#FITFABFEB2020 Ageing Well Over 50s Lifestyle

What does your version of Retirement look like?

February 7, 2020

Retirement – what does that represent for you? 

Are you happy and contented in this phase of life or are you still feeling unsure of what you want?

Currently, my theme for February is #FitFabFeb2020 – daily tips to help create a healthier lifestyle. So how does that tie in with Retirement? To me, being Fit and Fabulous is more than just physical health, it is a total well-being in mind, body and soul. It is logical that if we have functional fitness to allow us to perform daily tasks, we eat a well balanced diet and take care of our mental and spiritual health then we are on the path to creating an active and fulfilling life.

Recently in my Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond Facebook Group, a member commented that she is

‘tip toeing into part-time retirement and looking for ideas on how to make this transition fun and easy.’

that prompted me to ask the question:

What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing to retire?

A number of members replied with their thoughts:

  • Have a retirement plan. You need to replace a job with some meaningful hobbies or interests. – Kathy
  • Do it as soon as you can, tomorrow is not promised to anyone! – Debbie
  • I think tip toeing into retirement is the way to go. I reduced from 5 days to 4 then to a 5 day fortnight. This has gradually given me more time outside of work and importantly more time to explore all the opportunities there are out there. – Lesley
  • I was not as prepared for was the “shock” of no longer have the identify of my work role. This took some time to evolve for me to say “I’m a retired educator” and now I am very content within my lifestyle. – Denyse
  • I was let go from work. I still had 5 years to plan. Now I will have to plan.Anne

My own experience of retirement was not as positive as I would have liked. I took early retirement at 57 and found like Denyse, that I had been defined by my work, my role as a wife and mother for so long that I had forgotten who I was as an individual. I didn’t really have any outside hobbies apart from my running with my Saturday Sisters, so the prospect of filling in time became daunting and depressing.

I started a blog, which seems to be a common path many take when they retire these days, and Sizzling Towards 60 was born 5 years ago. I wasn’t really sure what I would be writing about but I did know that I wanted to share my thoughts on Life After 50 with a focus on healthy and wellness. I wanted to encourage others to think about creating the life they wanted. 5 years later, the blog has become my purpose and I’ve made some wonderful friendships with other bloggers and readers along the way. But am I contented and happy? Some days but not others. I’m someone who is driven and so I need challenges in my life to keep me fulfilled. That may not describe you and what you need but it certainly is something I’ve come to accept as part of my personality.

As many of you know, I’m currently studying to become a Personal Trainer. I’ve competed a certificates in Life Coaching , Nutrition and several other short courses. Why? Because I love to learn, it is something that has been on my bucket list for years and because I now have the time to do it. It gives me focus and keeps my brain cells working.

My friend, Leanne Le Cras from Cresting the Hill, retired last year and although her departure from a toxic work environment was distressing for her, she has come through and after a year is contented and happy with her version of retirement and creating her own Midlife Symphony

I googled ‘Statistics on how people cope with retirement’ and there are pages of articles dedicated to information around ‘adjusting to retirement’. Because that is what it is – a huge adjustment in our life. I wasn’t surprised to read that Depression and Retirement Stress were at the top of the search engine page.

The saying ‘Life is Short’ is true in the scheme of things, however, for many Retirement can be a lengthy phase in our life as we are more aware of the importance of living healthier lifestyles than previous generations. Medical advancements, screenings and testings can help us to live longer. So we do need to plan to make the most of this phase of life.

We are all individuals and so what works for one may not work for another. We can however, learn from each other and find new ways to make positive changes in our lives.

What does your version of Retirement look like?

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Donna Connolly February 7, 2020 at 09:37

    Hi, Sue – Thought-provoking post! I have been retired for 4.5 years. I loved my job but took to retirement instantly. I have a driven-personality which was intensified by my work. I am currently focusing on relaxing and not rushing. Baby steps! 😀 What I love most about retirement (it’s a long list) is that we are given the chance to reinvent ourselves. Sounds like you are doing just that. I admire you greatly!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 7, 2020 at 11:25

      Hi Donna, I woke up this morning and had now idea what to write for my blog post today. I surprised myself and with a prompt from the FB group think I’ve come up with something that we can all relate to. I am inspired by all that you do and the joyful way to fill your life, Donna. Wish I lived on VI we would be having a great time together. 🙂

  • Reply suzanne February 7, 2020 at 10:41

    Hi Sue, I have been retired for nearly fifteen years and am still enjoying this phase of life. I hit the ground running and slowly tapered off as I refined what I needed to create purpose and contentment. I am in a good place, with some days more satisfying than others, but I know that things could change at any time. Health and fitness are priorities right now. I admire your commitment to life long learning and personal growth. You are on your way to making this the best time of your life! Thanks for bringing us along on your journey.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 7, 2020 at 11:27

      Hi Suzanne, you make a good point about tapering off as I think I’m starting to do that now. It does take a while to create purpose and contentment and we have to try a few paths before we find one that we are happy to follow. So happy to hear you are in a good place. Thank you for joining me on my journey and sharing your wisdom with me as well. Have a lovely weekend. xx

  • Reply Eva Sundene February 7, 2020 at 20:47

    HI SUE. I enjoy your blog, and I think it is important that we make the best out of retirement – no matter what age. I am convinced that we need to make new structures for our everyday life – not just let them aimlessly pass by. As a retired chief editor, writer and developer of concepts for clinics and spas, I was probably a work addict. However, when I retired at 68 – I decided to do something totally different. I realised my dream of moving to a sunny, warm country – selling my house, apartment and put my belongings in storage. I wanted to test the waters…. I moved to one of the Spanish Canary Islands, Fuerteventura – just across Africa and Sahara. Now, 9 years later – I still love it here. My family visits me on a regular basis, and I travel to Norway to be with them on holidays and special occasions. I did not know one person when I moved here, and rented a big villa with sea view (unseen…) – and I still live here. I enjoy my freedom from winter – the relaxed lifestyle – my friends and network here. So, never to late with a new start. Just go for it, and remember – you can always return to start and choose a new way in life. I have a blog to, evasundene.com, where you can read about “feel good – look good – no matter what age you are”. Have a wonderful weekend – enjoy the precious days of your life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 8, 2020 at 04:16

      Hello Eva lovely to meet you and thank you for visiting to leave a comment. How brave of you to take the step and realising your dream of moving to another country. It must have been very daunting but you overcame any fears and did it with positive results. I totally agree it is never too late and also agree that we can always change our plans if we try something and find that it isn’t what we wanted. I took a look at our blog and love it. Have a lovely weekend and thank you for stopping by xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 8, 2020 at 08:05

    I enjoyed reading this Sue. If I had seen your question I would have given my comment as I’m in that space right now. As you know I enjoy my job and promised myself to retire when I didn’t. I still enjoy it but I’m feeling the urge to retire so will probably do so soon. When I think of all that is happening in the world and Australia especially the fires, I’m starting to think that life is too short. Having another birthday and reaching official retirement is giving me a push also

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 9, 2020 at 17:59

      Hi Jen, yes sometimes the posts don’t show up even if you are in the FB group. Never mind I’m always happy to hear your thoughts. I agree that life is short but if you’ve been so involved in working it is difficult to adjust to just stopping without something to replace those working hours. I’m sure you will enjoy whatever you decide. x

  • Reply Denyse February 8, 2020 at 08:50

    Lovely post Sue where I am delighted to have contributed, thank you. Isn’t it good when a topic just gives you the best chance to write? Hope you are not too wet. We are getting quite a drenching, Denyse

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 9, 2020 at 18:01

      Hi Denyse, I had nothing planned except a guest post this week and then the comments I received on FB gave me the inspiration to write this post. Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts which I was happy to share. Yes, rain has been around for most of the last few days although it seems to have eased up at the moment. x

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan February 8, 2020 at 14:28

    Tip toeing into retirement would be ideal if we could all do that. I had about 2 months to get adjusted to the idea that I was really going to retire. Didn’t want to but didn’t really see another option as I needed to have surgery and didn’t have enough sick leave to be able to take it and return to my same position. Anyway, I wound up retiring. And really hating that I did. But now, 6 years later, I am beginning to enjoy this gig!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 9, 2020 at 18:02

      Hi Leslie, it is difficult to adjust when life changes are thrust upon you, isn’t it? You look like you are having a ball now and love that you are still maintaining your stylish ‘look’ which I always admire. x

  • Reply Debbie-Dabble February 8, 2020 at 22:47

    Thanks so much for mentioning my comment!! I LOVE being retired and it is something that I had dreamed about for many years…The one thing that I do have to work on is Time Management…..I hope you have a great weekend!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 9, 2020 at 18:03

      Hi Debbie, my pleasure and it is such a joy to read of someone who is loving retirement. Time management can be difficult especially if you have many things that you want to do. Sometimes more time doesn’t necessarily relate to productive time, does it? thanks for inspiring me with your comment to write this post x

  • Reply Christine February 10, 2020 at 08:50

    Sue, I am loving your blog (and Leanne’s also). I am about 5 years from retirement and am soaking up all that you have to say about your retirement journey so far. I was a stay at home mom for 14 years many moons ago and wish that the blogging sphere was around then so that I could learn the valuable tips I am learning now. More importantly, I think blogs like yours really create a sense of community.

  • Reply Suzanne February 12, 2020 at 06:47

    Shared on SM. Have a great week, Sue.

  • Reply Bree February 12, 2020 at 07:08

    Hi Sue…I retired early due to ill health, that was back in 2014. My doctor had been at me for over 2 years before that to retire. When I realized I had cut my hours yet still taking time off for medical appointments and using all my sick leave and holidays that was one of the clinchers. The first year and a half I rested got as well as I could. Then in 2016 I traveled overseas with my sisters and the travel bug bit me hard. Financially and due to being on disability I can only travel overseas once a year and not within the year. Thats ok. I now play darts once a week volunteer at an op shop twice a week and have joined the View Club and have been on the committee as publicity officer for the last 12 months. Tomorrow is our AGM so all of that may change… #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:25

      Hi Bree, it can be hard to adjust if retirement is thrust upon you as you don’t really have time to make plans. I’m so pleased that you can at least travel even if only once a year and you seem to have a very full life. I actually looked at the View club after I read your comment and there is one near where I live on the Gold Coast. Hope all went well with the AGM. xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 12, 2020 at 07:14

    Just popping in again from #MLST Will share again

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:26

      Thanks, Jen appreciate the second visit 🙂

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 12, 2020 at 07:15

    I think a lot of people misunderstand how much satisfaction they actually get from work. It is hard to be productive when there’s no structure. But we can create structure and we can do huge and important things. I think retirement doesn’t have to be stopping work, but rather stopping being driven and regulated by making money. Which is why a lot of retirees take volunteer work. Or even start companies but run on a smaller scale. Work doesn’t have to define you but productivity is important. Really good post as I think people need to think about what they want out of retirement and create that. Rather than just stopping work. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:28

      I agree Lydia, I know I need structure and just because I’m retired doesn’t mean my personality has changed I’m still the same person. Productivity is important and having something that is fulfilling rather than just filling in time. Thanks for being part of #MLSTL and have a great weekend. x

  • Reply Jo February 12, 2020 at 08:21

    I’m not there yet, but I watched how my husband struggled when he first retired. He’s now doing volunteer work but aside from the identity issues, the income issues, there was a sense of purpose missing and I think That’s important. He never had any hobbies either which can make things easier I think.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:29

      Hi Jo, your husband sounds like he experienced retirement the same way as I did. I needed a purpose and structure and really floundered for the first year. I’m better now but perhaps I’m just someone who needs to have projects on the go. I haven’t any hobbies as such and yes that makes it more difficult to find something to fill our time that is meaningful. Have a great weekend and enjoy! xx

  • Reply Natalie February 12, 2020 at 09:45

    Hi Sue – I had a very good job and career, however I’ve always felt that there is a lot more to life than work and I’ve always had many interests that I want to explore deeper. So I planned for my early retirement, both financially and non-financially, and accomplished my mission to leave full-time work for full-time living. I enjoy this phase of my life very much and intend to make it the best phase. My current focus is to stay healthy, do at least one good thing for my family, my friends or my community every day, and to explore leisure activities that are of interest to me, including travel. Every day is a new day that I can make it a great day and not to be taken for granted. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:33

      I just so admire your outlook on life in general Natalie and it was a pleasure to meet you over dinner last year. You could certainly teach us all a few ways to enjoy life and I love your comment ‘to make it the best phase’ just perfect. Enjoy your weekend! x

  • Reply Lucia Davison February 12, 2020 at 12:31

    Hi Sue,
    I so enjoyed your authentic sharing of your journey in retirement. I have just begun my journey last August and too have started writing a blog in the transition. Grateful that my time is more my own these days and looking forward to creating a life I love. Thank you for your insights and wisdom.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:34

      Hi Lucia, lovely to meet you and thank you for visiting to leave a comment. Creating a life you love is a wonderful goal because at the end we only have one life don’t we? We have to make the most of it. Enjoy xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au February 12, 2020 at 13:13

    Hi Sue – fabulous post (as always!) and thanks for the lovely mention about my very unplanned retirement entry! Retirement is definitely a topic that covers the full spectrum, and I see so many women trying to make a plan to cover every contingency. I wonder if they’re trying to fill their days with busy-ness to replace the work busy-ness and I’m not sure how long they can sustain that for (or why they’d even want to??) Our society judges us based on our productivity and usefulness and that’s really sad. After our decades (or more) of working we’ve earned the right to live a life based on what feels right for us – not what we’re told is right.
    I’m not sure what the next 30 or so years of retirement will look like for me, but I’m sure there’ll be changes and new adventures – your return to study is a perfect example of changing direction but still staying with what resonates for you – not returning to what you left behind, but moving into a new arena and the challenges that will bring with it.
    I’m excited to see where the next 10 years takes me (hence my SYMPHONY series) because I think that we’ll all be doing interesting and engaging stuff and it will look different for all of us. I just hope that we’re all brave enough to follow our hearts and not feel the need to prove ourselves to anyone and everyone.
    Thanks for another great #MLSTL and of course I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:39

      Hi Leanne, yes I think your story is a great example of how you took the courageous step to leave and how you haven’t really rushed into trying to find the perfect fit for Retirement but rather letting it evolve. Gosh I’d love another 30 years but I’m not sure Sizzling Towards 60 will still be around then that is for sure! Although ‘never say never’ – LOL:)

  • Reply Christina Henry February 12, 2020 at 20:00

    I’ve been planning towards retirement for years and I’m only 53! That’s because I’ll probably have to retire due to health. My dad had to retire at 55 for the same reason. I’ll always be learning and expanding my mind, and I’ll try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by having a good diet and exercise as much as I can. Making your money last 30 or more years will be the biggest challenge so downsizing will be on the cards. Going self-sufficient is also worth investigating.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:41

      Oh you are organised Christina but I’m sorry that the reason is due to ill health. The financial side of a longer retirement can be challenging can’t it? It looks like you do have a plan though which will be very helpful to you when retirement comes along. Thanks for visiting and take care xx

  • Reply Jennifer February 12, 2020 at 20:54

    Even if you have a plan for retirement, sometimes it changes. I’ll never forget when my father retired. He spent years collecting a “honey-do” list of things that he wanted (or my mother wanted) done around the house. The list included some major repairs as well as some cosmetic repairs. This was a man who worked numerous jobs throughout his life, including sometimes two or three at a time. When he retired, it took him 3 months to finish a list that he thought would occupy his time for a year or two. Then they took a 3-month journey around the US and when they returned he found a part-time job to keep himself busy. My mother, on the other hand, was content as a retiree, meeting friends for lunch, reading books, etc. I love seeing how retirement means different things to different people.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:45

      My Dad retired and had passed away 6 months later and my Mum died at 63 so they didn’t get to enjoy Retirement. I learned then, that life is short and you need to make the most of every day. We all have different needs and it is important to follow what makes us happy. Thanks for visiting and have a lovely weekend. xx

  • Reply Allison Gonzalez February 13, 2020 at 04:16

    I’m 48 and had to start over financially 5 years ago after a divorce. That’s when I started to save for retirement. Needless to say, there’s not much in there but maybe a meager year’s worth of extreme low cost living.

    Retirement for me may be very late for 2 reasons. One, stated above, I won’t have the means for quite a while to stop working. There is social security yet there’s not much for me in my account. Two, I actually enjoy working. I’m building my blog and working on my writing skills so I don’t think I’ll want to stop. Just like you Sue, I will probably be blogging until I can’t anymore.

    I look to the ladies that blog with more years than me for guidance. I listen to their stories and wisdom on life and learn. I bet you didn’t realize how much you’re admired. 🙂

    To answer your question, what does retirement look like for me. It’s a little house in the forest where my kids and their kids come to see me and relax. I’m blogging and hiking and maybe some travel if I can.


    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:46

      Your retirements sounds lovely Allison and probably just what you need after all you have experienced in life. I’m enjoying your blog and it has been great to connect. We have a wonderful tribe of blogging women in Midlife and Beyond and now you are part of that too. Have a great weekend. xx

  • Reply Agnes Knowles February 13, 2020 at 04:28

    Love, Love, Love that meme! I follow several women online who are retired but not retiring and finding a purpose seems to one of the keys. Being as active as possible, finding something new to learn, being curious, and standing up for oneself – those are the mainstays of how I am navigating this time of life. I try not to give a clear no to any idea. Money is sometimes a consideration but that, too, is a choice. And having young people in my life! While I sometimes don’t agree with, or appreciate their choices, I don’t feel like I’m in the dark ages when a new trend takes off. I want to be a role model for the younger women in my life and that thought keeps me walking the talk.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:48

      I agree with all you have written Agnes and yes being surrounded by younger people helps to keep you young. Sure they have different ideas but that is how we learn. xx

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle February 13, 2020 at 08:26

    Great post Sue and I can relate to all the advice provided within. I left my corporate role early and thus became ‘kinda’ retired though I’ve dabbled in this and that since. I’ve found it all quite difficult. The loss of my identify and the pride I got from my work achievements. I’ve tried several things since I left but nothing feels quite right – there’s still a hole not quite filled if you know what I mean. Maybe when my husband retires a new pattern will be formed and it might feel better then. Meanwhile, I keep exploring who I am and what I need to feel happy and fulfilled. Have a great week! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:50

      Thanks Min and you are very much like me. We need something but aren’t always clear on what that ‘something’ is. It is difficult when one of the partnership is still working and that was the case for us. Mike had retired (he is 9 years older than me) and I was still working. Although now we are both retired we haven’t really fallen into any pattern because we both want different things. He is happy being at home or travelling, whilst I need more in my life on a daily basis. I’m sure you will find your way and enjoy the journey. xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes February 13, 2020 at 10:08

    I really appreciated this advice on making a smooth transition into retirement. I know each person’s experience is unique to them, but I’m hoping to put other’s experience to work helping me do it the best way that I can. Thanks as always for your input and gathering that of others. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:23

      Hi Christie, yes I wish I had known more when I retired however that is life. If I can share my experiences and help someone then that makes me feel satisfied and useful. Great to have you as always at #MLSTL and see you next week. xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan February 13, 2020 at 16:22

    Really interesting to return here after Monday and see what others have said. Retirement is no longer the one like my Dad’s . Each person here is taking their own journey into retirement and that is a good thing.

    Denyse #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:21

      Exactly, Denyse, my parents didn’t reach retirement so at least I’m one step ahead there. I’m really enjoying the different comments and ways people are approaching retirement. We can all learn from each other. x

  • Reply Debbie Harris February 13, 2020 at 20:23

    This is a great post Sue, personal and thought provoking. You are amazing with all you do and achieve and I love your dedication. Retirement to me is a very different world to my former work life and I am enjoying the changes that were forced upon me over 3 years ago. There is time for other things like travel and volunteering in my community but there are some days I miss the structure of a work day. We are all doing it differently, one size doesn’t fit everyone as has been said! I’ve shared for #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:19

      Thanks Deb. Yes we re all doing retirement differently and what works for one doesn’t work for someone else. I think we are very fortunate in our generation to have more options than our parents did. They retired and that was it. In my parents case unfortunately Dad only enjoyed retired life for 6 months before he died and Mum only made it to 63. Life is precious so I’m hoping to make the most of this phase of my life. Thanks for your friendship and support which I treasure. xx

  • Reply Christine February 13, 2020 at 21:13

    Retirement for some is wondrous and for others it’s a struggle, even without considering finances. I agree transitioning into it can be really beneficial and it certainly helps to have interests outside of work. I’m carving out a new existence for myself in ‘retirement’ which involves travel, travel writing and photography – some of my favourite things – and of course lots more time for family. It seems like the best of both worlds.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 14, 2020 at 12:17

      I think you are achieving the best of both worlds, Christine and I know that you do love travelling and your family so it is wonderful you can spend time doing what you love. x

  • Reply Pradeep Nair February 18, 2020 at 05:22

    Hi Sue,
    Very nice post. It is still 5 more years for me to retire. But I am looking forward to it.
    For me, I look at it, as a time that will allow me to do many things that were not possible to do because I was working.
    I plan to keep myself occupied.
    Thanks for this post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2020 at 05:33

      Hi Pradeep, I glad to see the word ‘plan’ in your comment as that is the key. Having a plan of what you want from retirement is a great starting point and helps with the transition. We can always modify our plan but I believe it allows some structure into our life which will replace our employment. Have a great week.

  • Reply Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2020 at 01:33

    This is such a useful post, Sue, giving different perspectives. At 41, newly married, I gave up my business because I had to move cities. That’s when I started blogging. Now, I’ve just started a small business off writing/ training etc. However, I don’t really feel like it’s a ‘job’ and I work on my own terms.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2020 at 05:37

      Congratulations Corinne on starting a small business. That is something I would like to do but ‘fear’ seems to be blocking me. It is wonderful to find something where you are working on your own terms and setting the boundaries. Best of luck and thanks for visiting. x

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