Retirement is officially defined as “the act of leaving your job and stopping work, usually because you’re old.” Ouch. With a definition like that, it’s little wonder then that the issue is generally regarded in negative terms. We’ve all heard the stories about the high-powered corporate executive who led a stressful life, retired with the intention of relaxing and taking it easy, only to end up with an ulcer and depression less than six months later!.
“The problem is that some people often misinterpret the concept of retirement or a retirement village. . And, if they get that part wrong, they may fail to plan accordingly or could develop unrealistic expectations.”
Common concerns about the retirement lifestyle include:
- I will no longer have a stable income
- I would have lost my identity or sense of purpose
- It’s going to be boring
- I’m going to be so lonely
Retirement is a lifestyle transition
Retirement is a lifestyle transition that is about change and, as we are all well aware, change is an inevitable and often unpredictable fact of life. But the benefits of retirement mean that you:
Have more choices in your daily living
- Can be free from work stress
- Have more flexible use of your time
- Can finally socialise with family and friends
- Can focus on leisure or passion projects
- Are able to commit to practising a healthy lifestyle.
The retirement quiz
Retirement can be life reimagined if planned and managed properly; and in order facilitate a smooth transition into retirement, it’s beneficial to answer the following important questions about yourself:
- Where do I get fulfilment?
- What are my current activities?
- What gives me a sense of purpose?
It’s likely that your answers may relate to your current lifestyle, which revolves around your job and related responsibilities. This is where you draw your sense of identity and subsequent self-esteem, so suffice to say that a sudden loss of identity could result in stress and anxiety.
A great many pre-retirees look forward to the day that they can engage in their favourite leisure activities, as they should, but forget that there is difference between fulfilling and time-filling activities.
Often, the abrupt transition from being extremely busy or engaging in full-time employment to suddenly being left with a lot of time on your hands, can prove to be disruptive and and a difficult adjustment.
Firstly it’s important to realise that retirement involves planning and preparation.
New roles for the retiree
The Baby Boomer generation is fortunate in that, due to increased longevity and better health care, people are living far more active, social and enriching lives during their retirement years.
Gone are the days of checking into the local nursing home where one’s life revolved around sedentary entertainment, bland food and the occasional visit from the family.
“Retirees now live independent lives and have an array of choices and freedom when it comes to deciding what retirement means to them.”
Retirees can and do reinvent themselves by adopting new roles based on their psychological retirement profile. Some of these new retirement roles include:
1. The Continuer
Not content with giving up work entirely? Well neither does The Continuer, who modifies their lifestyle so that they can continue working. This can mean cutting back on work hours or level of responsibilities at the office. Some Continuers negotiate working on an ad-hoc or contractual basis with their employers. And with the current digital environment booming, there’s no reason why you can’t work from home.
2. The Adventurer
The Adventurer is intent on fulfilling something brave and new that will elevate their sense of wellbeing. They may decide to engage in a new business venture that is completely different to their previous line of work or commit to a personal goal like competing in a sporting event like the Comrades Marathon. Retirement no longer means that you’ve been put out to pasture or are beyond your prime. Rather, it’s finally the opportunity you need to put a long-held dream or aspiration into reality.
3. The Searcher
The Searcher is someone who is set on personal development through introspection. They could take a number of self-help classes or enrichment programmes like cooking or meditation, or make a personal pilgrimage overseas to a country of interest. They may even go back to school and earn that PhD.
4. The Easy glider
The Easy Glider is all set for the go-with-the-flow lifestyle. That is – they’re set to tackle things as they come: one day at a time. This could mean chilling-out at the beach or on the golf course and keeping responsibilities to a minimum. The Easy Gliders are often greater socialisers, so can focus on entertaining and catching-up with friends. Book clubs, bird watching, and other forums where they can find easy-going stimulation, are perfect outlets for them.
5. The Involved Spectator
The Involved Spectator likes to keep busy. They often use their wealth of skills, knowledge and expertise to help and assist others without the expectation of receiving anything in return. This can mean teaching others their skill-set or volunteering their time with charities, organisations or associations.
Your psychological profile
Which retiree role suits you? Are you a clear-cut member of a particular pillar or are you a combination of two or three? Once you have a clear vision of what it is you want to achieve during your retirement, you can go about putting a plan into action. The five P’s can help your transition into the retirement lifestyle.
The five P’s for retirement success
Make sure that you have a fulfilling sense of purpose planned. This will aid in your personal development and give you a sense of identity. Ensure that your intentions are realistic and achievable. Commit to specific goals and deadlines as this will provide you with both direction and motivation.
Decide where you should retire based on your specific needs. Do you need the area to be cost-effective, close to medical facilities or to your family? Location is key so do your homework and be certain that your retirement home can fulfill all your requirements. Estate living has become a great way to facilitate the modern retirement lifestyle due to the fact that it’s safe and secure and offers the retiree plenty of amenities.
Retirement is about nurturing relationships with those we love. Take the time to connect and socialise with your partner, family, friends, neighbours or colleagues. Don’t isolate yourself as this could lead to a reclusive lifestyle, which is how a person can become bored or depressed.
It’s important to take care of one’s physical health during retirement. Make sure that you get plenty of exercise, follow a nutritious diet and make responsible lifestyle choices (like no smoking) that will see you keeping active and healthy.
Finance is an integral part of retirement, so plan ahead by consulting with a financial advisor regarding your retirement portfolio. In this way you can reap the benefits later in life.
The team at Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village is committed to making retirement living a seamless process that people can look forward to and create a happy, new journey with friends and a secure retirement community lifestyle with world-class community, care and medical facilities on your doorstep. Get in touch with our sales office today and make your retirement plan a reality for tomorrow.