Hi, it’s Dr Denise Taylor down in my wood, surrounded by trees, looking at the trees on the cover of my book, and I’m going through some of the chapters and bringing it alive because it’s me, the author, talking about them. 

There’s a previous video where I talk about the introduction and part one, reflecting. Part two is review.

We are reviewing key aspects of your retirement life. The first chapter is really important because so many people, they don’t know what to do after working, so they just carry on. Then I meet them when they are 75 or 80 and they have regrets that they didn’t ever review whether what they were doing was the right thing for the person that they are at that stage, rather than the person when they were 30 or 50 etc.

So, it’s why we work, and filling the gap, and about different types of work that you can do, different styles of work that you could do. You could continue, but you continue because you want to, and you’ve thought about it, not because you can’t think of anything else.

It might be you want bridge employment. You’ve taken some time out and you want to get a job, but you don’t really want a very stressful job. So, you do a low paid, probably low skilled job.

Maybe you want to start on your own business. Maybe it’s less about earning money and more about involvement with charities or voluntary work, but we’re thinking about how you’re going to fill the gap. And of course, there’s leisure activities as well.  I just love being able to come and spend the time in the wood. So that’s the first chapter.

And then chapter six is about health and wellbeing. I think it’s as we get older; we realize how important our health is and however, we’ve lived a life up until the day we read this chapter, it’s what can I do now? What are some tiny changes that I can make to eat a bit better, sleep a bit better, have less stress in my life, have better ways of coping with my stress. So, it’s health and wellbeing because wellness is key. 

We then talk about relationships and getting you to think about relationships. The first one is the relationship with yourself. Then thinking about the relationships with your partner, with your parents, with your children, with wider society, with your friends.

A lot of people don’t have any friends when they come to retire. Indeed, when I left my marriage, I didn’t have any friends either. We were a very insular sort of couple. We knew people, but I don’t think any of them were really my friends, just people that I said hello to. It’s sad when I look back, but I have friendships now. So, we’re looking at relationships.

Then there’s a chapter about financial wellbeing. I wasn’t going to put finances in at all because my work is about the non-financial aspects. But I think there’s a psychology about money and about what we think of it. So that’s a useful chapter,

Then we get on to part three, Renew. Finding meaning and the new you in retirement.  I talk about things like meaning, mattering, and generativity. I guess most people have thought about meaning and purpose, but mattering … it’s like, how do we matter without our job? And it ties in with our identity.

Then generativity. It’s one of Ericsons stages of life – Generativity v stagnation. One of the good things about aging well is about thinking about the wider society and looking at the world beyond us.  And so, we’re covering all of those. This is where I d give you examples about the people that I have the in-depth interviews with.

And we finish with chapter 12 with Who am I? Are you thinking who you are?  And the final, final chapter, the new you, are the you, you want to be? There are some really interesting things in here. And we’re reviewing, we’re going back to where you were before and you learn from some of the people, that I’ve interviewed.

Let’s just get to the last chapter. The new you. It’s to review your journey, to reflect on how much we’ve learned and how far we’ve come.

I think that’s something that we all need, to take some time for reflection and make sure that the person we are now is the person that we want to be.  The final exercise is to look at your life 25 years into the future.

And in fact, I’m going to do that as a separate video because I’m five minutes on.  Anyway, till next time, it’s Dr. Denise. Bye bye.