Retirement... An Odd Time of Life!

by Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

Most people think about money and finances when retirement is mentioned. I challenge you to re-think that definition of retirement. 

Yes, you will need to get your finances in order, but many who are forced into early retirement, or who have never saved, are able to survive and enjoy their retired years. Money gives you peace of mind, the niceties of life, but there are plenty of ways to live cheaply.

When you DO retire, THIS is the question I would ask:

What will you do, all day, every day, to feel happy and fulfilled? 

During our working years, we are kept busy with work, family, and the holidays and events of life. We yearn for the days when we'll have free time. We plan to travel, pursue hobbies and interests we once had, and live a good life. We will stay up late when we want to, garden all day if that suits our mood, and visit the gym when it's less busy.

 Oddly enough, retirement happens - BOOM! Our plans and hopes fall away and we are in this funky retirement mood. We sleep too much, don't know what to do all day, seriously lose ourselves at home. 

The problem is HOW do we get to our retired lifestyle? It simply takes time… though a Retirement Coach like myself can help. 

There is no "right" retirement. Everyone has their own perfectly imperfect version of this thing called retirement. Some retirees need to keep busy, they need a purpose in life, even in later life. Other retirees love adventures and travel is the key. Still, others look for simple joy and contentment in happenings, the small things in life. Even if you want a contented relaxed lifestyle, it takes time to get there as we've never been relaxed, day after day, in our whole life. This is all new.

So, we finally find our personal retirement lifestyle and make it ours. We feel contented with life and what we have. Life is good.
The problem here, life changes all the time. In all phases of life, we face change. But as we age, it seems a bit more difficult to adapt to these changes.

  • Challenges in the retirement transition phase of life are real. You no longer know who you are and need to adopt a new identity.

  • Retirement can be a lonely, anxious state of being, and a conscious effort should be made towards family and friends (new friends if necessary). The longer we live, the fewer family and friends we have as you have outlived most of them.

  • Losing daily communications with co-workers, considering them friends, and finding your only connection was really employment.

  •  As we age, we have less energy, more aches, pains, and chronic illnesses. We need to focus on physical and mental health.

  • We downsize from family homes to smaller homes, condos, apartments… and are surprised to find that family doesn't want our "stuff". More angst on getting rid of our treasures or even considering what happens when we are gone.

  • We become caregivers for aging parents/partners, and caregivers face their own set of challenges in life. We face death head-on losing parents, partners, siblings, and friends. 

  • This list of life changes goes on and on...

    Retirement ROCKS when you find your perfectly imperfect lifestyle… until it doesn't.

    Life is always evolving, but it seems to evolve faster in retirement!

    Wendy, Retirement Coach

  • Comments for Retirement... An Odd Time of Life!

    Click here to add your own comments

    You are spot on with your comments
    by: Dave in Calif

    Wendy, I found your story to be frighteningly accurate. I’m 74, retired 7 yrs. And your story hits home for me on the parts about leaving the workforce.

    I still feel like I’m just no longer needed. That phrase, "out to pasture" is the way I feel. And there’s no other cattle around to "moo" with.

    Wendy: MOO!

    Click here to add your own comments

    Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Wendy Retired.