When I ask if you are built for retirement I’m not talking about the obvious that usually comes to mind which is the financial aspect. I’m talking about everything else.
DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF
Do you really know yourself, know if you’re a person who can be retired? I decided to write about this because I was recently speaking with a former coworker and she asked the same question I heard so often the last year I worked ‘are you sure you want to retire? What are you going to do?’ This is something that never crossed my mind, I have so many activities and interests to keep me busy, I couldn’t wait to get started.
THOSE THAT CAN’T
There are people who can’t picture themselves retired, take the decision, plan for it. Two people come to mind, two gentlemen that used to work in the same building where I worked. One of these gentlemen worked in what they called the warehouse, this is where the loading dock for this building was located and where they received all shipments. The warehouse personnel were also responsible for some of the minor repairs that were required like installing keyboard trays, and the such. He was such a nice man, was 72 when I left, and said he would never leave, couldn’t envisage what he would do if he wasn’t working that particular job.
WHAT DOES ‘BEING RETIRED’ MEAN TO YOU
It means different things to different people, some define it by when they will start receiving some type of financial income like a pension, some define it by not working anymore. For me it meant leaving a trade that had been my career for the better part of 25 years, enjoying the freedom of travelling and now studying internet marketing. I will probably ‘work’ again, but never full time, plus I now have the option of doing something I really enjoy.
IT STARTS WITH PRE-RETIREMENT PLANNING
Preparing for retirement should begin even before you leave your work, I took 2 pre-retirement courses during my public service career: one within the first 5 years of joining the public service, and one 5 years before leaving my position. It is actually recommended that you take an additional course at the mid-point of your career. The course covered every important aspect including financial stability, health insurance, a will, mental preparedness.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RETIREMENT
The psychology of retirement, such an important topic, making sure you have prepared and are ready to deal with what it means to be retired. Are you going to be happy with your life, or will you feel isolated because your social life centered around your coworkers. Do you have enough interests, hobbies to keep you busy and fulfilled or will you feel a lack of purpose.
I’m providing links to a few studies and articles that I myself have read and that are a great source of information for anyone who is preparing for retirement, or even those who are already retired.
Retiring Minds Want to Know from the American Psychological Association
Are you psychologically ready to retire from Psychology Today.
The Retirement Syndrome, the psychology of letting go.
Behavioral and Psychologial Aspects of the Retirement Decision, Social Security Administration (US).