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The Influence of Cultural Norms in Our Next Chapters


What did your parents’ retirement look like? Did one or both work someplace for 40 and maybe even 50 years, then retire? If so, did they have a pension and Social Security to support them in their retirement? Go back even further…what did your grandparent’s retirement look like? Was it like the one described above?


It’s hard sometimes for us to realize it, but cultural norms can drive our behaviors because we’ve come to accept them as, “just the way things are.” Defined as “…a societal rule, value, or standard that delineates an accepted and appropriate behavior within a culture[i],” these unspoken and unwritten standards can tell us that our decisions are going to be seen by others as right or wrong. The problem is cultural norms don’t always keep up with reality and we don’t often realize that we have a choice in whether to adhere to them.


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