Transitioning Retirement

Posted by on August 11, 2020 at 2:15 PM

 “I have had such a full life, 2 marriages, children, grandchildren, several careers and businesses, all on my own terms. I have traveled extensively. I love my life! But lately I have been feeling a bit despondent. I am 67 and fully retired, and life seems to have come to a dead stop. Never have I been without goals or dreams and it's disconcerting. Every day is the same...pleasant, peaceful, no worries or complaints, surrounded by people I love. I just don't seem to have passion. So I'm seeking for the next BIG idea or dream.”

These comments from a retired woman sound familiar, don’t they? Perhaps it could have come from any one or all of us at the same time in life.

Perhaps this is a great time to redefine or review, by staying still and listening to personal needs. This is your one and only life and may be a convenient time to make a new assessment.

There’s just one thing that we cannot change. Time. It is the constant and it is up to each of us to either take advantage of it or shut ourselves down. Time will either promote you or expose you.

One of the great challenge is figuring out how to recover some of what you’ve lost — including daily interaction with colleagues and the ability to do something you’re good at — and combine it with the newfound freedom you have.

When newly retired and moving toward a life of leisure and fun, one certainly becomes more like a spectator than participant. If you’re in the early stages of retirement and feeling somewhat lost, you’re not alone. Many retirees find the transition can be difficult, as adjustment is necessary from work-to-retirement.

It would appear what passions you might love to pursue and the things that you love to do every day will allow for a greater a sense of worth and fulfillment. Indeed. It is probably that constant desire, curiosity and understanding in the importance of moving forward which leads us to build the life we have always dreamed of.

For others, however, it may be harder than expected to find activities they are good at and make them happy. It is not so straightforward for everyone after 30 to 40 years of work to find out possibilities for where to develop their talents and use their experience to feel needed and that they can still make a difference.

The more than 70 million baby boomers that will begin to retire in the next decade will transform the notion of retirement and will force a rethinking of what retirement means and how people will live their lives.

These numbers force us to identify those critical factors that will define a "healthy" retirement. Counseling psychologist Nancy K. Schlossberg, EdD, came up a way to get people to think of retirement as a career change]]not only are you leaving something, you are about to begin something new.

In a study of 100 retirees, Dr. Schlossberg found that retirement is not one, but many transitions; the extent to which work has been satisfying and the degree to which retirement is planned are two factors.

Her study also found that the timing of retirement, the level in which a meaningful life is established, one's health and sense of financial security were additional reasons which assisted in the transition.

Ladies in our Women Growing Older Gracefully group sessions have a firm understanding of how the well-being theory works; one which measures positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships and accomplishment. Many agree the following steps an hel with beginning a retired life:

• Structure Your Days. The joy of retirement is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment. It’s up to you to design the type of day—and kind of life—that you want to live , with the expectations one has about retirement....

• Set Small Goals. Working on goals can give you a sense of purpose.3 And accomplishing new things can give you a sense of achievement

• Grow Your Friendships. Check out any programs offered at your church or a local community center or find a group of like-minded individuals who share an affection for your favorite hobby, whether it’s golf, crafts or cooking.

• Consider a part time job. Who says that retirement from one job has to mean leaving the workforce entirely? Research finds that retirees who got a “bridge” job, another term for this type of work, are often in better health, both mentally and physically, and report higher degrees of satisfaction.

• Create a new budget for activities and interests. For example, theclothing budget that you always spent on business clothes can go out the window, but you might need to add in a category for membership dues for a variety of organizations that you wish to join. Create a budget that will help you see how much money you have for entertainment or fun.

Flexibility in setting new goals is perhaps one of the best ways to figure out a stress-less way to retire. You will have plenty of opportunities to experiment, and it’s up to you to design the type of day—and kind of life—that you want to live.

When asked about what she liked about retirement, a friend told me “Being my own boss. Spending time the way my husband and I chose. Acting on a whim and answering to no one. Laughing at something every day. Enjoying the company of those we cherish and letting go of things that no longer seem to matter. Freedom!”


Categories: Women Growing Older Gracefully

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