Preparing for Retirement

Author: Shantanu Dutta   |   Date: 21 Mar 2017   |   Comment: 0 Share:   |     |     |  


For several Indians, retirement signals the arrival of the dark clouds of loneliness. Several people are now gearing up financially for their retirement, but finances are not the prime issue. A lot changes after retirement – for one, there was a routine to life, a sense of purpose to get up in the morning and go to work. Even at work you met people on a daily basis and socialised. After retirement there is a departure from meeting these people and connections slowly phase out. Even your children are busy with their own lives, trying to make a living and fend for their families – most of them do not live in the same place as yours.

How Indians are affected after retirement

A large chunk of the Indians lose a sense of purpose after retirement. Especially those who retire from a powerful position are more prone to the negative aspects of the retirement leading to loneliness and depression as was seen in the case of Usha John, a fierce IAS officer who had hardly eaten in the months preceding her death. With no routine and missing out on the daily social interaction with colleagues, retirement is an emotional challenge for Indians given basic nature largely oriented by our co-dependence, and it can take a huge toll on the elderly especially those that belong to the baby boomers generation.

How to prepare for retirement

Retirement is indeed a rapid transformation in your life, but what you need to realise is that it is a continuum and you can certainly experience it that way, rather than getting a jolt. In fact, you have been preparing for it your entire adult life – all you need to do is adjust to the new identity and find a new purpose to make the transition smooth and to make it easier for yourself. Here are a few tips on preparing yourself for retirement:

  1. Exercise and Stay Active: Exercising takes a lot of stress off you. It gives you a routine and keeps you healthy and active. Most of all it gives you a reason to get out of your home. Choose an exercise routine and find a partner if you think it’s difficult to keep yourself motivated to follow the routine.
  2. Get yourself a pet: You might as well consider getting a pet. It gives you something to take care of, feed and in turn get some affection. It reduces your stress levels.
  3. Give back to the society: Since you have lived this long, there are several things you have learned through your beautiful journey. You might consider spending time at local schools, community centres or charitable trusts imparting your knowledge to others and leaving behind your legacy.
  4. Follow your passion: In the busy 9 to 5 job, a lot of us miss out on things that we really wanted to do in our lives earlier. The post-retirement period might just be the right time to follow your hobby or passion and do the things you always wanted to.
  5. Socialise: Retirement doesn’t mean that you have to stay isolated. Keep in touch with your friends and family. There are several clubs especially for retirees. You might consider joining one of them where you can meet new people and also learn something new.

The bottom line is that you need to stop getting obsessed about your retirement, and start to live in the moment and design your own schedule. Embrace your freedom and make the most of it.


Other articles by Shantanu Dutta

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Setting Smart Financial Goals

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