Retirement doesn’t have to mean winding down.
Do you find that the world seems to think that, once you retire, your brain turns off, your body shrivels up like a prune and you become invisible?
You may find that people expect you to slow down and the danger is that, sooner or later, you give in to their expectations. Don’t do it!
5 ways to prove them wrong
1) Change your language
Stop telling yourself and everybody else that you’re retired. Instead say that you’re in the process of re-discovering what you have to offer, that you’re re-focusing or even that you’re re-inventing yourself.
Words have power. They paint pictures in people’s minds and affect the way they see you – and how you see yourself.
2) Find something to do that gives you a sense of purpose
Research ways to express yourself – given who you are today – with all the knowledge, skills, experience and wisdom you have accumulated over a lifetime. Don’t let it go to waste! Keeping busy and having a purpose are two entirely different things.
There are many opportunities. You could look into becoming a magistrate, a trustee, a volunteer, a mature student, writing about your experience, mentoring somebody or working for the Prince’s Trust supporting young people. You might even like to start your own business! The list is long.
3) Develop a social network
Put yourself out there so people can find you and you can find them. Start the ball rolling!
4) Experiment with new interests and activities
Some you will enjoy and some you won’t but it’s all good information. Trial and error is a great way to find out what you enjoy doing and where your interests are. You might even surprise yourself and find a new passion.
5) Be kind and patient with yourself!
Retirement is a huge transition with a steep learning curve so don’t put yourself under pressure. Accept that it will take time before you find where you belong, and be gentle and patient with yourself.