By Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant. First publised by Over Sixty [Link: www.oversixty.com.au]
December is a common month to retire. The end of the year provides a natural point in time to step out of the (paid) workforce as projects are often timed to conclude, and the many festive functions provide a wonderful opportunity to say goodbye, thank colleagues, clients and leaders, and reminisce the highs and lows of one’s career. Coupled with that, the New Year encourages a fresh perspective and renewed energy.
Make the most of this energy and start your retirement on the right foot. By all means have fun, indulge in the Christmas spirit and grasp new opportunities with both hands, but make sure that you take some time to set yourself up for the longer term as well.
Without planning for your day-to-day ‘operating rhythm’ of retirement, the honeymoon period will come to an end and you may be left feeling restless, empty and lonely.
Fill your mental toolkit with strategies to help successfully navigate the transition into retirement and set yourself up for a retirement you will love to live! Here are five tips to get you started in the first month of retirement!
- Retirement represents is a significant life change and so take a moment to reflect on your career – your achievements, the challenges you’ve overcome and what you’ve learned. I have no doubt you have achieved some impressive feats in your time!
- Mark this momentous occasion with family or friends - plan a dinner, a holiday, or simply pop a bottle of champagne!
- Do what feels right for you
2. Establish some level of routine
- Without creating a hectic schedule have something to do each day while you become accustomed to less demands on your time
- Make a ritual of your daily activities, such as enjoying a leisurely breakfast and reading the newspaper when you wake up (rather than gulping it down before rushing out the door)
3. Get active
- Too often our health is neglected during middle age. Look after your body and ensure your health will enable you to do the things you dream of in retirement
- Physical activity is not only good for the body but it is critical for one’s sense of well-being also. Exercise boosts mood, alertness and even one’s ability to look on the bright side of life, which can be particularly important if the transition into retirement proves to be a little bumpy
- An added bonus of exercise is the incidental interaction gained whilst undertaking it, for example, chatting to neighbours on your walk or meeting new people through a sports club
4. Revisit your retirement plans
- Provided that you’ve done some planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement, dust off those papers and have a look at your goals
- Are they still current or do they require some refinement? Perhaps you have been struck by inspiration now that work no longer consumes all of your brain power!
- What action can you take now to put those plans in motion?
- Need to do some planning? Why not download the Focusing on You Reflections Sheet?
5. Allow yourself to slow down
- It might sound counter-intuitive to the previous point, but give yourself permission to take a break - your retirement is well deserved
- Recognise that a less full schedule does not make you any less worthy as a person
- Acknowledge retirement for what it is – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the things you truly take pleasure in
A fabulous retirement seldom falls into your lap. Follow these simple steps and you are well on your way to living a retirement that you will love to live!
I wish you the very best on your journey,
If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read How your GP can help as you prepare for life in retirement and How do I stay connected in retirement.
Inspired to do some planning? Why not download your copy of the Focusing on You Reflections Sheet which has been designed to help you gain clarity and insight into what is important to you, and what you value in life after work.
What do you mean, I hear you say? I have kids, grandkids and ageing parents. I know all about their goals and what is important to them, but I draw a blank when it comes to my own dreams and aspirations – I can’t think of anything!
All too often we put the needs of others before our own, but to give our best to others, we need to first take care of ourselves.
This Reflections Sheet therefore provides an opportunity (and permission!) to take some time to focus on just you!