What you need to do one month before you retire

By Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant. First published by Over Sixty [Link: www.oversixty.com.au]

Retirement is only a matter of weeks away. It is no longer something that will happen ‘one day’ but rather it is upon you! For some of us it can’t come quick enough – retirement life is beckoning you and you have things to start ticking off your ‘to do’ list! For others there is a sense of trepidation as retirement feels like the great unknown.

Either way, before saying ‘adios’ to your job and transitioning into this next chapter of your life, take a moment to reflect and plan your departure. Likely, your career spans 40 years or more and exiting the workforce represents a momentous occasion. In line with this, take action accordingly.

If you’ve been looking towards the future only and haven’t stopped to think about what you will be letting go of, take a moment to read the list of actions to take in the month leading up to retirement.  Follow these tips and ensure you feel a positive sense of closure before walking out of the office that final time.

1. Re-direct your correspondence

  • Are there any mailing lists (electronic or snail mail) that you belong to and that are sent directly to your work email. Redirect these to your personal email account so that you don’t miss out
  • Are there colleagues that you would like to stay in touch with? Enable this by passing on your personal contact details

2. Take time to say farewell to colleagues

  • Your preference may be to duck out of the office unnoticed and avoid the fanfare, but let your colleagues make a big deal about you (just this once!). Recognise that your retirement is also about them saying goodbye to a colleague
  • If you sit on any committees, advise people so that they are not surprised when you don’t attend the next meeting. There may be people who would like the opportunity to say goodbye and to thank you for your contribution!

3. Say thank you

  • Is there anyone that has had a particularly meaningful impact on your career (or life more broadly)?
  • Take time to let them know the impact that they have had and say thank you

4. Celebrate!

  • Retirement represents is a significant life change and so take a moment to stop and reflect on what you have achieved in your career. Celebrate this before you move on to your next life stage
  • Plan a dinner, a holiday, or simply pop a bottle to bubbles with family and/or friends – whatever feels right for you

5. Plan for the first week

  • Have something to look forward to as your retirement date nears
  • Without creating a hectic schedule have something to do each day while you become accustomed to less demands on your time
  • In a similar vein, if you are planning a big holiday to kick off retirement, have something planned for the week in which you return to lessen the come down

Retirement is a wonderful time of your life and something that everyone should look forward to. But before you go, take a few moments to make sure you leave on a high and are best prepared for what may come!


Feeling a little apprehensive about retirement, know you need to do some planning but just can’t find the time? I understand. Between work, caring for your family and keeping on top of your ‘to do’ list, life is busy. So with that in mind I have created the Bite Sized Retirement Transition Video Series. Six practical, short & sweet videos (each no more than 3 minutes!) which will enable you to take action and successfully navigate the transition into retirement.

You can watch then when you find those precious spare minutes or even on the bus on you way to work!

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