A Primer on Fire Service Retirement

Issue 08 and Volume 172.

By Richard C. Kline Most of us who have served our communities look forward to a long, enriching retirement, one in which we reap the rewards for the many hours devoted to “giving back.” Often, this transition to “the good life” is much more difficult than the challenges we endured throughout our careers. Our long road to retirement has been full of successes, opportunities, and lessons learned. We are part of a group that values service over self. Our on-the-job stressors were many and, with retirement, we expect these stressors to go away. However, the experience of many (if not most) long-tenured fire service retirees in retirement is full of a different mix of challenges. While we were employed, we were prepared for and expected these work stressors and developed coping mechanisms to diminish their impact. What we didn’t foresee was the emotional and mental strain that retirement would have…

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