The focus of many people’s retirement planning is on their finances, but it is equally important to think about the day-to-day realities of life after work.  The Legal and General in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service have published a Rough Guide to Retirement.

“Retirement may conjure up images of relaxation, travel and spending more time with friends and family, but the reality can be quite different. Some people find that their identity is tied up with their old job or career. This can be felt as a “loss” even if you were looking forward to retirement. It can be more even significant if retirement has been forced on you through ill health or redundancy. There is a chance you may feel isolated without the daily contact with colleagues, and you may struggle to fill your new-found free time. This can be a problem if finances are stretched. By planning ahead and thinking about the specific challenges you will face, you will be in a better position to manage this transition.”

The loss of a career can result in a loss of structure and many find the move from a structured working day to unfettered free time difficult to manage. Research carried during the Covid -19 lockdown highlighted that those who had a structured day had improved mental health and well-being.

Challenge Age is a personal development programme for adults 50+ to promote well-being (physical and mental), positive lifestyles, retirement preparation or new employment outcomes. It is about ageing positively, gaining new skills and social networks. We have designed the programme so that adults 50+ can explore new life options as part of the programme. It is important to keep the mind and the body active during retirement but this needs to be planned for in a structured way. In addition, the loss of career can also result in greater social isolation and so reaching out safely to new networks where there are shared interests is encouraged on the programme. The Rough Guide to retirement recommends:

  • Set activities for each day: These should include regular “chores” as well as hobbies and interests
  • Keep your body and brain active: Learn a new skill, join a sports club or sign up for evening or day classes.
  • Set weekly and monthly goals.
  • Differentiate between weekdays and weekends.
  • Share your knowledge: There may be opportunities to share the skills and expertise you have gained through your working life.
  • Continue working: Consider a part-time or volunteer position.