For most, retirement comes as an exciting prospect, offering individuals the chance to engage in activities that they’ve always wanted to try but never had the time to do. The thought of being handed free time is a joyful one for most, and whilst it’s great to be able to spend more time doing the things you love, many are unprepared for the changes that retirement brings about, particularly to relationships with others.
Transitioning from full time work to retirement is a huge step to take, and whilst it’s great to be able to stay in bed as long as you like, the absence of a regular routine and reliable income can instil feelings of anxiousness and lack of purpose. Retirement can also take its toll on relationships, with couples struggling to know how to spend all of this newly found time together.
Although some of these feelings are all too common amongst retired individuals, you certainly don’t need to continue living with them. Retirement is designed to be an enjoyable time, giving you the break you deserve after a life of hard work. Retired individuals can combat negative feelings by using their time to take up a new hobby, which could be transformed into a small money making business, or venturing into the outdoors.
When it comes to relationships with others, it’s important to realise that their dynamics will most probably change upon retirement. You’ll have significantly more time to spend with your spouse, and some struggle to adapt to this, discovering that they perhaps don’t have as much in common with their partner as they initially thought. In these cases, it’s important to allocate time for personal space, taking the time to indulge in individual activities and social occasions with others. Be sure to spend time talking with your loved one about the changes you’d like to make so that you can both adapt to the new chapter in your lives.
Upon retirement, you may also feel differently about the relationships between you and your other family members. You may find that you’d like to spend more time with them – but it’s important to remember that although yours has changed, their lives are likely to have stayed the same. Instead, try offering help with practical activities, such as assisting with their gardening.
It’s important to not underestimate the value of friendships at this stage in your life, whether or not you have a spouse. Having friends helps combat feelings of loneliness, and offers a welcome break from spending too much time at home. Try joining local community groups to meet new people, or try your hand at technology and social media so that you can rekindle relationships with old friends.
Alternatively, why not consider the transition to a retirement development? Fun activities and newly found friendships sit on your very doorstep, with the opportunity to venture out and explore the surrounding areas. Take a look at our previous article to find out whether this might be a preferable option for you.