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Successfully adapt to Retirement
have to do to prepare yourself for retirement, The most
important things in a happy retirement, Being master of
your own destiny, Finding a new center for your life, the
changes in attitude you need for retirement, How to
"grow" into retirement
is a New Phase in Your Life
that, it is vitally important!
most important. You have
not been thrown away like an old Iron, on
the scrap heap of lost jobs and closing factories! The
adjustment may be a difficult process, but it is one,
that you will have to master, if you want to live a happy
and content life!
still work, you should make a special effort and devote
some time thinking about retirement if you
about retiring during the next five years
to retire early (say either through a
job buy-out scheme) or retire at a young age
Your retirement could be a long
phase of your life. It could last anywhere from
25 to 40 years or more. Therefore spending a little time
on what you want to do and how you want to live during
this period is not a luxury.
if you have started your retirement, you should sit
back and assess where you want to go mentally, or
even physically. Sit down and define what you want to do
with the free time you have suddenly at your disposal.
Some of the things you might think about, could be to
you have always wanted to do in life before
work and responsibility for all sorts of things
took hold over you. If you are financially able
to do it, plan the life you want! With financial
limits, do what you can within your means. The
key is to enjoy what you want to do!
same effort about planning your future physical,
emotional, and spiritual needs as you did when
you planned your financial needs.
you think would be
a successful life: Your own version of
success! Find a way to live that. The
limitations which you inevitably face, will be a
new mental challenge!
Life without pain! When you
do something, look at how it enhances your life.
Don't do things at the expense of someone else,
but rather in a generally harmonic environment.
should be a time of true joy and happiness. But
even for happiness you have to work!
Maybe not physically, but mentally. You have to
discover your own special purpose in life and try
to live out your passions. Work is no longer
giving you a purpose in life, you have to find
that new purpose!
is the work you have to put into living to create
happiness for yourself!
Factors that will make for a successful Retirement
These factors have been proven to reveal,
how likely it is that someone can build a happy and
personally successful lifestyle in their later years. The
more directly a person addresses these factors the better
his/her chances of having a successful retirement. These
15 retirement success factors are:
beginning of your retirement, your life has
centered around work. Now you have left that
part of your life and you have to re-direct
yourself. Your personal
identity is no longer linked to your
working life or the position you
held or what you did. It now stands on its
own, totally unsupported! You have entered a new
phase of your life, that requires new directions
and new points of
identification with yourself and with society at
requires a change in attitude. Your
style of life and your routines will be almost
completely determined by yourself and your
immediate family surrounding. There is no longer
the "straight-jacket" of work
and of a job that you can use to justify actions
or inaction! Retirement means,
you are on your own!
directness of being Master of your own
Destiny requires an ability to
make decisions for yourself.You have to
rely on your own sense of values and of
personal guidance for making decisions for your
life. Obviously, you still have to co-ordinate
your actions with those close to you. This
ability to make independent decisions, has far
the most important aspect of being master of
your own destiny is a Self Assessment
of your Situation. Write down your
Strengths and Concerns about your own
retirement situation. These should include at the
subjective assessment and
appraisal of your health and
the current condition of your overall
wellness. This should be your own
feeling. See a doctor and have a thorough
check up, if you think you need it. But
most important is how you feel about
subjective assessment of your financial
position and your financial security.
This is key to your long term
survival and to your peace of mind. You
cannot plan your retirement life style,
if you are financially "in the
dark". So, get your "spreadsheet"
out, add all your monthly income
streams and add all your monthly
expenditure, then deduct one from
the other and see what you have left over
every month! Do that on a regular basis.
Good order and discipline makes for
yourself about how old you feel you are.
Your own perception of age
is an important factor. This
should include some thoughts about your
emotional and physical maturity. Write
it down, you will remember things
that are important in determining your
vitality and the satisfaction you want to
gain from your retired life. also look at
your personal growth. This should not
stop when you retire, maybe it is the
first time in your life that you have
time for yourself!
do not want to denigrate the spiritual
side of life. The meaning of
life is not in this
position, because we thought, it was of
lesser importance. Whether you are
religious or not, an assessment of your own
personal meaning of life is a key element
in your search for a life
direction in retirement. You should look
for things that offer you a driving
purpose and provide you with a deep sense
might make a summary of your self
assessment that one could describe as
your own current satisfaction with
Life. It should indicate
the degree to which you believe you have
achieved contentment and peace at this
stage in your life
|Once you have completed your Self
Assessment and reflected on it, you can
proceed to determine what your future should look
like! You might think that all these steps are
tedious, since you "already know what you
want: To play golf or dance away the night, every
day.........for the next 50 years
after you get tired with golf and arthritis
prevents you from dancing away the night? So
follow through, and you will feel better about
with some thoughts about your future
satisfaction of life. Write down
what you expect in terms of future personal
success, achievement, contentment, and peace.
Your goals in life may be small achievements, but
they are important to you. Don't try to run after
goals that are from the past. You live in the "here
and now" and what satisfies
your life now is important.
be some aspects that you inevitably have to
consider in your quest for happiness. You have
and had relationships and probably a family in
your life. Thus the degree to which you might
still have dependents
(even grown sons and daughters may become
dependent in our pretty insecure world!) is a key
issue. You might have escaped the sense of burden
that aging parents can bring. Whatever your
situation, think about it.
can be a great source of strength. You can get
great satisfaction from feeling connected and
wanted, from the sense of love and togetherness
and from a close family life in general. You will
be one lucky person, if that is the case. On the
other hand, family members can also be a source
of continuos stress and unhappiness. Learn to
arrange yourself in a way that you will get
satisfaction and contentment from life within
your family. This sometimes takes a considerable
effort, but learn it. To achieve
a good relationship, if you do not have one
already, is true personal growth!
relationship you will have in your retirement
with your partner in life,
your wife, husband or life partner, is a key
element in your happiness. Strangely enough, even
if you are not married any longer, or have never
been married, the aspect of a close relationship
to another person is important. Few human beings
are solitary animals and most yearn for the
closeness to another human being. Some find
solace in caring for a dog or a cat. It is the
element of caring that is the important issue
here. Whatever you will be doing, include the
demands of such a relationship and nurture it
carefully. Build on the foundations you have!
have appraised your position, you can then look
at issues like your leisure interests.
These may include activities that you could
never pursue during your working life or they are
activities which you keenly followed and became
expert in. Keep the activities you enjoy
and those that maintain your body and spirit
the aspects that make for a healthy and enjoyable
retired life require a great deal of personal
flexibility and adaptability from
you. You might have to consciously learn that.
Again, this is real personal growth
and attractive Personal Appearance is
important. Many retired people appear to have a
problem with that. Once they stop working,
personal attire starts to suffer. But clothes and
general appearance are an expression of your
inner self. Keep your weight within reasonable
limits. If you gain weight, see that you lose it
again. Without pills and other "gobbledygook".
A fitness club might help, but even more help is
"portion control and organized meals"
at fixed times. As a retiree, you should gain
respect. Yet, you do not have a right for respect
because of your age. You will gain respect, if
you are nice and courteous, well dressed and
successful replacement and transformation of functions
associated with your working life, such
as ordered time management, the socialization
aspect, having a purpose in life. following a set
of predetermined activities by a net set of
goals, behavior and activities is the key of a
successful transformation into retirement.
Some people might
think that we created a self centered
retirement monster with our suggestions.
Similarly, some people might imply that we are addressing
the affluent retiree, with a large pension and
significant wealth. Nothing could be further from the
truth. The problems are the same, whether you are
affluent or a poor retiree, making do with a minimal
social security pension. If you are the latter, you might
not have some of the choices. Whether poor or affluent,
in order for a successful transition from a working life
to retirement, the person has primarily to concentrate on
his/her own capabilities. The surrounding environment may
help, and close personal and understanding relationships
will make any transition easier. In the end, it
is the retiree, who has to initiate and maintain the
changes to create a happy and content life for himself
and his surrounding.
If this page helps a person to pinpoint
the areas where he/she has to focus their attention when
planning for retirement, then it has fulfilled its
How much do you know about Retirement?
While we were working on this page, one of
our "retired employees" (i.e. a
retiree who enjoys working with us) found the
questionnaire below and gave it to us. We do not know who
generated it and have no other data except the copyright
notice on the bottom. Naturally, we acknowledge the
copyright. We thought, it is a useful contribution
towards improving knowledge about retirement.
To complete the survey (it is just for
your own enjoyment!), you have to answer the questions
with True or False.
Just to make you feel better, most of the people in our
office got most of the answers wrong!
workers slow down and become less productive the
closer they get to retirement.
Generally the closer people get to their
retirement the more apt they are to resist it.
who direct their lives themselves do better in
retirement than those who let others make their
decisions for them.
who are healthy when they retire generally
continue in good health well into their
average income of retirees has declined in the
last decade due to high rates of inflation.
you're happy now before you retire, chances are
you'll be happy when you do retire.
half the people in retirement report being
chronically depressed, lonely, and/or sad.
find a more difficult emotional adjustment into
retirement than do women.
most personally satisfied retirees are those who
have hobbies, activities, "causes", or
active leisure pursuits.
People who are opinionated and somewhat rigid in
their thinking do better in retirement because
they know what they want.
People who reminisce a lot tend not to do well in
a person has others who are dependent upon
him/her either financially or emotionally, they
tend to retire earlier rather than later.
happy marriage/special relationship equals a
people retire because they feel themselves
of the best ways to genuinely enjoy your
retirement is to find suitable replacements for
what your job formerly gave you in the way of
|1) F 2) F
3) T 4) T 5) F 6) T 7) F 8) F
9) T 10) F 11) F 12) F 13) T 14) F 15) T
© 2001 Richard P.