According to recent research, many people don’t adjust well to being retired. They miss the routine, company and hours of work and find the days to be long, boring and lonely. Considering so many people look forward to retirement, it seems it ends up being a disappointment for some.
The average person can now expect to live for at least twenty years following retirement (compared to twelve years in 1970) so one consideration has to be financial. If you can contribute to a pension plan or perhaps plan to release equity in your home by downsizing at retirement, you will feel more confident finanically.
Money is only one aspect though, there’s also preparing for the social aspect of retirement. If a person is shy, it can be very easy to stay within one’s own circle or indeed, within one’s home and garden. Retirement is the time to do what you most enjoy doing. If you enjoy sport, then make plans to learn how to play golf or bowls or even chess by joining a club that meets regularly. If you enjoy being busy and helping others, you could contact your local volunteer centre who will match you to an organisation that needs someone with your skills and the amount of time you have available. It has been proved that volunteering helps people to be healthier in their old age as they are being more sociable, feel useful and are busier. It’s also a good idea to contact a local Active Retired Group, join them and join in their activities on a regular basis.
Retirement can be looked upon as providing the time to do what you always wanted to do but never had the time – be it learning a new skill, a new sport or partaking in a new hobby. If you have always wanted to be more creative, join a writing class or a painting class.
You should also put some structure into your life. It can be very easy to let days run into each other and treat each weekday as if it is the weekend. However, if you have bowls club on Monday, writing class on Tuesday, volunteering in a charity shop all day Wednesday, looking after grandchildren on a Thursday and a cookery class on a Friday, the week will have its own routine and structure to give each day its own identity as well as making life seem very full. By the time you fit in your house-cleaning, gardening, grocery shopping and an occasional lunch with a friend, you will wonder how you ever had time for full-time employment.
It can be a good idea to take a pre-retirement course up to a year before you retire. It will help you to prepare for this change in your life.
If you are retired, did you find it difficult to adjust?
If you are some years from retirement, what are you most looking forward to?