31 May 2019
We are living longer healthier lives and many can expect to live another 20 or 30 years beyond the traditional retirement age. So let’s think differently about this extended life stage.
Instead of thinking about what you are retiring from, start thinking about where you’re heading to.
Many individuals have ups and downs as they adjust and get to grips with the next exciting life phase. Here are some tips for making the transition a bit easier.
1. Prepare for the transition
Take time and start early.
Some individuals are keen to keep working as they love what they do. Many would like to have more flexible options as they transition towards their next life stage. Others need to keep working to pay the bills.
Register for workshops to learn new skills or to refresh your knowledge, find out what groups you can join, talk to people who are thriving in their later years, read relevant articles and visit websites that offer useful advice.
2. Seek good advice
Often you need to go a step further and get expert advice from registered financial planners, lawyers or qualified coaches.
You may be considering a change of direction, a relocation or different living arrangments so it is important to get professional advice and accurate legal and financial information to help you make well informed decisions.
3. Expect the transition to take longer than you think
There may be some confusion and disruption as you move away from regular work routines and social connections. It can take months or years to settle into a new life stage especially when combined with other adjustments (location or relationship status).
Your next life stage could combine working (paid or volunteering) and leisure (travel, family time and other interests). This could be the right time to become a consultant, to start a new business or to mentor younger workers.
If one path is not working try something else. It is not unusual to cycle in and out of work as you transition to your later years.
4. Take care of your health
It can be stressful adjusting to new routines and a different lifestyle. So look after your health and get into a regular exercise routine which benefits mind and body.
You could consider joining a regular yoga class or walking group to combine making new friends with getting fitter. There are plenty of group exercise options like tai chi, aqua jogging or cycling groups. Consult with your doctor for the best advice on physical activity.
5. Nurture your friendships
Social networks are especially important as we adjust to the loss of regular work connections that we take for granted. That’s why Menz Sheds are so successful! Extending your community networks gives a sense of belonging and feeling safer.
Spending quality time with friends provides valuable support and reduces stress levels. If you are short on friends find a group with shared interests (music, art, hobbies) or try a new adventure that takes you out of your comfort zone. A great confidence booster!
6. Rediscover meaning and purpose
For many, work is a big part of our personal identity. We may need a new identity to replace our work persona. This takes time. How will you describe yourself during the transition – woodwork enthusiast, world traveller, super grandparent, community volunteer or youth mentor?
Finding meaning and purpose in our later years can be very rewarding. Many mature agers look for ways to give back by sharing their valuable life experience and know how. Become a geneology expert as you delve into your family history, learn a language for your next destination, or mentor troubled teens who need a helping hand.
7. Follow your dreams
For many individuals in transition these are the freedom years when you are still active, freed from responsibilities with more time to choose what you want to do. This is a chance to follow your own unique path and to see yourself in a different light.
You do not need to reinvent yourself. Why not revisit interests and aptitudes from your earlier years? Maybe learn some digital photography techniques to build on your creative talents or enrol in a creative writing course to pen that novel you always wanted to.
8. Strengthen your resilience
We may face unexpected changes which test us in different ways. This time of life can bring more health concerns, financial worries and caregiving responsibilities. The loss of a significant other person in our life can be hard to bear.
A regular mindfulness meditation practice helps put things into perspective, calm anxieties and develop coping mechanisms.
If you’d like to find out more about better ways to transition towards retirement or manage other work and life transitions get in touch.