Part Seventeen: Retirement

This is the seventeenth part of a series of mini guides which aims to help you find a career you love. They include tips from me but also practical advice from some of the hundreds of individuals who I have coached over the last 10 years, the sort of things they may have shared with friends or family going through a career move.

It helps to prepare yourself for the impact of retirement. Although it may be something you have been working towards, it can bring out many mixed emotions including a loss of identity and a sense of routine at one end of the spectrum to the euphoria of being free at the other.

“Although I'm from the profession where I'd seen others through the transition, and I knew in advance a lot of the things to be ready for, and although your help was hugely positive and took me forward significantly, it was still around 15 months before I really felt I'd got used to the change. It was only at that point when I stopped having a sense of worry regularly that I wasn't doing what I should be doing or I wasn't doing things right.” 

It is obviously very important to understand your finances in retirement, what will be your retirement income, and what savings you have. The way you spend money will change, for example, there may be more expenditure on coffees and lunches out, higher heating bills and leisure activities may add to your outgoings. On the other hand, there will be no work-related costs. The more you understand your financial situation, the better you can plan for this next phase.

It can help to think about what you want to achieve in retirement; is it a full stop in terms of work or do you want to do something such as non-executive roles or voluntary work? It can also be a good time to go back to education or find other ways of self-development.

Think about how much time you would like to give to your friends, family, leisure, and hobbies and perhaps put a plan together to achieve the right balance. It can be important to learn the word no as many people will assume you can give time to them as you are retired. If you agree to do everything, you may find you have little time to do the things you want to.

“I'd say the single most useful realisation you gave me was that I needed to replace the schedule of a working week with just as disciplined a schedule for my non-working or "retired" week. Although it sounds banal and structured, I needed that certainty and discipline to make me feel that there was a clear purpose and some tangible objectives, even though they were of a different nature.”

“I'd add that you and I also talked about doing things for "me" and allowing some time for things that I wanted to do in the most ordinary way. In other words, it was OK to build into the schedule a time for me to read for myself or take a trip for no other purpose than enjoyment. That was a difficult adjustment.”

This series of mini guides will give you some practical tips and hints from people that have been through it and found what they are looking for. The next one is the final one and is about getting help and conclusions.

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