelong learner in you. It’s also often a great way to give back. Plus, you don’t mind the people you work with! With that outlook, why not continue working?

Bucket-listerSmiling retiree with a large backpacking bag on their back, ready for adventure

Checking items off your list of fun experiences will be the priority in retirement. Maybe you’ve got a mental list, or perhaps you keep a bullet journal. Have you identified what you want to do first? The bucket-lister is a goal setter in disguise. You know the way to create an extraordinary life is to go out and do it.

Artist/CreatorRetiree holding a professional camera up to their right eye

For the artist/creator, joy is found in making things. Painting, pottery, sculpture, woodworking, knitting, sewing, gardening, writing—you get the idea! For you, retirement fulfils the dream of more time to pursue your creative endeavours.

PhilanthropistSmiling retiree wearing a collared dress shirt

For some, retirement means a chance to help with important causes. Perhaps you’ve been giving back most your life. You relish the idea of devoting more time to the things you care deeply about. This might include formal volunteer roles or less formal efforts to support and strengthen your local community and beyond.

DirectorSmiling retiree sending a message with their smartphone

Directors are the organizers, the party planners, the fundraising leaders, the centre of the social world and the family activity facilitators. For you, retirement will mean that your social calendar is fuller than ever—plan well, live well!

How do you compare?

Here’s what future RTOERO members said when we asked them their retirement personality type in our 2023 Future retirees survey.

Globe trotter – 57%

Bucket-lister – 45%

Athlete – 42%

Philanthropist – 36%

Artist/Creator – 35%

Scholar – 25%

Workhorse – 23%

Director – 14%

Source: RTOERO 2023 Prospect persona survey – Future retirees

It can be fun to daydream about what retirement could mean for you. But, it’s also an important part of retirement planning. Almost 60 per cent of future retirees survey respondents said they’re totally emotionally prepared or almost prepared for retirement. Thinking about activities you want to do in retirement is one of the steps we suggest to help you prepare for retirement emotionally.