Psychology of Retirement: Fundamentals of True Retirement

As I got set to write just a couple of days ago, I called on my ten year old daughter and asked if she knew the meaning of the term retirement. Her response sure met my expectations as she succinctly gave the answer in her own words- ‘Daddy, retirement is when you have worked for many years and you are now old and you can’t work effectively anymore and you have to leave’. I didn’t ask her any further questions because the simple experiment yielded so fast a result so much that arriving at a conclusion wasn’t an issue. I could deduce from my baby’s response that most of us only know the basic or elementary definition of retirement while the real meaning still largely eludes us hence, we either often do not see the need to start the plan early or don’t all till age catches up. The need therefore to discuss the real meaning of retirement cannot be overemphasised perhaps if we know well enough; we would have to ensure that we work towards it.


  • Retirement Means Rest Of The Body And The Mind After Long Sessions Of Hard Work

    : Have you ever bothered to listen? Try do so now and you will see that there’s a direct relationship between the heartbeat of a man and the tickling of the clock. I guess the horologist in telling the story of the clock would relate it with the beating of the heart and as the accuracy of a clock diminishes with time, so is the state of man in body and soul. In other words, there would definitely come a time when the law of diminishing marginal utility applies to life, that’s the point to retire whether you are in active employment or in your personal business for if you fail to do so, your system may cave in without repairs and retirement not only enforced but spent in taking care of one ailment or the other. Give up the job, rest when your body system tells you so even if you still have quite a number of years to work officially. Truth is that you need not wait till your employer tells or prompt you. For your information, retirement can come at the age of forty or at sixty relative to the dictate of your body system. To this end, retirement to my mind is taking the step to rest the body and the mind in order to prolong life. For most of us in active employment and business, taking a cue from myself, rest seems not to be in our agenda. For example, I had put in about twenty years of active work life in employment and my personal business yet without a single month of enough rest. In other words, my body just like my mind had been actively engaged day and night. It isn’t that I haven’t gone on leave per se but did I really rest? The answer is ‘NO’ as most of us would often go on leave as a form of rest from certain activities in order to fully engaging ourselves in others. Retirement is thus that period when we on our own had chosen to take a permanent rest for the body and the soul but note here that retirement is not in any way a period for idling, gossip or sleep from morning till night doing absolutely nothing.


  • Retirement Means Freedom: Retirement is the period when you have the freedom to do all that you intend to do, the way you want those things done and in your own way. I don’t know where you live but those of us in Lagos can narrate our experiences in traffic everyday as you either move around to work, back home, going for a meeting on appointment and even in the distribution of one item or the other. Retirement is the period when you no longer have to compulsorily meet that appointment at the exact time you have to but can be free to schedule and reschedule meetings and appointments to create that conveniences for yourself. You might still maintain an office at retirement but surely not the type to resume at eight in the morning and close at six in the evening but the type you may choose to be twice a week spending just few hours. You might still be involved in one form of business activities or the other but the type you would spend time to read reports and give meaningful advice after thorough considerations and not the type where you have to lead the decision making process. At retirement for example, you might have to relinquish your managing directorship to take up a non-executive chairmanship seat even on the board of your own company. You may even have to choose a trusted person to act as the chairman while you quit to rest though with regular reports. Retirement is the freedom to choose where you want to live not the one imposed by place of work or business, what you want to do, how to do it, want to be, when and how and indeed, retirement is the freedom to be yourself. From personal experience, our type of work had directly or indirectly over the years imposed on us different kind of identities that seem different from our real persons. Retirement is when you have the liberty to be who you want to be. It is the time to live life in full.


  • Retirement is living the Full Life: You would have noted that we all during our active work lives have to share our mind and body to be different things and on different issues that need our attentions and because we have our different abilities and limitations, we are either not very effective or even in some cases fail. Retirement is the period to live life in full. To some of us, our work lives often take us away from our families. There are children who don’t have enough attentions and care from their parents, not necessarily because the parents are irresponsible but because the nature of work would not just permit. I’m tempted to think that most marriages that end in divorce is not necessarily because the couples aren’t compatible but for the nature of work because we do sometimes devote the whole of our being to our job than is required to the detriment of so many other issues of our life. Retirement is the time to be the real husband or wife and parents though your children might be old enough and might have left the house to settle on their own but then, I guess retirement would enable you assist your children in the upbringing of their own family and become good parents to them too. In other words, if you weren’t particularly an available mother or dad in your active work life owing to pressures, retirement makes the room for you to be an available grandmother and granddad. Mr Mba was about seventy when I visited him with my wife about eleven years ago. I think that was just a week or two after our wedding. I still recall today his few words though I doubted him very much then. He advised that the two of us should have our best time before kids begin to come for challenges of having to take care of kids and our businesses might impose certain restrictions in our passion for ourselves as husband and wife until all the kids are grown and leave the house. Ten years after, Mr Mba had been proven right because particularly in the last few years, I’ve had to work more outside of leaving my family behind. Even when in , I spend an average of twelve hours running my business so how much hours do I have left to run the home considering the fact that I still have to sleep? I thus look forward to life in retirement when I can take my wife along with me to everywhere I go. When we can both visit our kids wherever they might be and counsel them based on our experiences. The true meaning of retirement is the opportunity to live life to the fullest, living the fulfilled life.


  • Retirement Means Life Reflection; Time To Share, Impact And Impart Others: Though I do review my life on daily basis yet, I have discovered that I’m often beclouded by my current dispositions- my busy schedule, the need to make urgent decisions for immediate action and such. I hope soon for a life of retirement because I’m so sure there would be ample time to reflect not only on my daily life but my entire life. I hope to see the opportunities missed, challenges and how I emerge victorious as well as mistakes and precisions of my life. Can I really amend all? Definitely not because I’m not re-living life all over again but there are few of those issues that life at retirement would still give me room to correct but much more than correcting them, life at retirement should the stepping stones for others. Retirement is the time to benefit the society and people around with what opportunities God had granted you. It is the time to share, time to impact and impart and time to make a change and improve on the achievements of the past. Retirement is the culmination of life experiences.

Need I tell you more? Retirement is an integral part of our life that we can’t afford to dismiss or ignore. It’s got to be planned for just as we plan for our children school fees, plan for it as we plan to establish a new business.

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