We all dream of the day we will no longer have to get up and go to work. When 60-year-old Cathy retired, she found out that she was one of many people who forgot to plan for the emotional change and the loss of identity that can happen after retiring. Prepare for your retirement using Cathy’s tips below.After working as an Administration Manager at a University for 18 years, Cathy decided to retire. She looked forward to having time to spend with her daughter and grandchildren. She had many little projects to complete around the house and garden. “I was worn out. Big changes were planned with new systems rolling out and I thought, ‘Do I really want to do this again’? The answer was no”. Cathy retired 2 years ago. The first few months flew as she worked her way through all the projects and visited her daughter regularly. “Then it hit me. I was having a coffee at home when I realised I had nothing to do that day. All the little jobs were done. I had already seen my daughter and grandchildren twice that week. I realised I could end up sitting there looking at four walls all day. And I could live for another 30 years! It was a shock. I had a bit of an emotional crisis”. Cathy realised she had to find a way to avoid the inevitable loneliness and boredom. “I knew it was up to me. No one was coming to rescue me. I needed an action plan”. Cathy had planned the financial side of her retirement thoroughly. “I realised that we tend to plan the financial side very carefully. But it had not crossed my mind to plan for all the free time I would have on my hands. Many of my friends also said they were caught out with the same problem”. Cathy decided to create some new projects – BIG projects that inspired her. “ I wanted to write a book about my family emigrating from England to Australia in the late 1800’s. Now that my Grandmother was gone, I didn’t want the family stories she told me to get lost”. This led to a huge project researching her family tree. She also joined the local over 50’s gym and took classes twice a week with group coffee afterwards. She decided to help out at her grandchild’s school with reading groups one morning a week. Cathy called two of her retired friends and invited them to see an exhibition that was showing at a local art gallery. This became a regular outing and has grown to include more people. They visit craft shows, markets and movies. “I love retirement! There are so many lovely things to do. Being retired is now fabulous – I highly recommend it to all!” Cathy’s tips for preparing for retirement:
- Start some hobbies that you have always wanted to do.
- Catch up with old friends or make some new friends of the same age as your social circle will shrink when you retire.
- Think about volunteering. This could include overseas volunteering. As a retiree, you have a lot to contribute.
- Bring yourself up to speed with technology. Smartphones, streaming services like Netflix, Email, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and are all helpful tools.
- Find free things to do in your home city or town. Start your search well before you retire.