Press Release: Spilling the Beans About the Dark Side of Retirement


Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs
Inkandescent Public Relations,
703.346.6975 /

Washington, DC, June 30, 2014 — What does retirement look like to you? For many, the ideal imagery of this phase of life is exemplified by a distinguished gray-haired man and an attractive silver-haired woman walking hand in hand down a magnificent beach, enjoying the sunset while gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. They don’t have a care in the world, and why should they? They are retired.

But is there a dark side of retirement that no one talks about? Howard R. Pressman, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner with Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC, says there is, and he’s willing to spill the beans about it.

“Leaving the workforce can provoke a profound sense of loss,” Pressman says. Despite the availability of safe and effective treatments, late-life mood disorders remain a large problem. Older adults make up 12 percent of the US population, but account for 18 percent of all suicide deaths, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. This is an alarming statistic, as the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population, making the issue of later-life suicide a major public-health priority.

Pressman cites disturbing trends from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as well:

  • The proportion of older people treated for a combination of cocaine and alcohol abuse tripled between 1992 and 2008.
  • Cocaine abuse among the elderly was the leading cause of hospital admissions involving drugs, even outpacing admissions for prescription drug abuse.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t paint a rosy picture of aging in America either, he notes:

  • Among Americans of all ages, 12.4 per 100,000 will take their own life each year.
  • Among people over age 65, that number jumps to 14.9—and some experts believe the instances are under-reported.
  • As startling as those numbers are, white men over age 65 take their own lives at a rate of 29 per 100,000—more than twice the overall rate.

Certainly many factors contribute to these troubling statistics.

One of them that can come as a surprise is retirement itself. “Retirees are often left searching for an identity, as well as for ways to stay socially connected, and lead an active, productive, and healthy lifestyle,” Pressman says.

“These issues can become even more challenging as we continue to age, face health issues and the loss of independence, and endure the loss of friends and the loss of a spouse. With so many significant changes taking place, it’s not surprising that depression is the most significant risk factor for suicide among the elderly,” he adds.

Whether you’re preparing for retirement or in retirement now, Pressman suggests that you take some time to consider the following:

  • What are you interested in that you would one day like to explore further?
  • What three to six people can you turn to for emotional, physical, and spiritual support?
  • What will a perfect day in retirement look like? What about a perfect week?
  • In what ways will you stay active and fit in retirement?

Now, he says, complete the following sentences:

  • If I had the time, I would …
  • If I had the money, I would …
  • It’s never too late to …

Remember, retirement is more than just a financial event.

“It is one of life’s major transitions and should be approached as such. Working with a financial planner to prepare your finances is certainly a crucial aspect to a happy retirement, but so is preparing your mind and your body,” Pressman notes.

With a sound financial plan in place, you can do the things you envision and avoid the stress that comes with worrying about how the bills will be paid. With emotional well-being comes vitality, energy, and the desire to do and explore, as well as the friends and family to enjoy and to turn to for support.

And with health comes the ability to make the most of all of these wonderful aspects of life.

“Balancing care for your mind, body, and wallet will help you enjoy the retirement of your dreams,” he says, whether it’s frolicking on the beach, playing with the grandkids, volunteering, or starting a new business.

“Whatever you do,” he says, “Live the life you want with intent, not by default.”

Questions? Thoughts? Ideas?

About Howard Pressman, CFP®
Financial Planner

  • 16 years of experience in the financial industry
  • Georgetown University Financial Planning graduate
  • Financial Planning Association National Capital Area chapter board member

Pressman has written numerous articles on financial planning for local newspapers and for the CFP® Board’s newsletter. He volunteers with several local nonprofit organizations, lecturing and teaching financial planning basics to families who may not otherwise have access to a financial planner. Pressman is a lifelong Washingtonian and lives on Capitol Hill with his wife Erica and their daughter Tali.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC is an independent financial services firm based in Northern Virginia. EBW associates have decades of experience in helping clients plan ahead for retirement.

What do you need to know about planning ahead for retirement? Visit EBW’s Financial News for insights on making financial decisions. To learn more about EBW’s financial planning services, visit or call EBW at 703-506-0030.