Gaining Altitude

Retirement and Beyond

Non-Fiction - Retirement
128 Pages
Reviewed on 07/10/2021
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Author Biography

Rebecca Milliken enjoyed a forty-year career as a teacher, arts therapist, licensed professional counselor, and clinical researcher and writer in Washington D.C. In 2012, Rebecca took a leap and closed her clinical practice without knowing what would come next. Since then, she has devoted herself to exploring the possibilities that life offers in retirement. Inspired by her research and her own experience, she wants to encourage others to embrace rather than dread this time of life. For more about Rebecca, please visit her website at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers' Favorite

Gaining Altitude: Retirement and Beyond by Rebecca Milliken is a wonderful memoir. The author gives us an honest and comprehensive account of what retirement meant to her, did to her, and how she felt. We can all learn from her moving experience and make our own choices to avoid things we cannot handle. This memoir allows us to gain insight into one of the most important, dreaded, bewildering changes in our lives. It is exhaustive, including a summary for busy future retirees which reads like a very thoughtful conclusion.

Gaining Altitude: Retirement and Beyond by Rebecca Milliken is an inspiring guide, even if this is not the most appropriate word. The author recounts her experience, how she fought through diverse emotions, setbacks, and advances in her journey to better understand herself and her new needs. The author describes and analyzes her successful journey to help us gain awareness, knowledge, and, most importantly, to reflect on what we want to be or to become so that we won't fall into the same traps that she did. Which changes are necessary for us? What can make us more resilient and truly contented?

Too often synonymous with old age and its terrifying corollaries, retirement is an opportunity to repossess oneself. A busy working life may have hidden unsolved personal problems or neglected aspirations that had no time to be fulfilled. On the contrary, retirement is a unique opportunity to reassess your priorities and uncover your unknown - or left aside - potentialities! The author encourages us to become fully aware of what we are and what we want and to embrace rather than dread this time of life.