Health & Safety

Retirement from the Fire Service: Five Needs for Success

Issue 12 and Volume 170.

BY JADA B. HUDSON   Retiring from the fire service initiates several large-scale changes in a firefighter’s life. Retirees’ schedules, relationships, identity, finances, and health all take new shape. On top of all these changes, retirement-related emotional wellness issues begin to surface, and retirees wrestle with traumatic memories, anxiety, insomnia, depression, marital tension, and even cancer diagnoses. So, retirees find themselves juggling some major needs. Retired firefighters experience the need for belonging and support, reconnection with family, a new sense of purpose, financial organization, and successful aging. If these needs are met in healthy ways, they can help usher in a season of life that is rewarding and satisfying; if they are not adequately met, they can drive retirees toward substance abuse, isolation, aimlessness, or even suicidal ideation. Let’s take a look at the five major needs retired firefighters have and how retirees can meet them in emotionally well ways…

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