For those who have finished work, or are thinking about it ….

What do you say when asked – “How are you enjoying retirement?” Or is this a question you’ve asked others? The usual answers include, “Don’t know how I found time to go to work”, “Should have done it years ago”, “Can’t stop – I’m off for a round of golf.”

The truth is, it’s a shock to the system with a similar magnitude to other major life events. And you can’t be fully prepared for it any more than you can for setting up home for the first time or becoming a parent. You can imagine, you can plan but the actual reality still has to be experienced to be understood.

Downsides are a sense of loss of:

1. Identity

2. Status

3. The company of colleagues

4. The reason to dress up in the morning

 – to mention just a few.

Upsides include a huge sense of freedom from:

1. Routine

2. Putting on the work face every day

3. Worrying about finances (you probably won’t be earning any more so why worry?)

4. The daily commute

– there are many more.

One of the main benefits I’ve found is that retirees seem to have an enhanced honesty about them. They can agree with one another that running a business, or playing the corporate game “wasn’t all that”. It takes a while to relax into it – it will be 3 years for me this Summer – but there really is life after work and it can be very good. Your comments are welcome.

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