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Don’t be scared of retiring
By Miranda Kennett
Whether the prospect of giving up work fills you with delight or dread, it’s worth thinking through what you want out of life well before your leaving party.
Your circumstances will be different but the essential you won’t have changed. Your priorities might shift but if you’ve never been keen on hang-gliding, you’re unlikely to take it up now.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR LIFE PARTNER?
Is he or she also retiring? If your partner doesn’t work, how will you get on having 40 or more hours together each week? If you haven’t got someone to share your life with, you may now have time to find that person.
WIND DOWN OR GEAR UP?
If work is a big part of your identity, going part-time or taking a less demanding role could be a good option. Think about the parts of your job you found most satisfying and find something that you enjoy and that lets you add value. If you want a complete change, mentoring, using your skills to help a good cause and consultancy can all be fruitful routes to pursue.
STOP, START, CONTINUE
If you’d prefer to stop work entirely, sort out which elements of your working life you’d like to replicate in your new existence and which you’d prefer to exclude. If the social contact was important to you, make sure you have opportunities to be around others. If problem-solving is what you most enjoy, think about settings that would allow you to do that.
CONFRONT YOUR FEARS
Concerns about money or health are natural. You’ll sleep easier if you’ve worked out worst and best-case scenarios and made provision for both.
APPRECIATE THE GIFT OF TIME
As well as creating your bucket list of things you want to do, consider putting some of your new freedom into enhancing existing relationships.
THERE’S MORE TO LIFE THAN GOLF
Social exercise is the only proven means of delaying senility, so find something to do that gets you moving in company.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
By all means plan, but don’t be surprised if it takes you at least a year to find your new rhythm of life. Life is unlikely to be as you predicted.