Personal development includes all the active and intentional actions that you perform that improve yourself. These can include personal reading, informal and formal education, self-discipline and self-vitality, practicing care compassion, courage, kindness, patience, wholeness, independence, forbearance, authenticity and many other civic and personal virtues. At its core, personal development entails becoming all that you can become, expressing your gifts, talents and abilities as fully as possible.
The retirement years, of course, are times when personal development takes on more, not less meaning. In your retirement years responsibility for personal development shifts away from factors and forces outside yourself and rests more on your shoulders. Your need for personal development doesn’t lessen as you approach your retirement transition; in fact it probably increases. Personal development in the past centred on how to keep your edge as a worker, a professional, a craftsman, etc; today’s focus is more about how to keep your edge as a person. Your need for personal development hasn’t diminished because of retirement, it’s simply changed its primary target.