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All You Need to Know About Reaching Retirement

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 20 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Reaching Retirement Travel Holidays

Many people either view retirement age with a sense of trepidation or a sigh of relief. In effect the working life is now over and some people may find this a thrilling prospect while others view not working anymore with a sense of unease. Your point of view may be dependant on how well you have financially planned for your retirement, but in most cases the possibilities when reaching retirement age are endless.

A Time to Take Stock

Reaching retirement is a significant milestone in your life and should be viewed as an achievement. You have put in years of work and now is the time to lie back and relax, in theory. After a short while of retirement many people claim they don’t know how they managed to fit everything into their life and still hold down a job.

The fact is, you now have more time to fill during the day and everything that you used to squeeze into a weekend can now be spread over the week. Leisure activities and socialising play a big part in the retiree’s life; and for some strange reason babysitting duties for grandchildren may take up a big portion of your time.

Facing the End of Work

Permanently ending work is a scary prospect for a great number of people, and not just for financial reasons. You may have made your job the centre of your life, and the feeling that you are easily dispensable come retirement day is not an easy thing for some people to live with. There is also the prospect of filling a large part of your day with something other than work, and maybe losing your network or work friends.

It is exactly for these reasons than more people than ever are working past retirement. By working part-time or flexible hours you can gradually ease yourself out of the working process while still earning a wage. Many people take on a new part-time job or work for charities on hitting retirement as a way of passing on their skills and keeping active. With more people staying fit and healthy well into later life, there is very little reason not to work for as long as you want past retirement age.

Seeing the Positives

Instead of looking at the negative aspects of retirement such as a reduced income and the end of work, look at all the positive aspects. Now is the time to do all of those things you have always wanted to do but couldn’t because of work commitments such as taking cheap extended holidays during off peak seasons and visit friends and family who live abroad.

Enrol in adult education classes in a subject you are interested and meet new friends. Pass on your lifetime of work skills as a mentor or night-class teacher. Get fitter than you have ever been by spending time at the gym or local leisure centre, or write the novel you have been putting off your whole life. The possibilities to filling your day on reaching retirement are endless if you put your mind to work.

The Luxury of Relaxation

If you have financially planned ahead for your retirement you will have more possibilities than others regarding travel and holidays. With the funds and time available, the world really is your oyster, and now is the time to make the most of it. For many retirees a holiday is not enough and a great many either retire abroad or spend a large portion of their year abroad. Favourable exchange rates, the inexpensive cost of living, and cheap accommodation are the reasons why living abroad in a hot climate for six months of the year is a tempting option for many retired people.

Whatever you decide to do on reaching retirement there will be not much doubt that you have earned the right to sit back and relax a bit. In the end it is not how much free time you have but how well you enjoy that time.

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Looking at more than the money, there’s also what to do with all that time. Volunteering is a good option, although you need to make sure you don’t over-commit yourself, which is easy to do. Think carefully before you start anything, and then start small, so you can build up – but only if you want to – don’t be pressurised.
Walter - 20-Sep-12 @ 2:27 PM
In this financial climate, of course, getting by on just a state pension can be very difficult. That's why some financial planning should be seen as part of looking ahead to retirement, and you need to look far ahead, although even work pensions aren';t going to be what they were for the generations to come. It's worth learning to live on less (it can be done!) to fully enjoy your retirement.
Michael W. - 4-Jun-12 @ 10:24 AM
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