Maybe you’ve been looking forward to it for years – not having to get up early each morning, plenty of time to spend in the garden, doing crosswords, seeing friends and family… It all looked so rosy but now it’s here you find you can’t enjoy it. And so you feel even worse. If you’re not happy with this life of leisure, then what’s the matter with you? What more could you possibly want? Dismissing yourself as a hopeless case, it’s possible to get into a spiral of depression. Stop all those assumptions, dismantle those beliefs! You’re going through a major rite of passage and while there are lots of good things about it, there are also losses and challenges. Deal with these and you’ll be the happy retiree you always dreamed you’d be!
Maybe you used to go into your place of work to find lots of jobs that seemingly only you could do. Your workmates depended on you, and while you might sometimes have had a moan about this, deep inside it felt better than you realized. Now everyone’s managing without you. Acknowledge this – yes, it is a loss, and no-one’s indispensable. But if you need to be needed then there are loads of places that would love a helping hand, so check out local charities and helping organisations to see what you can do. Soon you’ll be wanted and appreciated like never before.
It’s great to be creative, and if your job was really fulfilling, you’re bound to miss the satisfaction you got from doing it well. That’s sad – but get over it! Find something else to do that’s just as gratifying. If you’ve had hobbies before maybe you could now turn them into a serious occupation. Try several new things if you like and play with ideas. After a while you’ll find something has absorbed you so completely that you’ve forgotten all about work!
It’s great being one of a crowd, all doing the same things and moaning about the management together! Maybe that bonding meant more to you then you realized. Even if you meet up with ex-colleagues after work, it doesn’t seem quite the same. You aren’t part of it any more and soon you don’t know what they’re talking about. Unless your friendship was deeper, you drift apart. Now you may come face to face with the truth that you spent far too much time at the office and neglected other friendships. If this is the case, all is not lost. Keep joining clubs and getting involved in activities until you find a new group of mates to gel with. After all, there will be plenty of others in the same boat as you
Unless you have a good pension, retirement often means a reduction in income. That’s tough, but you can plan for this, and now that you have more time you can shop around for bargains, attend to budgeting and find out what freebies and benefits you’re entitled to. Apply for that bus pass. Start to use local libraries and facilities. Grab a free tea or coffee where you can – make it fun! You can also look for a part time job to supplement your funds, preferably one that involves meeting new people. While you were dashing around you probably wasted loads of money on snacks, takeaways and general shopping when you didn’t have time to compare prices. Now you can make the pennies count, and that can be rewarding.
If you have a partner, you may now find that you are holed up with him or her 24/7. Whereas before you had a life of your own, now everything centres around the home. This can be a challenge for even the best-matched couples. If the fact you were both busy with your careers has enabled you to ignore things that were dodgy in the relationship, now they’re in your face. You need to talk about this, either to sort things out or to arrange matters so you both still have your privacy and freedom. Some partnerships get even better with the pressures of career removed, so give yours the best shot.
All the drawbacks of retirement can be dealt with if you are thoughtful and determined. But maybe you are really struggling and you need some extra support and encouragement to give you faith in the future. That’s where our wise readers in The Circle come in. Put in a call today, and turn your retired years into the best in your life!
PUBLISHED: 29 October 2014