Fifteen Questions Retirees Must Respond to for a Fulfilling Retirement


– Incorporating Two Kinds of Retirement

This is primarily a straight talk to retirees and it is true. How do I mean? This piece being products of interaction with quite a number of retirees intends to expose to you certain facts about life in retirement. The essence is to guide aright so that life in retirement can be fulfilling. If you are yet to retire, the piece will also open your understanding to certain realities in retirement. To that extent, knowing what the realities are, you can make amends and equip yourself long before retirement comes.

To the retired(s).There was sure the day you resumed at a place of work. How many years ago was that now? There were many fond memories of your active years that you can very much recall, ditto the remembrance of people you worked with or met along the line, while you were carrying out different assignments in different places. At a time as you grow older and long in employment, you began to dream of the day you would have to leave active work and how wonderful you had imagined the day would be; to be free from the alarm clock, stress and pressure imposed by your daily routine and so your system began to crave for a change and perhaps, a lasting rest. You eventually retired, relative to your imagination prior to your retirement, how would you rate the reality now in retirement?

I was speaking to Mrs Jajalenle recently on issues pertaining to her finances and upkeep in the face of the prolonged down state of the local stock market, seeing that she solely depended on stocks for livelihood. She would have been able to cope much easily were she still in active employment, I had thought but she declined, explaining that shortly before she retired, she was really tired, fed up with the daily routine and terribly wanted to rest. She had preferred rest to whatever the pay packet was every month. She aspired greatly to own her time as much as herself irrespective of what her finances might be or not. To her, the day of freedom – retirement – finally came. To Mrs J, she knew precisely what she wanted, her mind was made and she was psychologically prepared. In reality today, she isn’t really as buoyant as she used to be financially but she isn’t complaining- she has no regrets. Just like Mrs J, how well have you achieved your purposes of retirement now that the reality is dawn?

Two Types of Retirement:

There are voluntary and forced kinds of retirement. Voluntary retirement is when the retiree knew well ahead before the due date. At that, he or she was probably able to plan and in some cases, the retiree is sent-off formally with good enough compensations. The flip side of this is when there is an abrupt end to the work life. In other words, it is when the retirement is sudden. Some might prefer suggesting that retrenchment could better describe such scenario but I prefer retirement because there are certain ages when someone becomes unemployable after losing a job, at that, such fellows are plunged or forced into retirement. Whatever the kind- voluntary or compelled, now that you are retired, how are you feeling, what’s your state and where do you see yourself, going forward? Your response might be in the affirmative, the contrary might also be the case. Truth is that you are the way you are at retirement because you may have taken one of two roads. Let’s see together. Where and how you will be, subsequently in retirement, would also be your making. Are you long in retirement or you are just disengaging? I will show you certain realities in a jiffy.

Forced Retirement:

On the first road; the possibility, particularly, when retirement is not probably prepared for, seen ahead or when it comes suddenly, is to feel lost and without a purpose every morning in retirement. A fellow who thought still having about five or more years of active work life but suddenly found self out of employment, and knowing that he or she is no longer employable might wake up every morning in retirement to nothing and just be blank on what else life holds. This abrupt lack of what to do might lead to frustration and disenchantment about life in its entirety which might lead to insomnia and general loss of focus on anything. Abnormal weight gain in some and weight loss might result in many being part of repercussions of forced retirement. I know someone that resulted, at an immediate period, to spending the whole day watching African Magic or home videos just to keep life on. Since medical sciences believe that laughter is good to relieve the body and sooth the nerves, I know someone that is permanently glued to comedy video and cartoon network very much like a kid.

Voluntary Retirement:

The second road which often results from voluntary retirement most times, do get retirees busily working at a lot of different tasks or volunteering. In the real sense, this often occurs contrary to the original plans. Realistically, retirement, when properly planned for, should immediately ease the retiree of the previous routine but the process of moving on gracefully and gallantly, do often subtly lead to being overwhelmed by the amount of work available to be done or tasks to be achieved. In most cases, this scenario often occurs when the retiree essentially exchanges previous job for the new busy work in order not to get rotten at retirement. In a nutshell, some retirees do find themselves in more challenging and busier schedule when they ought to be resting.

The Ideal Retirement Life:

There is a third road, though and many people are taking a journey down this path. This is the route of having gloriously transited into retirement with a plan; retirement on this route do know that there will be deviations from the plan but they do have a good idea of what they want to achieve in retirement. The plan is a framework for their life and it‘s a way of transitioning from a life that they know into the unknown.  The plan makes this time of transition mostly comfortable as much as it also prevents the feeling of being overwhelmed or without purpose.

Hello, your period in retirement can be fulfilling and pleasant so long as you can still read and write; so long as you are not tied down in any form of ailment or incapacitated in any way. The following questions can help make your living in retirement better.

  1. What have you always desired to do that the workload and schedule while in active employment never allowed? Can you do those things now?  If not, why not? Write the reasons down as you also note them.
  2. Do you want to still work? If so, what kind of work and why? Relative to availability and capacity, how would you describe yourself? Write them down. Do you have any form of investment aside from your pension savings? Please note them.
  3. What talents, experiences and stories do you have that you can share with others? How well have you done these? Please write them out.
  4. Where do you want to live? Is it realistic to still remain where you had lived till the point of retirement or it would be better to move? What are the factors responsible? Please pencil all these factors down sincerely.
  5. What do you enjoy doing and how can you do that activity more often?
  6. How often do you exercise and what kind? Aren’t you too busy now for such or you simply thought it’s a waste of time?
  7. What about your family ties? How often do you have your grandchildren around? How well do you relate with them?
  8. What form of social activities are you involved in? Please note these.
  9. Any community engagements? What joy and fulfillment do you derive from such?
  10. Any volunteering efforts? What kind and to what extent? Do you have a foundation or you just felt that setting one will be too costly and that you might not be able to cope with the responsibilities of financing such?
  11. How connected are you to changing technology or you are very much unconcerned?
  12. What about your past associates? Co-workers or subordinates? What are the relationships like?
  13. What about the current structures in force in the places where you once worked? Can you still get things done within the workplace now that you aren’t there anymore? If no, why not?
  14. Any religious activities?
  15. You sure don’t want me to ask this but I’ve got to since it is an integral part of life and retirement planning? When do you hope to die?

The responses to all these questions might not come so easy; you might find troubles putting them down to precision but try as much as possible to carry out these little brain tips as we shall subsequently tackle them on your way to take back the control of your life. Like a friend will always say ‘you have worked a lifetime, and you deserve to live the rest of your life in total happiness’. The discussion continues next week. I’m sure you will be waiting and eager to see what my opinion are on the issues raised. Thanks for being part of the discussions.



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