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Adjusting to retirement

Julia Faulks / 30 March 2015 ( 22 March 2018 )

It can be a challenge to make the reality match the retirement dream. We look at positive adjustments to your life to ease you through the transition.

Retired grandfather looking after granddaughter
One of the perks of retirement is the time to be able to spend with family and help with childcare

Not everyone deals with the issues facing retirement in the same way.

You may have spent years building up your professional identity, only to be left feeling isolated from the workplace and unprepared for it when the time comes.

These are some of the concerns you may have:

I miss my professional status: having built up a personal identity over the years it can be a struggle when it comes to seeing how you fit into society.

I'm lacking in confidence, but want to give back: you have years of experience when it comes to dealing with different people and situations, but may underestimate how others will benefit from your huge knowledge base.

I can't help but worry: you may be worrying about your health, feeling frustrated at the need to watch every penny and apprehensive about exactly what the future holds.

I feel responsible for two generations: balancing out your time when it comes to your relationships can be tricky, especially if your children or partner remain highly dependent on you.

I want to make new friends or find love: not everyone creates a strong social network before they retire and social isolation is a real issue for many. Whether you're divorced or widowed, the retirement years can bring about a whole new set of friendship groups, yet often it's hard to make the first step.

Making the most of your retirement years

At the same time, there are plenty of us who relish the opportunity of being able to spend quality time with friends and family, learn new skills or travel the world.

'For many, 60 is the new 40. Overall life satisfaction and total asset wealth are higher for people in their 60s than any other group,' says Steve Allen, Chief Executive for Friends of The Elderly.

'We are all far more connected, have a healthier lifestyle, rising life expectancy and more involvement in childcare, which can only be a good thing,'

Read our guide to retirement-proofing your relationship.

Staying connected with society

In cases where retirement has come earlier than expected, for example because you are caring for a partner or relative, or due to conflicts at work, you can benefit from the fact that there are more ways than ever to stay connected with society.

And if you aren't digitally-savvy, there are plenty of opportunities to learn how to use technology so you don't get left behind.

Ask at your local library to find out what is available in your area.

Embracing your talents

Being retired doesn't have to mean that you stop working altogether – you may find that it's the perfect time to turn a hobby into a career that offers the flexibility you need.

Volunteering and mentoring are great ways of giving back to society and will give you a real sense of purpose and pride when it comes to passing on your skills to others who are keen to learn.

Read our guide to getting a new sense of purpose in retirement.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.