What is Retirement?
In today’s fast-paced world retirement is constantly being redefined but at the heart of it all it has to do with allowing you more control over the most important elements of your life.
Which are those you may ask?
In many people’s minds – including authors of multiple books on retirement – it centers on “enough money and a place to call home”.
However, somewhere around three months into retirement the reality starts to dawn that it is much more and encompasses a number of interrelated components, i.e. your
– passions and how you see your purpose – basically “who you are”
– relationship with your partner and others
– wellbeing and all aspects of health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social
– hobbies, relaxation and creativity
– social and related matters
– home and related aspects
– “unsung songs and time-buried treasures”.
Retirement is thus a life-changing transition that you must take control of, and since the only retirement is a purposeful one you purposefully need to replace your earlier workplace structure with one that supports your retirement.
I have witnessed firsthand how family and friends negotiated their transition into retirement with varying degrees of success and failure given the above parameters. Some turned hermitic, shutting themselves off from earlier friends. Others became restless and frustrated whilst the remainder settled somewhere between quiet acceptance and transitioning easily into their rhythm and stride around 18 months into this phase.