Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Who You Are Now That You’re No Longer Working?

If You’re in The Early Stages of Retirement and Feeling Somewhat Lost, You’re Not Alone. Read on To Enjoy This New Chapter of Your Life, writes Vinita Alvares Fernandes


“A 65-year-old man has a 41% chance of living to age 85 and a 20% chance of living to age 90.

A 65-year-old woman has a 53% chance of living to age 85 and a 32% chance of living to age 90.

If the man and woman are married, the chance that at least one of them will live to any given age is increased.

There’s a 72% chance that one of them will live to age 85, a 45% chance that one will live to age 90.

There’s even an 18% chance that one of them will live to age 95!”


If you’re in the early stages of retirement and feeling somewhat lost, you’re not alone.

Read on to enjoy this new chapter of your life.

There are stages and an emotional process that most people go through when adjusting to retirement. At first, there’s a feeling of freedom. It’s like you’re on a vacation that’s going to last forever. That sense of novelty wears off and you will settle into a slower lifestyle.

The Five Stages of Retirement Everyone Will Go Through:

  • First Stage: Pre-Retirement.
  • Second Stage: Retirement.
  • Third Stage: Disenchantment.
  • Fourth Stage: Reorientation.
  • Fifth Stage: Reconciliation and Stability.

When you plan for retirement, you plan financially, you plan where you’re going to live, whether you want to upsize, downsize, move to a different country, move to the sea. But the one thing you don’t plan for is what you’re going to do with all the free time you’ll have on your hands. The stage before you actually retire involves imagining your new life and planning for it. Look for healthy ways to deal with those feelings.

Structure Your Days: If you thrive with a schedule, develop a retirement routine that helps you plan your days. Experiment with various activities and time slots to see how it makes you feel.

Set Small Goals: the first month, six months, or one year and write them down. Then work towards achieving them. Work out what you can afford to do and schedule time to make it happen, so you experience a sense of accomplishment, as you would have done at work.

Do you want to lose 10 pounds?

Travel? Finish books that you’ve been putting off?

The sky’s the limit.

Grow Your Friendships: school reunions, college reunions, job colleagues, a walking group, a movie group, a book club, a gym group.

Get social! Man was not made to be an island.

Consider an “Encore” Job or Volunteer projects: Research finds that retirees, who got a “bridge” job, are often in better health. A number of people try out less stressful secondary careers or volunteer short-term projects to keep depression and boredom at bay. More so they stay mentally and physically active and report higher levels of life satisfaction. You could write a book, start an online magazine for the over 50s, and maybe teach, all ways of giving back which you put off.

Create a New Budget: Establish a budget that will help you see how much money you have for entertainment or fun. Your luncheons, movie plans, grandchildren dates, all need money, buy less stuff and spend on enjoying moments and making memories.

Give Yourself Flexibility to Figure It Out: Experiment to help you find just the right balance of how you want to spend your time. Some days you may just want some “ME” time. Stay fluid and keep tweaking your lifestyle. The joy of retirement is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment. It’s up to you to design the type of day and kind of life that you want to live.

Pamper yourself: Practicing mindfulness has become more popular than ever to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Fresh air and exercise is an instant mood booster and instrumental in maintaining your wellbeing. Keep physically active and be one with nature, recommended minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Spa treatment and Salon experiences are a must; never give up looking in the mirror!

Exercise your mind too; Try to grasp technology, it’s not the easiest of things but technology can really allow you to do a lot of things, it allows you to keep in touch with family all over the world and learn so many different things. Reading, crosswords, online card sessions and any number of games, just the tip of the iceberg, sky is the limit.

Get a new pet: Research has shown that our furry friends have a positive effect on our health and wellbeing.

Travel more: Always dreamt of going on an around-the-world cruise, a wine-tasting trip through Italy, or a simple camping

Start thinking about a hobby or interest that you would like to pursue.

Make peace and move on: make the most of your circumstances. You face a lot of emotional crises, but the important thing is facing up to them and finding a way out of them. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, both health-wise and in general; doing something different can be a refreshing change. Don’t spend your retirement dwelling on your working days. Accept that you’ve done all you can, focus on your next challenge, know you still got lots to achieve. Push your boundaries.

“I could sit here looking at these 4 walls unless I personally take charge, take responsibility and do something.”

“Retirement is nirvana”

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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