Thinking About Retirement
Despite great progress moving into my new house in Norwich, I'm delighted to have been helped out yet again with a new article by regular contributor Isabel Frank William.
This time she's writing for anyone thinking about retirement.
Don't imagine you're so young that you shouldn't be thinking about it already. That was a mistake I made, and was taken by surprise and fairly un-prepared when suddenly “state age” retirement was upon me.
Here are Isabel's thoughts, but first….
Who Is Isabel Frank William?
My name is Isabel Frank William. During the day I am a Consultant and I am a Freelance Writer by night.
My aim is to spread my voice through interesting and well written articles.
Topics I am particularly interested in are well-being, mental health, self improvement, plus the beauty of millennial transitions in all aspects of life.
I love literature and philosophy, and to keep me active I am a runner, and a Tai Chi master. Although sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.
Here's what Isabel has to say about….
Retirement And Things We Don't Consider About It
Most people work the majority of their adult life. After a tremendous amount of the daily grind, they want to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. The cultural norm is that this late stage of life is mostly carefree. Alas, life in retirement can be tough and unforgiving, certainly far from all fun and games. Entering this new chapter of life has several major implications. They range from fewer obligations to reduced income. It is best to resist the temptation to bury your head in the sand. Get ready for retirement before it comes and turns your life around.
When they think about their retirement, most people try to anticipate the financial changes that take place. They get caught up in calculations and efforts to save as much money as possible. This is all fine and well, but there is one other aspect of this transition that does not get enough attention. Namely, going into retirement is a major point in life that has a profound psychological impact. Thus, it is advisable to take necessary steps to make the transition smoother and mitigate the shock of change.
Planning can start as early as mid-life. There a few big significant changes you need to be prepared for. First off, you are out of the 9-5 loop and have much more free time at hand. You also lose a part of your identity and purpose linked to your profession. Unloading the heavy career burden may seem like a good thing at first, but many people struggle to come to terms with what it entails. Besides, not everyone has a solid plan for what to do with their time and what things to put their energy in.
Furthermore, various scientific studies have confirmed that retirees are more prone to decision paralysis, lowered self-trust, lack of meaningful engagement, death anxiety, and other psychological issues. They tend to cope with feelings of anxiety, depression, and boredom. It is important to note that to some degree, these are normal. They are certainly nothing to be ashamed of. It is a shame so many aging people go through hell, yet do not say a word about it to anyone.
Doing Something About It
Well, this is not acceptable. In fact, it should prompt a radically different reaction. One of the best ways to deal with such a problem is to seek family support. So, spend time with those closest to you on a daily basis. Moving on, you should strive to structure your days and free time. The goal is to keep yourself mentally stimulated, engaged and motivated. And when I say this, I do not imply endless sessions of Sudoku and crosswords. They may help, but they are also just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities.
Reconnect with the long-lost passion, hobbies and activities you have been putting off for the longest time. Find motivation and drive in things you love. Stay in touch with friends and join a club of like-minded individuals that share similar interests. Maintain a sense of community and do not cut ties to former colleagues. You can also find a part-time job to keep doing meaningful work. And if you did not have a career of hard, manual work, you can continue with it in reduced quantity.
Preserve Your Health And Well-being
Finally, take good care of your physical and mental health. Stay active and do not lock yourself in your home. Pay close attention to nutrition and refrain from excessive alcohol drinking. Those who have serious health issues like disabilities must take additional steps. Do you know, for instance: what is the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)? It offers a personalized funding scheme to people with an ongoing disability. It gives you a high degree of control over how to spend the money.
Programs like this improve the quality of life and prevent health problems from adding fuel to the raging psychological fire. They remind us that there is always a way out of the dark place. The end of your career or a deteriorating physical condition—these things do not spell the end of the road. Similarly, you should stop thinking about retirement as an end goal. It is a shift, a new phase that has much to offer, provided that you take action and make it happen.
Embrace The Change
Like it or not, you should brace yourself for a less-than-ideal life situation. You have to make not only a financial but also a psychological transition. Think long and hard about how you want to spend your time; map out a kind of life you want to lead further. Some choices may be more narrowed due to the deteriorating physical condition, but you have no shortage of options to pursue your interests and hobbies. In any event, do not just let the chips fall where they may. Stay in control and have independence. You have earned your right to finally do what you love.
Thanks Isabel…. food for thought for anyone thinking about retirement!