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  • Writer's pictureDan Haylett

Lessons & Experiences through the lens of a real-life retirement journey

Retirement is not an end but a beginning

Here are my top 3 takeaways following a wonderful conversation with Andy Murphy on episode 11 of The Humans vs Retirement Podcast

1. Retirement presents both challenges and opportunities.

Retirement is a phase of life that presents both challenges and opportunities.

After a near 40-year career with one institution, Andy had two trigger points that made him think seriously about his retirement: a money trigger and a head trigger. The money trigger was about having enough money and understanding his workplace pension scheme. The head trigger was about getting his head around retirement, which is a crucial part of the retirement equation.

The biggest retirement challenges include:

· Financial insecurity

· Loss of identity and purpose

· Social isolation

· Health issues.

Financial insecurity is a common challenge as individuals worry about having enough money to sustain their lifestyle and cover longer term healthcare costs.

Loss of identity and purpose is another challenge as individuals may feel a sense of loss after leaving their career and struggle to find new meaning and purpose in life.

Social isolation is a challenge as individuals may lose their social network and struggle to make new connections.

Health issues are also a challenge as individuals may experience physical and mental health issues that impact their quality of life.

However, we must understand that retirement also presents amazing opportunities, such as having more time to pursue hobbies and interests, travel, and spend time with family and friends. Retirement can also be an opportunity to reinvent oneself, explore new passions and careers, give back to the community and make a real difference in the world.

2. Retirement involves more than money.

The journey towards and during retirement involves more than just money.

Andy's journey started when he began to seriously think about retirement seven years ago, however he did not immediately push the button on retirement. Instead, he spent 18 months to 2 years thinking about and dealing with the non-financial aspects of life after work.

One of the things that surprised Andy was the need to think about retirement. He realised that retirement planning involves more than just having enough money. He needed to consider his routine, hobbies, and social interactions, which were all tied to his work. He also had to get his head around the concept that retirement is not the end of something but the beginning of something new.

One way to approach this is by focusing on the things you love. This could be a hobby, a passion, or a topic that you have always been interested in but never had the time to explore fully.

Andy began to reflect on his identity and interests. He realised that he loved art and cooking and wanted to pursue them further. He rediscovered his love for music and made it a priority in his retirement, this led to the creation of an album club, where he could share his love of music with like-minded individuals.

Andy also stresses the importance of having role models in retirement. He looked up to his grandfathers and his father, who all had different retirement experiences. By taking inspiration from them, he was able to create a retirement plan that suited his needs and desires.

However, Andy also acknowledges that retirement plans can change unexpectedly. He advises staying flexible and open to new possibilities while keeping the main tenets or aims in mind. He also reminds listeners to focus on what they want to do rather than what they feel they should do.

Andy's experience highlights the importance of taking care of one's mental health in retirement planning. Retirement can be a significant change in one's life, and it is essential to consider the emotional and psychological impact it may have.

3. Simplicity brings joy in retirement.

One key aspect of finding joy in retirement is simplicity.

Retirement doesn't have to be about extravagant trips or grand plans. Instead, it can be about getting back to the basics and enjoying the simple things in life. Listening to music, reading a book, cooking a meal, or spending time with loved ones can bring just as much joy as any big adventure.

More importantly, retirement can be a time to continue learning and growing. Pursuing new hobbies or interests can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, as well as keep the mind active and engaged. Whether it's taking up painting or learning a new language, there are countless opportunities for continued learning in retirement.

Another way to find joy in retirement is through giving back to the community. Volunteering or working with a local organisation can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, as well as make a positive impact on the world around us. It's important to remember that retirement doesn't have to be solely focused on personal enjoyment but can also be a time to make a difference in the lives of others.

In conclusion, simplicity can bring joy in retirement. By focusing on the simple things in life, continuing to learn and grow, and giving back to the community, individuals can find purpose and fulfilment in retirement. It's important to remember that retirement doesn't have to be about extravagant plans or big adventures but can be just as fulfilling through the small moments and acts of kindness.

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