The Trouble with Retirement8 September 2021
Well for starters, the very word retirement conjures up instant thoughts and images in our minds. They will depend on our perception of what it means to retire and can range from a smug, “I’m all right, I have it sorted”, to “I prefer to stick my head in the sand and not even think about it”. If you have not yet reached the time to retire you will be influenced by what you’ve seen or heard from elsewhere. Maybe thinking about your parents and being reminded of getting older. But keep in mind, you have not yet experienced it, so it will be unique to you.
Retirement comes in as many different guises and can take as many twists and turns as did the career you chose. It isn’t an event it is a transition from one stage in your life to the next and does involves change. Getting married is an event, but the transition from being single to being married involves a lot of changes. Becoming a parent is an event, but a huge transition that involves change. While some people thrive on change, many take time to adjust, and it is just so with retirement.
The process of planning for retirement is a valuable exercise in itself and one that makes you dig deep and consider what you really want your next stage of life to be. You may be focused on all the negatives about your present situation and dream that retirement will be a wonderful freedom and opportunity to do very little. Part of transition is acknowledging the endings and celebrating all the good aspects of your past career is important. Taking a well-earned rest is an important part of the journey but having no plans beyond the immediate can turn into despondency after a few months.
Get Retired is about taking action both mentally and physically. Mentally, for instance, how will you describe yourself in the future, if asked? Will it be different to how you described yourself in the past? If depends on how, saying, “I’m retired”, feels for you. If you are happy, feel that your life is enriched by being retired you will feel comfortable. If it makes you feel you have lost your identity, then coming up with a terminology that fits your image of yourself will have a more positive impact on how you feel about yourself. Let’s face it, today many career titles can mean little to anyone outside a particular industry.
Think about the word retirement and write down all associated words. Chances are there will be more negative associations than positive. If that’s the case for you, write against every negative word an alternative that has more positive connotations. Self-talk is crucial to our emotional wellbeing at all life stages, but especially so in retirement. How you feel physically is largely dependent on the thoughts you allow to flick across your mind constantly. And the habit of looking on the positive is definitely one to be cultivated.
Making a road map doesn’t mean you will necessarily stick rigidly to it and not veer off, but the value is in the process itself. It will make you think, question, get creative and be bold and adventurous about how you see the next stage. Planning emotionally is as important as planning financially. Money will give you independence, security but won’t necessarily make you happy.
Call me today and let’s chat about ways that I can help you Get Retired, your way.
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