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  • Writer's pictureDan Haylett

The Anchors of Retirement Well-Being



1. The retirement identity shift is big!


A certainty is that retirement brings about an identity shift, as it can mean a change in daily activities and social relationships, as well as a shift in who you are as an individual.


It is important to be aware of this shift and to prepare for it. This can include taking the time to reflect on who you are, what you like to do, and how you want to structure your life in retirement. Additionally, it is important to think about how you want to communicate your identity. You may want to consider how you will answer the question, “What do you do?” when you are no longer working.


It can be helpful to create a plan for how you will spend your time, including activities that you can do, people that you can connect with, and how you can structure your daily life. This can include finding ways to stay connected with your former colleagues and friends, as well as exploring new activities and hobbies that you may be interested in. Additionally, it can be helpful to think about how you can use your skills and experiences from your career and to look for opportunities to volunteer or to use your skills in a new way.


Retirement can be a time of adjustment and change, and it is important to be aware of the potential identity shift that can come with it. It can be helpful to create a plan for how you will spend your time, how you will communicate your identity, and how you will use your skills and experience in retirement. Taking the time to prepare for this transition can help you to make the most of your retirement and to enjoy the opportunities that it can bring.


2. Retirement requires preparation.


Retirement is a major life transition and can be a source of both excitement and anxiety. It is important to plan ahead and to consider the various factors that will influence your retirement experience. This includes looking at what work provides for us and how it engages us, as well as considering what tasks or projects we enjoy and how we can find new avenues for those same experiences.


Taking the time to reflect on what you are retiring from and what you are looking forward to can help to ensure that you are not disappointed with retirement.


William Bridges’ transitions model can be a useful tool for understanding the different stages of retirement. This model suggests that every transition begins with an ending phase, followed by a neutral zone and then a new beginning. It is important to take the time to reflect on what you are leaving behind and to acknowledge that before you move on to the next phase.


The push and pull exercise can also be helpful in understanding the various factors that are influencing your decision to retire. This exercise involves jotting down the things that are pulling you toward retirement, such as the opportunities for travel and relaxation, as well as the things that are pushing you toward retirement, such as an early retirement package or health considerations. Additionally, it is important to consider the things that are pulling you toward work and that are making it difficult for you to let go.


3. Stay connected after retirement.


Retirement can be both an exciting and daunting time for many individuals. On one hand, it can be a time to enjoy the fruits of your labour and to look forward to a new chapter in your life. On the other, it can be a time of uncertainty and fear as you leave behind the familiar and enter the unknown.


One of the biggest challenges that retirees face is staying connected after retirement.


When you retire, you often leave behind a network of colleagues, co-workers, and friends. This can be a difficult transition, and it is important to recognise that your employer may not care as much about your retirement as you do. It is also important to understand that when you retire, things need to move on without you.


In order to stay connected, it is important to build relationships before you retire. This can include building relationships with family, friends, and other retirees. It is also important to find new ways to stay connected, such as joining a club or taking up a new hobby. Additionally, it is important to stay connected with your former colleagues and co-workers. You can reach out to them and ask for advice or just to catch up.


Retirement can be a difficult transition, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking the time to plan ahead and to build relationships before and after retirement, you can ensure that you stay connected and make the most of your retirement years.

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