Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - ARTS ENTERTAINMENT -

Most peo­ple take time to ad­just to re­tire­ment.

A job pro­vides not just money but life­style, self-im­age, pur­pose and friend­ships.

For those who have turned an in­ter­est, hobby or pas­sion into a ca­reer, a job is a means of per­sonal ful­fil­ment and cre­ative ex­pres­sion.

Re­sponses to re­tire­ment for each per­son, and de­pend a lot on the rea­sons for leav­ing the work­force.

For ex­am­ple, a per­son who care­fully planned for their re­tire­ment is more likely to feel pos­i­tive about it, while a per­son who is forced into early re­tire­ment due to re­dun­dancy or ill­ness may find it harder to cope with the tran­si­tion.

If you’re un­sure about whether or not to re­tire, it may help to take long ser­vice leave or ex­tended un­paid leave to give re­tire­ment liv­ing a trial run.

Step­ping down the num­ber of days you work from five to four, and so on, may make for a more suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion into re­tire­ment.

Plan your post-work life­style. Some peo­ple look for­ward to re­tire­ment as an ex­tended hol­i­day where they can fi­nally slow down and ‘smell the roses’.

Other peo­ple ex­pect to have a busier, more ac­tive life than when they were work­ing.

In Vic­to­ria, the life ex­pectancy for women is around 83 years and for men, 77 years.

If you leave work at 65, for ex­am­ple, you could ex­pect be­tween 12 and 18 years (at least) of re­tire­ment. How are you plan­ning to live those years?

It is im­por­tant to con­sider the kind of life­style you want be­fore you re­tire and start to make plans, and even im­ple­ment some of them, be­fore you leave work.

Fi­nan­cial is­sues. Con­sult with your fi­nan­cial plan­ner, ac­coun­tant or sim­i­lar to work out the fi­nan­cial is­sues of re­tire­ment. Some of the fac­tors to con­sider in­clude; The size of your su­per­an­nu­a­tion nest egg, Other sav­ings and as­sets, Whether you have any de­pen­dants,

If you are plan­ning to con­tinue work­ing part-time or not, Your el­i­gi­bil­ity for pen­sions or part-pen­sions.

Fi­nan­cial op­tions if you or your part­ner fall ill and The kind of re­tire­ment life­style you’re an­tic­i­pat­ing.

Emo­tional is­sues. At first re­tire­ment can feel like a hol­i­day and the ini­tial phase is of­ten re­ferred to as the ‘hon­ey­moon’ pe­riod.

You can sleep in, catch up on read­ing or hob­bies, and spend more time with fam­ily and friends.

How­ever, once this ‘hon­ey­moon’ pe­riod wears off, you may feel down or de­pressed.

Our vo­ca­tion forms part of our iden­tity. Some peo­ple can feel a loss of self-worth once they stop work­ing.

Daily rou­tine and ac­tiv­i­ties add pur­pose to life.

If there is noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar to do or look for­ward to on any given day, a per­son is more likely to feel bored and de­pressed than a per­son who lives an ac­tive mean­ing­ful life.

Spend­ing time on hob­bies and in­ter­ests, for ex­am­ple, may not turn out to be as re­ward­ing and mean­ing­ful as an­tic­i­pated.

Grand­par­ents may find they are ex­pected to baby sit all the time.

Part­ner is­sues can in­clude dif­fer­ing (and con­flict­ing) ideas on re­tire­ment life­style.

Plan­ning can help cre­ate a happy re­tire­ment.

Peo­ple who plan an ac­tive life af­ter re­tire­ment tend to be hap­pier than those who have no plans or rou­tines. Sug­ges­tions in­clude:

You’ve re­tired from a 38-hour week, not from work­ing al­to­gether.

●If you love what you do, con­sider drop­ping the hours to part-time (if pos­si­ble), rather than fully re­tir­ing.

Vol­un­teer work is a sat­is­fy­ing way to add struc­ture and pur­pose to your life, and there are many com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to choose from.

Put time and energy into much-loved in­ter­ests.

Try to achieve at least five hours of pur­pose­ful com­mu­nity ac­tiv­ity a week.

Think about all those hob­bies you wanted to try but didn’t have the time – you do now.

Fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion op­tions range from short cour­ses through to univer­sity de­grees.

You could launch a new ca­reer dur­ing your re­tire­ment years, if you wish.

Re­duce the risk of health prob­lems by ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly. Join­ing a gym, walk­ing club or team sport, which can also add a so­cial el­e­ment to your weekly rou­tine.

Make sure that you and your part­ner dis­cuss ways to ac­com­mo­date each other’s wants, needs and ex­pec­ta­tions.

Lone­li­ness is a com­mon source of de­pres­sion in older peo­ple, so make sure you maintain and in­crease your so­cial net­works.

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