Preparing for Retirement Part 3 – What Will I Do?


Preparing for Retirement

As a recent retiree, Bill Storie, Founder of Olderhood, examines the factors of your current lifestyle that you CAN change as you approach “R-Day” …  and the factors you probably CAN’T.

Part 3 – What will I do … ?

This is probably the most asked question by people approaching retirement.

The idea that a hectic life of work and commuting and trying to fit in family life all comes to a screeching halt scares many people. It needn’t be like that, but it is.

Apart from the self-employed, who typically have to work out for themselves what to do each day, most of us follow the pattern of doing what the employer wants. Sometimes we are part of the strategy of course, but by and large, we are told what to do. Yes of course we complain bitterly at times that we can’t stand being TOLD … but we do it nonetheless

The absence of instruction is a notion that most people look forward to with satisfaction and enthusiasm …….. until it happens. All of a sudden, there is no-one to speak to, to report to, to report to you, to ask, to complain, to whine to, to shout at. Nothing. Gone.

  • “I don’t have to get on that damned train at 6.45 every morning to get to      work.”
  • “I won’t miss my fellow travelers one little bit”
  • “And as for that cynical bunch at work, good riddance.”

It is NOT an easy transition regardless of what people say. It is not an easy transition for most people to grasp – until it happens to them. Only when the reality of solitude kicks in does the transition really begin to bite.

“OK, so I won’t like it. I hear you. So what do I do about it to prepare..?”

The first thing is to recognize that in all probability it will happen to you. The sooner you appreciate that the better.

“I’m busier than I have ever been”. Even if you stack up things to do when you retire, there will still, unfortunately, be a sense of void in your life. The void cannot be avoided.

Relax. This too shall pass.

No matter how hard you try to design and start a new routine, it will be difficult to adjust to. Fear not. The routine you planned before R-Day, will rarely work out that way. The routine you start in week 1 of retirement will rarely be the same routine in week 30. So what..?

This is for the rest of your life – so calm down and adjust. Let me say that again………. this is for the REST of your LIFE. No-one controls but you. You decide. You design your lifestyle. You make adjustments as needs be.

And if you change your mind every week, in order to get it right, so be it. You are navigating this ship. There are no passengers to ask, or accommodate, or please. This is a one-man show. You are captain and crew. Get used to it.

  1. Be calm about this. It will work out.
  2. If you keep changing your mind that’s OK – it’s your mind.

In a later part of this Series, we’ll address some things to do.

Next week Part 4 – Family Life

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