What is also coming up is the loneliness part of the widowed life, before or during retirement. Are long hours of work some means to cope with the situation? After 4 1/2 years I find myself not in a serious relationship. Are long hours some type of subconscious buffer to keep me from moving forward?
The thing is, I like my work. I get to deal with and interact with people all day long. It’s the same thing with my part time business. I’m the business partner that does the marketing part. I also enjoy the writing. People I talk to tell me they sense a certain excitement when I talk about the storyline or the characters in my historic crime novel. I am doing three things that I enjoy that require many hours of my time.
As far as lifestyle, my home environment, and my health are better than they have been in almost 20 years. Financially, I could retire now, but there is a certain income level I want to have. Also, I have been really using all resources available relating to my health, dental, and eyewear insurance. I have really good insurance”.
Should this man retire?
The meaning and value of work
– if financial factors are not a consideration (as appears to be the case) is there a benefit in continuing to work for the satisfaction of the daily challenge? Or is this man afraid of retirement, a change of life, a loss of status? Only he can answer that, but a dispassionate view would be that we shouldn’t be worried about change – rising to a new and different set of circumstances (retirement) is the stuff of life itself.
Loneliness – that is indeed the scourge of aging. The loss of a long time partner is one of the most difficult issues to cope with. Keeping busy is a way of not brooding over the past, boredom, lack of social contact – and work is a provider of those distractions. The NHS has some advice but no-one would pretend to have an easy answer. Stay active, involved, try to smile – trite words and not easy to follow.
A personal anecdote – I have a memory of observing my father through my rear view mirror, as I drove away from the family home after my mother’s funeral. I was leaving him alone for the first time in 50 years – a picture of misery and desolation.
- Sort out your finances – get some advice, work out a budget, be realistic about your future prospects
- Plan your new lifestyle – do you want to travel, be active in your community, spend more time with your family. Retire with a purpose and a plan.
- Maintain a positive attitude – something we should all strive for and admittedly difficult at the present time
- Look forward – to a new life full of possibilities and challenges. And don’t look back with regret – nothing good lies that way.