Retirement means different things to many people, however, what we do know is that it is a time of transition.

The change from working, being busy, having a sense of ‘purpose’ can disappear overnight.

Even if we made a positive choice to retire, we may still find adjustment tricky. Some of the words associated with retirement, appear to be dated one of the phrases ‘put out to pasture’ has so many negative associations, it is no wonder some of us may struggle.

There has been a growing recognition, in organisations, that retirement is a difficult time for some, and it can affect our mental health. Examples of the way this happens include depression, low mood, loneliness, so if all this sounds gloomy what can we do?

Prepare, prepare, prepare! Start planning your retirement in advance.

If your company offers pre-retirement workshops, make sure you attend. They tend to give excellent impartial advice and answer some of the worrying questions about managing finances, such as how to invest a lump sum, or to manage on a lower income.

From my experience, they will highlight things that you will never have thought of.

Have a think about how you are going to spend your time in this new phase and prepare with those you live with. One of the main areas of frustration for couples is that they don’t talk about their expectations for retirement.

I am sure many of you will have heard of a spouse complaining about the other ‘being at home all the time’ now they are retired. Speaking together to prepare is important and can reduce the stress of the change.

For those going from full-time work to retirement can be a huge challenge, so have some activity planned to avoid sitting at home all day. 

Retirement can be exciting and fun; I have been retired seven months and I am enjoying every minute of it. It has been a great opportunity to have more time to write, develop a new business and study.

I have made new friends and developed new interests. Those of us over 55, are now generally healthier, wealthier and more mobile than the generations before us.

So, go out there,  grab retirement by the horns and enjoy doing whatever you decide to do.