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Letters: Retirement expectations

May 12, 2017 I enjoyed reading Dr. John Huang's description of his first "671 days and 14 hours" of retirement in the April 17 ADA News My View "What I Miss and Don't Miss in My Retirement."
Dr. Huang touches on many very real aspects of what one can expect during this early stage of transition from full-time practice to a new freedom. The things that he misses from full-time practice can be anticipated and should be of no surprise as we plan our retirement. This is part of the value of his article: developing our expectations and recognizing that we'll need to fill voids or needs.

The key areas he describes fit into these categories: social, self-esteem, serving and gratitude. When a person realizes ahead of time that these are four areas that give satisfaction in our practice careers, we can plan to fill those needs with other activities when we leave practice, and we are free to select virtually anything we want to accomplish that.

Dr . Huang describes what he is doing during his first two years. If he writes another Viewpoint, I expect it will address why.  For many people, retirement becomes an opportunity to ponder and pursue purpose, their real meaning for existence — why we are here.

Never before in human history have so many people been presented with such an opportunity at this age. The baby boomers are many and the possibilities enormous.

Neil S. Hiltunen, D.M.D.
Co-founder, Association of Retiring Dentists
North Hampton, New Hampshire