When you’re younger, retirement sounds like bliss; not having to get up in the morning, doing what you like with your days and not having the stress of a busy workload. But once you retire, the story is completely different.
You’re bored, alone, miss the social interaction and miss the daily challenges work gives you.
I have been retired for just over a year now and to begin with, like many retirees, I found it extremely difficult. There are six different stages of retirement, take a read through them, establish where you’re at and take hope from the fact that you’ve made it so far. Retirement doesn’t mean the end of your life, it simply means the beginning of a new chapter.
The first stage of retirement is in fact, pre-retirement and preparing for what’s to come. This is essential to understanding and getting used to your new life after work. Now, many struggle to think of their lives in 20-30 years but it is vitally important you do, from paying off your mortgage to heading on family holidays and ensuring your family has the best in life, you also need to think about where you’ll be when you retire. Saving for your pension early is key to not worrying about your retirement years.
The second stage of retirement is the day you finally stop working. On average, we work for around fifty years of our lives, now, that’s a long time so when the day comes and we don’t have to get up in the morning for work, it can be a hard adjustment to make. Mark the day as a celebration, get together with colleagues, family, and friends to celebrate the past 50 years and toast to the next chapter in your life.
The third stage is the first few weeks into retirement. Now, like all change in our lives, it’s an exciting time, where you don’t have responsibilities, you don’t have the pressures of work and you can do whatever you want. Take this time for you, travel, read, explore new hobbies, rekindle new friendships, it’s all key to enjoying your retirement.
The fourth stage is realisation that, this is it. You’re retired, you no longer have work and the novelty of having all this time to yourself is starting to wear.
Retirees often feel lonely, bored, useless and disillusioned but this is all part of retiring and it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not the only one.
Believe me when I say that the fourth stage doesn’t last forever. Instead, the fifth stage is all about becoming a new you and identifying who you are away from business and work. This won’t come easily and may take a while to come to terms with but use it as a time to enjoy the exploration of you, discovering new hobbies, new friendships and a new time in your life.
The sixth and final stage of retirement is all about coming to terms with you new retiree status and embracing it. Enjoying your new daily schedule and making the most of the time you have to yourself. Soon, this new life will be accepted by you and you’ll learn to enjoy it.
Retirement can be a tough life change which some find hard to process, but I assure you that no matter how lonely or bored you feel, you will overcome it and learn to love your new sense of freedom. It’s just change, and after 50 years of working, change is welcomed.