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Advice on transitioning into retirement

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Advice on transitioning into retirement

A few years ago, one of my parents retired, and I saw first-hand how challenging that transition was leading to many ongoing mental health issues. As someone who was at the top of their field for over 30 years and got most of their social interaction through their job, to now being retired with too many hours in the day and not many people to fill them with took a toll on him and his health. 

 

When I looked for support, all I found was financial planning and support for retirees, but not much support was there for all the other aspects of life that would change with this major life transition.

 

As a preventative mental health measure, I want employers to offer transition support before retirement so it can prevent mental health issues, but I need your help!

 

Before I invest a huge amount of time and money into putting support in place, I really need to learn from as many people as either post or pre-retirement to understand your experiences and concerns. Please let me know if you'd be open to a quick chat, I'll keep everything confidential.

 

All your support is greatly appreciated!

 

Thank you!

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Bronze Conversationalist

@VictoriaB409579 Retirement can be a problem for folks who are comfortable with their jobs/positions and the structure that such job/position provides. For many folks, changes are difficult to accept,especially when employers are downsizing or shutting down operations. In certain situations, larger employers in the private sector have tried to help with outplacement services. However, most outplacement services are focused on sharpening skills to acquire another job/position, maintaining health insurance, pensions (if any), 401 K  options, and maybe social security.. It is more of an economic focus than health and well being. I don't know how an organization can pick one person over another for preventative mental health transitional support. Would it be mandatory for all, even if not needed?  I would think it could be optional or another level of insurance benefits in the Mental Health provisions of the insurance benefit plan. For folks that retire voluntarily due to attainment of a certain age or years of service, the transition may be difficult as well. They know it is time to move on, but do not have anything to move to. I am sure everyone reading this posting heard or know about a friend, neighbor, or relative that had some issues transitioning to retirement. I think folks need to evaluate their individual situations inasmuch as some folks transition to retirement without any issues. For the folks who truly want to work, I believe employers can and should do more with transitional work assignments (i.e., part time, consulting, etc.). I think preventative mental health should be between a patient and their medical provider.  Retirements after 40 plus years, big party, gold watch and riding off to the sunset are things of the past. Full disclosure: retired in 2015 and cannot keep up with all the jobs/work that I postponed over the years working 50 plus hours/wk.

 

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Thank you both- i really appreciate your responses! 

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Hello Victoria,

I think I may have a little insight into retirement "challenges" and what first comes to mind is gender and longevity influences. For men of a certain age, whether professional, white, or blue-collar, identity to many becomes critical and almost, an intangible yet spectral presence, and when one ceases to work after thirty-plus years as I had you can become quite disconnected and then mix in whether that retirement was forced or not, throw a divorce on top of it all and things can become quite mentally toxic and self paralysis can set in about what's next. It happen to me at fifty-three years old and it was a terrible period in my life.  Now the antidote. Fortunately, I had been in counseling and shifting my focus from myself to others I started volunteering, got a needed part-time job to help with the bills, and tried to reimagine a new life and the next chapter. It wasn't easy but I was hired unexpectedly where I was volunteering, found a calling helping those less fortunate, and stayed at it for the next 18 years until voluntarily retired at age 70 and a second working life well lived. I'll never have enough money or the life I envisioned when I was married with young children but none of that matters now. Life is short and age and maturity have shown me the cruelty of other lives of people I've known cut short through no fault of their own. This is my own personalized series of views, tempered by experience, contemplation and judgment, outside counsel and dusted overall with a bit of luck. All this makes it true to me and to thine own self be true. (with apologies to W.S.)

Doug

 

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Three Conditions:

1. You love your job........ Don't retire.

2. You hate your job.........Transition to retirement should be easy and stress relieving.

3. Forced to retire from a job you love........ This is where support needs to be focused.

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After having to be away from my family and home for 10 to 12 hours 5 or 6 days of the week, and sometimes be away on business trips for 1 to 3 weeks at a time, I relish the fact that I now get to spend that time at home with family and friends.  Also, I have the time now to do jobs around the home that I had to put off for several years.

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