Entering a period of retirement there are many different views.

Some people have got jaded by their work and can’t wait to leave.

Others have it forced up on them, they are perhaps a partner in a consultancy firm and it’s written that they leave at 60.

Others will feel the time is right, the work is becoming physically demanding or they no longer want to be operating at such a high level. They need change.

And retirement is what they choose.

The need for a plan

Some will have spent time thinking this through, creating a plan, making a smooth transition. They have plans of what they want to do, beyond the initial first year holiday/decorating period.

Others will feel lost, and even those with a plan can feel lost as the plan wasn’t right for them.

They have all this time. Whilst time can easily be filled, it is more difficult to think of things that nurture people’s soul.

The lack of a routine can be disconcerting – without work for some they lack a reason to get up, tasks take so much longer, every day is like a weekend.

Who am I without my job?

What is my identity if I can no longer say I’m an accountant, project manager, senior mechanic?

Am I now a permanent unpaid babysitter or do I now take on all responsibility for my elderly parents.

Am I now old?

Do people see me in a different way? And not as a wise elder but as an ‘older person’ with less value

It is worth taking time to take stock. Who am I now?  

That’s one of the areas I cover in my book – Rethinking Retirement for Positive Ageing. It’s worth taking time to work through the activities in the book. 

Chapter 3 gets you to take stock of your life in a number of areas: health, work, interests, finances, views of ageing and views on retirement and relationships (including the relationship with yourself)

Chapter 4 takes you through a review of your personality and wider psychological factors.

We need to understand our current position and then we can make plans and changes to suit ourselves … we can all have a successful retirement and later life – we just need to define what it is for us.

Can I be of help – for you or for your employees? Happy to discuss.

Dr Denise Taylor has been involved in retirement planning for almost 40 years. At 64 she gained her doctorate having researched how people find meaning in life after full-time work. To share this widely her latest book – Rethinking Retirement for Positive Ageing is now on sale, published by Routledge.

Dr Denise is a Chartered Psychologist, and also a wilderness rites of passage guide combining her interest in transitions and ritual with a love of nature. Beyond her work she gains great fulfilment through owning a private wood.