Dr. Michelle Pannor Silver interviewed in “University Affairs” for her book release

Silver, MichelleUniversity Affairs recently published an interview with Professor Michelle Pannor Silver regarding her new book, Retirement and its Discontents: Why We Won’t Stop Working, Even if We Can. In an attempt to better understand why people in high performance careers perceived retirement as difficulty rather than reprieve, Dr. Silver interviewed doctors, CEOs, athletes, professors, and homemakers in the midst of their transitions into retirement. In the interview, she discusses topics such as the influences behind her work, and its implications within academia on both a personal and institutional level.

Dr.  Silver is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching duties at the UTSC campus, and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society. Her professional interests include gerontology, aging and the life course, retirement and health care expenditures. More specifically, her research interests include health economics, health informatics, health policy, and health services research.

The full article can be viewed here. We have posted an excerpt below.

UA: How does academia inform perceptions about boundaries between work and life outside of work?

Dr. Silver: Academia is a great example of a line of work where those boundaries between work and life get blurred. There’s an expectation that you’re always thinking about work. Some of it is very deadline-oriented, like grant deadlines are very hard rules and if you miss it by a minute, you’re out, your application will not be looked at. But then there’s other aspects of it like writing and producing articles where the pressure is on you to accept those internal deadlines. To be really successful at it, you have to always be on, always be receptive to getting ideas anywhere.

On the other hand, academics are also a great example of people who can potentially be very successful in retirement. Many of the non-academic retirees I interviewed said “I don’t even know what to do, every day is a weekend.” They didn’t know how to structure their time. But academics do, they have to run a class and coordinate with TAs and all of that. Academics are quite well suited to retirement if they put the skills that they’ve been developing in their work to use for their own personal life.

Read the full story.

“Each of us May Have 2 Ages”: Dr. Michelle Pannor Silver Interviewed in Global News

Silver, MichelleDr. Michelle Pannor Silver was interviewed by Global News for her thoughts on how people can have a biological age that differs from their actual age. On top of physical health risks, she states that if someone’s biological age is greater than their actual age, it can affect their mental well-being, too. Factors like genetics, living environment, your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits all play a part in how people age. In addition, she points out that stress also impacts aging, as chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of disease and mental health issues.

Dr.  Silver is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society. Her professional interests include gerontology, aging and the life course, retirement and health care expenditures. More specifically, her research interests include health economics, health informatics, health policy, and health services research.

The full article can be viewed here. We have posted an excerpt below.

What affects how you age?

So if the key to living longer is a lower biological age, what factors affect your ability to hold onto youth?

Silver said factors like genetics, the environment in which you live, your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits all play a part in how you age. She pointed out that stress also impacts aging, as chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of disease and mental health issues.

“To be physically active and socially engaged at later stages in the life course can affect how we age,” Silver added.

How to “slow down” aging

The good thing about biological age is that it can often be changed.

“Lifestyle definitely plays a role in aging,” Silver said. “Factors like what you eat and how often you move on a daily or even hourly basis matter at every stage of the life course.”

Silver acknowledged that the older we get, the more challenging movement can be. Despite this, she said people should create opportunities to be physically active to whatever extent is possible.

Professor Michelle Pannor Silver on the Discontentments of Retirement in New Forbes Interview

Silver, MichelleProfessor Michelle Pannor Silver has recently been interviewed by Forbes Magazine on her book Retirement and Its Discontents: unfulfilling, rudderless and filled with a loss of identity, which focuses on the realities of retirement from a sociological perspective. Her book delves into the world of retired professionals who have found the transition to retirement challenging. She found that they often felt forced into retirement by family, friends and colleague members.

Michelle Pannor Silver is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus with joint appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (ICHS).  She also holds cross appointments at the Institute for Life Course and Aging and in the Department of Medicine. Her professional interests  include Gerontology, aging and the life course, retirement, pensions, health care expenditures, health information seeking behaviours and perceptions about aging.

The full article can be viewed here. We have posted an except below.

 

You asked what their retirement parties were like. Why? And what did you learn from that?

When I started talking with people about what marked their retirement turning point, they often pointed to the party leading up to it. One man, an academic physician, described it as being more like a funeral; he felt like he was sitting there and people were talking about him as if he had died and it was the end of his life.

He realized he had a lot of things he was still working on, if not his best work still to come. And he decided to focus on doing the research he sought to be his life’s work. The party sealed the deal.

He would tell me: ‘I’m retired and have a set of historical fiction novels I’ve always meant to read and I’m interested in.’ He’d try to pick up one of the books that was supposed to be for fun and just couldn’t do it. He’d immediately gravitate to the medical journals that were work-related.

 

Retirement and its Discontents: New Book by Professor Michelle Pannor Silver

Why do people avoid retiring?

Professor Michelle Pannor Silver has recently published a new book “Retirement and its Discontents: Why We Won’t Stop Working, Even if We Can” that seeks to understand why people with highly accomplished careers  resist retirement or are unhappy when they do retire. Silver is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough with joint appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (ICHS).

You can listen to Michelle speak about her new book here on the New Books Network podcast.

The publisher has this to say about her book:

In the popular imagination, retirement promises a well-deserved rest—idle days spent traveling, volunteering, pursuing hobbies, or just puttering around the house. But as the nature of work has changed, becoming not just a means of income but a major source of personal identity, many accomplished professionals struggle with discontentment in their retirement. What are we to do—individually and as a culture—when work and life experience make conventional retirement a burden rather than a reprieve?

In Retirement and Its Discontents, Michelle Pannor Silver considers how we confront the mismatch between idealized and actual retirement. She follows doctors, CEOs, elite athletes, professors, and homemakers during their transition to retirement as they struggle to recalibrate their sense of purpose and self-worth. The work ethic and passion that helped these retirees succeed can make giving in to retirement more difficult, as they confront newfound leisure time with uncertainty and guilt. Drawing on in-depth interviews that capture a range of perceptions and common concerns about what it means to be retired, Silver emphasizes the significance of creating new retirement strategies that support social connectedness and personal fulfillment while countering ageist stereotypes about productivity and employment. A richly detailed and deeply personal exploration of the challenges faced by accomplished retirees, Retirement and Its Discontents demonstrates the importance of personal identity in forging sustainable social norms around retirement and helps us to rethink some of the new challenges for aging societies.