Retirement is regarded as a milestone event. It is a reward of rest and relaxation for a lifetime commitment to work. But for some of us this milestone event does not feel like a reward at all. In fact for many of us retirement may seem like a punishment and can in fact be traumatic.
Retirement entails much more than the termination of a paycheque; leaving work
generally means leaving behind an identity, a lifestyle and a social network.
Work fosters a sense of well-being as it provides a structured routine. You have somewhere to go and something to do 5 days a week.
Work also imbues our lives with a sense of purpose, as it allows you to feel that the service you provide or the product you deliver is contributing to society in some way. And work provides an arena for socialization in which you get to interact and connect with others, forming relationships and friendships that meet your need for connection and companionship.
Your work reflects your position in society as it generates a sense of personal worth and identity.
So when you exit the labor force and hang up your title, you may start to wonder who you are if not a banker, teacher, engineer, or manager, and you may start to feel unsure of your position in the world.
I don’t want you to get caught in a cycle of downward despair and depression in which you find yourself watching endless hours of TV, staying in your pyjamas all day and deciding that showering is optional!
It is very easy to feel isolated and alone when you no longer have somewhere to go and something to do. You start to question who you are and if you matter? You may even start to isolate yourself from others as you don’t want to answer that dreaded question, what do you do for a living? Although there is nothing wrong with responding that you are retired you may worry about what others will think of you.
I want to let you in on a little secret.
It is much more important to have something to retire to than what you are retiring from.
I want you to start thinking about your plan for life after work. Here are a few questions that I want you to spend some time asking yourself as you prepare to enter this next life stage:
- How will you spend your time?
- Who will you spend your time with?
- Are your friends retired?
- Is a working retirement a possibility for you?
- If you are married, will you and your spouse be retiring at the same time?
- Do you and your spouse have the same vision for retirement?
- What about your children? Do they have plans for your retirement? Are they
expecting you to babysit?
- Is accomplishment important to you? Do you think you will still desire continued
- Do you have hobbies?
- Will you set sail and travel the world?
- Have you considered going back to school?
- Maybe you want to start your own business?
These questions will help spark some ideas and good conversations about your retirement.
If you find yourself wanting more direction and a personalized plan for your retirement, reach out to me and let’s talk and see if retirement coaching is right for you.
I want to make sure that you are excited about this next chapter and that this next life phase is filled with meaning, fun and happiness. Drop me an email and we will set up a 20 minute consult to see if retirement coaching is right for you.
I look forward to chatting!