The first to arrive and the last to leave, Liz could be called a sad workaholic. She usually says yes to that extra task or taking on someone else’s load, doing extra hours or shifts. No wonder she looks tired. Liz used to have a great sense of humour but of late she’s been out of sorts, sometimes a little short-tempered. She has a family but she’s too tired to enjoy time with them. Despite those long hours at work, her line manager has been at her to get her documentation and stats up to date. Liz is so tired of spinning all these plates and wonders what happened to her love for her work. Perhaps you know her, perhaps you are her.

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This phase of life needs time for planning. Why would you not plan for retirement when you have spent time considering each next phase of life? Or perhaps you didn’t but you learned from this and the importance of preparing for your future.You thought about your first job, your first serious relationship and moving in together or marriage, having children or dogs, buying your first house and taking that trip of a lifetime.

Usually people have planned financially for this stage in their life but if you haven’t you need to see a financial expert.

The benefits of planning are that you will adapt better to this new chapter, have better physical and mental health, better relationships and  be socially connected and  meaningfully occupied.

This article will cover:

  • Emotional adaptation
  • Physical health
  • Relationships
  • Social networks and Meaning and purpose

It will not cover financial advice so seek this from an expert authorised by the FCA.

Emotional adaptation

If you have chosen to retire, you may be looking forward to it and are approaching it with glee. That’s great but you may still want to think about how you feel when you are no longer part of your work family or how you are going to spend your time when you’re back from your world cruise.

Some individuals, especially those who have had retirement thrust on them, may experience a profound sense of bereavement. Even if you have had a successful career, there may be regrets. You may question whether you achieved everything you wanted to, what sacrifices or compromises you made to get here. There may be disappointment at opportunities not taken, dreams discarded along the way. In this weighing up of your life,you may have thoughts such as “Is this it?”  When you have invested so much of your life into your career, leaving this behind can cause an identity crisis . You may think, “Who am I when I leave my work titles behind?”

It’s essential to realise that you are not alone. There comes a time – sooner or later – when we step away from the career we have known. There is uncertainty when we move on from what we knew was expected of us during our working life.

It helps to recognise your thoughts and your fears and to talk to your family and friends. Realise that you do have choices even if you are limited by finances or your health. You can make positive choices, choices that will enable you. Recognise what you can do rather than what you can’t do. Now is the time to practice optimism, to be the person who sees the glass half-full.

Learning to be optimistic, to look for the silver-lining will boost your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Physical health

Retirement planning gives you the opportunity to optimise your physical health.You may be fortunate to be in good health and if so, give some thought to how you will maintain or improve your health. Unfortunately if you have retired due to poor health, take care to manage your health by attending regular checkups, being knowledgeable about how to manage your illness, by finding out about support groups and understanding what kind of activity is beneficial for you.

Now more than ever, pay attention to good nutrition. This will help with energy, weight, immunity and overall zest. Cooking and eating with family or friends provides a great opportunity for fun and social connection.

Physical activity is essential. It’s not just about exercise, it’s about enjoyment  and making it a regular part of your life. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or equipment to go running or walking. Swimming is something pleasurable and relatively inexpensive. Combine activities that you can do on your own or with others. This is an opportunity to take up something new.

Watch your alcohol intake as it can be all too easy to drink too much alcohol due to boredom or loneliness or too many long lunches.

Stop using substances and/or smoking: they weren’t good for you when you were younger and will cause harm to you now.

Relationships

Your retirement will not just affect you but will have an impact on your partner/significant other and your family.  Being married is believed to be associated with better planning and a more positive approach to retirement.Retirement planning needs to account for both partners so consider and discuss how your decisions will affect them.Your partner has been used to living life in a particular way and will need time and support in adjusting.

There is a diversity of family circumstances among retirees from having young children, being empty-nesters or not having children. If you have children or grandchildren , think about how much time you want to spend with them. Setting boundaries is important  so that you don’t become enmeshed in their lives or resentful of demands on your time. Although everyone needs to think about needing care or support in their much older years, this may be something for those without children to plan for.

Your expectations and preparations for retirement will lead to a better experience.

Social networks,  Meaning and purpose

When you leave work and colleagues behind, you will need to form new friendships. You are going to miss those work chats and outings and even if you are invited to join them, both you and they will have changed.Don’t become isolated as this could lead to depression. Renew existing friendships and find things to do in common. Discover what’s happening in your community whether this is volunteering or taking up interests old and new. There may be classes available either those actual or online. It’s not too late to learn. You may want to continue working in some way, either paid or unpaid. Depending on your budget you may want to explore your town, region,country or further afield. Find meaning in what you do and consider how you will spend your time.

If you are approaching retirement age, don’t avoid thinking about it.Whether you are choosing to retire or need to retire, you can prepare for a meaningful and happy retirement. Make sure you have also consulted a financial advisor.

And if you would like help in preparing for a holistic retirement, then contact me.

Making it work, Taking action

In step one you thought about what matters to you, your dream. In step two you looked at out why you want your dream. Step three was about knowing your resources, the stuff you have and the stuff you need. Step four was taking note of the beliefs that help or hinder you and the behaviour that takes you forward. In step five you need to DO.

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Beliefs and behaviour

In step one you asked what really matters to you, in step two you connected with why you want this, in step three you looked at your resources. Now in step four,to gain momentum, you will benefit from taking a look at your beliefs or the stories you tell yourself and your behaviour or habits.

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Resources: what stuff or who do you need?

You are on your journey of reinvention. In step one you figured out what really matters to you. In step two you asked yourself why you want this dream. Now in step three you will look at what you already have and what you may need to take you forward.

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Reinvention coaching is helping you to change your life so you spend time and energy on who and what matters to you.