Life Style

“Internships, alone or as a couple, to prepare for retirement”

The cross : Today, there are training courses to prepare for retirement. Does this mean that it has become more complicated to pass this course?

Sophie Muffang: Yes, the transition to retirement is undoubtedly more difficult for current generations than for previous ones because old age has become taboo. Today, there is a strong social pressure to keep a young appearance, which pushes some to dye their hair, to resort to cosmetic surgery… We want all the less to be associated with this image that society puts in. the same lot young retirees and people of the fourth or fifth age. In a world where everything goes very fast, old age is associated with slowness. In addition, we generally have less income in retirement than in the latter part of our professional career and we therefore consume less, which, in a society where having is greater than being, has become devaluing.

→ INVESTIGATION. Retreats: how to reinvent the life together and grant your desires?

Paradoxically, the course is also more difficult to pass because we live longer. You can stay twenty-five or thirty years in retirement. Very often, moreover, it is the executives who have the most difficulty in giving up their work, which is synonymous with power and social identity. Those who really benefit from it are those who give themselves new projects and perhaps also those who, at the time of their cessation of activity, are exhausted and just want to rest.

Retirement preparation courses are not new but remain little known to the general public. What are they?

SM: These internships have been around for a long time. They are offered by pension funds, companies or mutual societies and generally last one or two days. When I animated, I always started by working on the representation of retirement, in order to break stereotypes. From there, I went over the essential points, namely the management of time, that of space, questions of identity, advancing in age, the couple and, at the end only, the projects. For the most part, the participants came up with the idea that they were only going to tackle the administrative matters and, in the end, they realized that the rest was just as important.

→ TESTIMONIALS. Retired couples, they found a balance

Is preparing for retirement also preparing your couple for this new life?

SM: Yes of course. In fact, some companies I worked for systematically invited spouses. Sometimes, the latter did not want to come or it was those who were doing the internship who did not want them to come. But it was very helpful as both people were hearing the same thing at the same time which made the lines move both individually and at the couple level. Thinking about your desires and discussing them together is essential to approach this new phase of life.



♦ To read

The Couple at the time of retirement, by Vincent Caradec, University Press of Rennes. A reference work on married life in retirement, by a sociologist specializing in aging.

Special issue Our time Retirement 2021. A guide to understanding the different retirement plans and their evolution. Order online at

Psychology of the ages of adulthood. Physiological, social and psychological approaches, by Christian Heslon. Ed. Dunod, to be published in October 2021. From the departure of children to old age, this book addresses the different stages of life.

♦ To see

Happy retirement!, by Fabrice Bracq (2019). Marilou (Michèle Laroque) and Philippe (Thierry Lhermitte) are getting ready to make their dream come true: to live in sunny Portugal… But their family has other plans for them.

Indian Palace, by John Madden (2012). To escape isolation and a possible depression in a country that is no longer interested in seniors, several Britons decide to spend their retirement in a palace in India. But hardly arrived, the small group discovers a reality much less idyllic.

Retirement preparation internship. The Christian association CLER Amour et Famille offers support sessions for couples, as well as individual interviews, before or after retirement. Information and registration: – [email protected] Two-day session – Couple rate: 200 €.


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