As mentioned, South African studies have not investigated self-actualisation per se, but rather one or more aspects related to self-actualisation.
Often, significant contributions of older people are largely ignored, even though the ability to contribute can enhance their ability to obtain social support and social inclusion, and hence their self-actualisation (Heslop, Agyarko, AdjeteySorsey & Mapetla, 2000:6).
Many retirees have financial difficulties that influence their self-actualisation.
All of this confirmed that an in-depth investigation into factors related to the self-actualisation of retirees needed to be context specific.
Initially, the data were divided into three broad categories, namely negative factors inhibiting self-actualisation, positive factors promoting self-actualisation and ways of overcoming challenges.
Thus, for instance, it became evident that missing work and health problems were sub-categories of the category called factors that inhibited self-actualisation.
Marriage partners, family (especially children and grandchildren), as well as fellow retirees were all important role players in providing social support, preventing social isolation and promoting self-actualisation.
This indicated lack of adjustment to loss of status, respect and authority, and inhibits self-actualisation.
Thus, although Carter and Cook (1995:69) reported that the social support of fellow retirees is important for self-actualisation, some social relations prove to be a burden, especially when it comes to fellow retirees who are not selfactualising individuals.
Feeling lonely, depressed and suicidal are indicators of a lack of self-actualisation, as identified by Maslow (1970:150).
The findings revealed that the main factors enhancing self-actualisation during retirement involved handling certain key life areas successfully.
This indicates how important social relations can be for self-actualisation.