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.