Here at Brunel, we spend a lot of our time helping our clients transition from one stage of their life to the next. And very often, the biggest change that people need help with is the move to retirement.
Finally being able to stop working and start enjoying your free time can seem like a dream, but when the time comes you may feel differently about it. In fact, if you aren’t prepared emotionally, retirement can take some getting used to.
As someone who helps a lot of clients to make this transition, we asked Damien to share some of his thoughts on how we can help you when it comes to taking this important step. Over to you Damien!
My father had been really looking forward to giving up work. He had been employed at the same company for 40 years and the constant pressure that came with his job had been getting to him. There had simply been too many meetings, too much travel, and too much stress.
But when the time came, his retirement didn’t quite pan out the way he’d hoped. While he had plenty of hobbies to keep him busy, he didn’t feel the same sense of fulfilment that he was used to.
In fact, he found he often missed the hustle and bustle of the office – managing his responsibilities for the day, chatting to his friends and colleagues, and sorting the daily streams of emails and calls. More than anything, he missed being in the middle of things and felt lost without it.
It can be uncomfortable to give up the career that you’ve spent so long building
In the many years I’ve worked in this role, I’ve found out that my father’s story isn’t uncommon. After all, when you’ve put in so much effort to build your career in a field you love, it can often be difficult to give it up.
That’s why, although you may recognise that you’re entering a new stage of your life, you might not have given much thought as to how you’ll manage this change emotionally. This is especially true if you have a busy lifestyle and haven’t had much time to sit down and reflect.
While retirement is a wonderful opportunity to do all the things you want to do, it’s important to be aware that there can be downsides to it. Like the pain of divorce, suddenly not being around your old friends and colleagues every day can be stressful, and managing that grief is important.
Back in the early 20th century, psychologists James Robertson and John Bowlby studied how children experienced separation anxiety when taken away from their parents.
In this experiment, the two found that most of the children went through three stages – first they protested at the situation, then they despaired, and finally they detached themselves emotionally, which causes them huge amounts of anguish.
In the same way, being cut off from regular contact with your friends and colleagues can be a hugely stressful experience, no matter what stage of life you’re at. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself mentally before you retire.
3 useful ways you can make the transition easier for yourself
If you want to be able to enjoy your retirement to the fullest, here are three valuable tips to make the transition easier for you.
Invest in your personal relationships
One of the best ways to deal with this change is to strengthen your personal relationships. And, of course, there’s no better place to start than at home, spending more time with your family and friends.
Investing in your close personal relationships can really help to boost your emotional wellbeing. In fact, a 2006 psychological study found that friendship accounts for 58% of the variance in people’s happiness.
Build networks beyond the office
While it can be easy to focus all your effort on your workplace, it’s important to build networks beyond the office too. This is especially true when you’re in the run-up to retirement.
For example, volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community while also building relationships with other like-minded people. You could also take up a new hobby and meet people that way, as my father did when he joined his local boules club.
You can also use your retirement as an opportunity to keep learning, such as enrolling on a university course. Alternatively, you could consider tutoring, so that younger people can benefit from your reservoir of knowledge and experience.
Find new outlets for your energy
Another option you could consider is to work part-time after you’ve retired, such as in a consultancy role. For example, you could mentor budding entrepreneurs or young executives to help them navigate the world of business.
And, of course, since networking is vital for a company’s success, you could use your valuable connections to give a jump-start to the people that you’re mentoring.
Working with a planner can give you greater peace of mind when retiring
In the past, retirement planning was mostly about the numbers. With such a big focus on finances, the emotional implications of the decision had to take a back seat, if they were mentioned at all.
Today, however, financial security is only one element of your long-term plan. In the modern day, as people live longer and enjoy different lifestyles in retirement, making sure you are happy, healthy, and mentally active is essential.
If you want to be able to enjoy your retirement to the fullest, working with a financial planner can help you to navigate your way through this period of change. This can be a huge weight off your mind and enable you to enjoy this chapter of your life without any concerns.
Get in touch
If you want to know more about how we can help you to prepare for a relaxing and fulfilling retirement, get in touch. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0117 214 0870.Back to Our Insights