I have been retired from work since March, so I would like to pass on this advice for others who are due to retire soon, or considering retirement at some stage in the near future. After nearly six months, I am no expert on the subject, I am really just passing on observations based on my own experience.
Walk about a lot. When you are still working, whether you realise it or not, you do walk around for a lot of the day. So, avoid sitting for too long, wander aimlessly from room to room if need be, or get outside for a stroll, if the weather is good. If this doesn’t work, then get a dog, and you will have no option.
Expect to use more toilet paper, and shop accordingly. You will not be using the facilities at work ever again, and you will be shocked at how many toilet rolls you get through in a week.
Get up at a reasonable time. If you sleep in too late, say until 10am, it is surprising how fast the day will slip away from you. If you are up and about by 8am, there will be enough hours to enjoy some free time, as well as doing all the necessary jobs.
Always take a shopping list to the supermarket. You will find that you have a lot more time to browse, and it is amazing what sort of rubbish you will decide to buy, because you think that it will come in handy, or you might need it.
Don’t take on too much at once, whether physical, or mental. Remember, you are retired because you are older, and you will not be able to do things at the same pace you managed ten years ago.
Keep away from the Television before 6pm. Even rolling news can be addictive, once you start to watch it. If you really must watch TV during the day, record a documentary, or current affairs programme, then the time spent will at least have some purpose. Make sure you do still watch the news later though, as it is important to keep up with the outside World.
Avoid lunch. A good breakfast before 10am should stand you in good stead until the evening meal. You are not working now, so you no longer need the extra calories. It will also make you sluggish in the afternoon, and less inclined to do anything.
Keep thinking. Do whatever suits you best. Reading books, keeping a diary, writing a blog like this, or letters to friends. Do not allow your mind to wander, or you will soon find yourself standing in a room, wondering why you went in there in the first place.
Ignore junk mail and catalogues. Once they discover that you are retired, and of a certain age, companies will bombard you with mail, containing all sorts of special offers, and ‘relevant’ must-have items, targeted specifically at the retired home owner. The problem is, they are as seductive as the Sirens of the rocks. Before you know it, you will be ordering all sorts of ‘useful’ gadgets and gizmos, most of which will never be used.
Don’t get another job. You will already be recoiling from the shock that your paltry pension is taxable; no need to make some small amount of money, which will only serve to increase your tax burden. Unless you have a trade, so can charge what you like, the hourly pay will be derisory anyway. You will probably never get a proper contract or the usual employment rights, and there is always the chance that you will be patronised, and considered to be a part-time coffin-dodger, of little consequence. If you still want to carry on working, or cannot afford to retire, then stay in the job that you had already, until you are 65.
This all sounds like pretty basic stuff, commonsense really. Don’t you believe it. The change from working life to retirement is bigger than you can ever imagine, and you will need all the help you can get.