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Iceni Magazine | August 3, 2021

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How Do You Feel About Retirement?

how do you feel about retirement?

Surely everyone looks forward to retirement!

After all, it’s the time that many people are working towards, when they’ll live the dream, walk away from their business, give up work, leave behind the stress and long commutes and spend time doing all the things they’ve always wanted to do.

Increasingly people are retiring earlier and living longer, fitter lives, and yet, when retirement day finally arrives it can feel rather daunting. If this is where you’re at, how are you feeling about your future? Are you excited or filled with trepidation at the prospect of ending a major part of your life? Do you have plans as to how you’ll spend your retirement?

– Grief can be a significant and surprisingly unexpected emotion. Having to accept that you’re moving into the later stages of life can be unnerving and grief can be experienced as a consequence. The loss of your role, status, the fact that the mindset you’ve applied to much of your adult life is now redundant can be confronting. Yes, you may have slowly reduced your workload and wound down to prepare for retirement, but the final walking away can be a cause of grief.

– Some people start their retirement by taking a holiday or two, visiting the places on their bucket list while they’re young, healthy and fit enough. But then it’s back to reality and deciding on which next interesting steps appeal. Few of us are satisfied with the prospect of doing nothing, letting ourselves go, maybe pottering around at home and if we’re not in demand for grandchildren care, may decide to find a part-time job. It’s a good way to bring some new purpose into our lives, maybe learn new skills, meet people, have a reason to keep ourselves smart and earn some extra money. All valid motivators, especially if we’re single or living with a busy partner.

– Finding ways to be useful in this new life frequently requires readjustment. There’s often a honeymoon phase of taking holidays, enjoying the grandchildren, catching up on outstanding jobs at home, but the realisation that you now have a very different role and status may only slowly dawn. Feeling useful may entail adopting a more permanent childcare role helping out family. Or you may enjoy the opportunity to focus on charitable interests, perhaps volunteering. Maybe starting a new business venture becomes an option now there’s more time and energy available. Or hobbies can come into their own in retirement now there’s free time to fill.

– The dynamics of home life often changes too. One partner may have always been at home or has already retired. Chances are they’ve already established their own routines and find our presence 24/7 rather stressful. Travelling, going for walks and lunches is fine whilst we’re still in holiday mode but can only be sustained for so long before losing their charm. Finding ways to give each other space, accept that not everything has to be done together can allow each other the opportunity to readjust.

– A good circle of friends can become especially important upon retirement, and if work and work-related topics have historically been our major focus we may have lost the skill of chatting socially, making small talk and enjoying free time. Might now be a good time to join a group or club of people with specific interests? Learning to play bridge, golf, a musical instrument, speak a foreign language, cook French food may all be available where you live. The University of the Third Age offers an extensive programme of classes, talks and meetings across the country. Volunteering, perhaps renting an allotment or joining your local over-50’s exercise classes can offer interesting ways to spend your time, keep fit and potentially make new friendships.

– Money is often a concern upon retirement, when there’s more time available but less, if any money coming in to replace outgoings. Some people will be eligible for a lump sum payment, a regular monthly pension or they’ve saved consistently, building up their own pension fund and now’s the time to draw upon it. Going from a saving to a spending mindset can be a challenge, even though our financial adviser will have reassured us about the facts and figures. Booking ‘that’ trip we always planned to take, replacing our car, spending reasonably large sums of money can cause unease when we’re watching our central fund slowly reducing.

These days, many of us have health, sufficient wealth and the desire to make retirement a precious and satisfying time in our lives. But sometimes a little help may be needed to support the necessary change in mindset happening in the most positive way.

Article By Susan Leigh, counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with retirement and lifestyle change, relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.

To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit

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