How to Manage Retirement Disillusionment


Mini-Series – How to Manage Retirement Disillusionment


Retirement is an event many people eagerly look forward to, throughout their working phase of life. However, when it comes, it often transforms itself into a dragon ready to devour the happiness out of those who yearned for it. It is all too easy to feel a sort of vacuum immediately after retirement, and to fall into a state of low self-esteem. If you are developing a sense of redundancy about yourself in retirement and feel that your skills are going to waste, it will not be long before a feeling of alienation from society and a sense of loss at not being able to use the skills you used to be respected for creeps in.

This is no way to treat your retirement. Retirement is an important transition, an important event in life that calls for celebration. So, how do you handle this transformation?

Step 1

Treat retirement as an everyday occurrence. Suppose you retire at the age of 60 years old. Look back over the previous sixty years and ask yourself if you have not already been doing some things that had an element of “retiring” attached to them. Don’t you retire every day, at the end of the day for sleep? Looked at in this way, you have sixty years of experience retiring in some way, every day of your life. And, when you get up each day it is a chance to celebrate a new day, a new outlook on life, and to find renewed energy to make a difference in the world. There is always opportunity for change and redirection. Similarly, your retirement from a job is not an end but a transition; it is a transition from one phase of your life to a new and, with your agreement and effort, a better phase for you, both intellectually and spiritually. As such, it is a definite cause for celebration.

Step 2

Don’t feel like you’re ‘less’ a person because you aren’t working. Retirement does not make you a lesser person: You remain a highly skill- and talent-endowed person with skill sets that have grown over the many years and that have provided you with many achievements throughout the tenure of your employment or business life. When you retire, you still have those skill sets. You can now use them whenever you want, at the time you want, and in the place you want. From an employee, your status can suddenly transform to that of being an entrepreneur. That means that your skills and professional abilities are as valuable as when you were in employment, and you are your own boss and decision maker, not a follower. That’s a huge positive!

…. More next week

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