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Did you find yourself mentally switching off coming up to retirement

(59 Posts)
Beswitched Thu 03-Feb-22 09:30:32

I'm hoping to retire this year and already feel as if I've mentally gone. I do all my work to the required standards and meet my deadlines. But I have very little interest in it, or in office politics etc.
It's very quiet at the moment. A few years ago I'd have been looking around for extra work but now I don't really. Neither does it bother me too much that my newish manager is inclined to hog all the 'sexy' work for himself. I mainly think 'let him at it'.

Is this a normal mindset as you approach retirement?

Chewbacca Thu 03-Feb-22 09:40:31

It was the same for me too. Once I'd decided on a date to formally retire, I felt a weight slowly lift from my shoulders. Right up until my last day, I continued to do my job 100%, filed reports, prepared fully for a handover to my successor and took full responsibility for the cases in my care. But I knew that I was caring less; I was less engaged or interested in meetings and felt that I was gradually letting go.

Poppyred Thu 03-Feb-22 09:49:25

Yes, I felt the same. Just got on with my work, counted down the days but not interested in any of the ongoing ‘dramas’ ?.

Kim19 Thu 03-Feb-22 09:50:19

Think it's natural. I phased out by moving companies. Lesser presssured roles and then reduced hours. It was sometimes difficult to observe dreadful incompetence but I had no cans to carry so that was fine. Moved from employment to voluntary at 74 and now total 'freedom'. Genuinely love(d) my life thus far. One lucky girl.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 03-Feb-22 10:03:19

It didn’t happen to me. I had demanding clients right up to the last minute and had to look after them as well as sorting out the handover to my successor. What a relief to retire, not get up in the dark to catch a train and empty my head!

Whitewavemark2 Thu 03-Feb-22 10:12:21


I'm hoping to retire this year and already feel as if I've mentally gone. I do all my work to the required standards and meet my deadlines. But I have very little interest in it, or in office politics etc.
It's very quiet at the moment. A few years ago I'd have been looking around for extra work but now I don't really. Neither does it bother me too much that my newish manager is inclined to hog all the 'sexy' work for himself. I mainly think 'let him at it'.

Is this a normal mindset as you approach retirement?

Yes! I’ve been retired for 16 years now, but can absolutely remember mentally switching off.

I think it is a healthy thing to begin to do in order to prepare for the next phase of your life - where you really start to live??

storynanny Thu 03-Feb-22 10:19:55

I retired early from full time infant teaching just before I was 60, 5 years ago, to go on supply a few days a week. I was a senior teacher and had been teaching since I was 21. I still tried to give my all but almost lost the plot 2 months before leaving date! On 2 occasions, firstly when I was booked to go on a maths course entitled “ innovative ways of using number lines” and secondly, following a lesson observation ( ( for continuing professional development) my feedback was.......
“ that was not a satisfactory lesson storynanny as you didn’t ask the children what they could do to get better”
This was a class of reception 4 and 5 year olds. The activity being referred to was a group “ playing” ( sorting activity with hidden shapes) in the sandpit.
After that I sort of gave up and went through the motions!
My wise dad said “ smile and take the money”
I did start a count down in my diary after that!

Coastpath Thu 03-Feb-22 10:56:16

I retired because I'd just had enough. I knew that if I stayed another year it would just be more of the same and I felt I'd completed all I needed to. From then on I couldn't come back from that realisation and my energy, drive, ambition and tolerance for the politics of it all vanished.

After a year of retirement my energy returned, I retrained and started another completely different career.

Casdon Thu 03-Feb-22 11:05:27

No, I retired from the NHS during the pandemic, and was so busy and working so many hours that I didn’t have any time to think about retiring at all. It was a big shock to the system to get up the first Monday morning after I’d retired and think my time was my own. It took me a good few months to mentally adjust though, I felt guilty.

Beswitched Thu 03-Feb-22 11:06:50

Thanks everyone. It's a relief in a way to just stand on the sidelines watching the drama and politics but not engaging in any of it.

silverlining48 Thu 03-Feb-22 11:12:32

It’s very normal and a way to prepare and distance yourself from the job before actually leaving. I always thought gradually cutting down days/ hours over a period of months quite useful too.
You won’t know how you found the time to work. Good luck.

SporeRB Thu 03-Feb-22 11:26:19

I have five months to go and I have already mentally check out. I have been frantically trying to upgrade and fool proof our home before I retire but realised it is getting a bit too much. When I retire, I will have all the time in the world to do all these DIY that needs doing.

Bridgeit Thu 03-Feb-22 11:31:39

Yes! But hopefully ( as it was for me) you will have a different ( active/ or not) life .
It will pan out one way or the other as per your life thus far.
Best wishes ? ? ?

Margiknot Thu 03-Feb-22 11:35:39

I am almost 66 and plan to scale back in a few weeks time- possibly returning only on a sessional basis. Theoretically I already only work part time. I feel so very tired!
I've had a real sense of relief that I will be stepping down - officially retiring- but also am busy trying to get things as manageable as possible for who ever follows in my footsteps.
My memory is not working as well ( I remember at night!) as it was and I can no longer cope with the pressures of constant being understaffed/no support/ and working many unpaid extra hours. I simply do not think, scribble or run fast enough! (NHS).
It will be a huge relief to hand over the impossible!

M0nica Thu 03-Feb-22 11:40:24

No, I was going hell for leather to the end. I took voluntary redundancy into early retirement in the mid 90s in a very large company (British Gas) that was in the throes of a major reorganisation, which included shedding half its staff and splitting into thee separate companies and moving offices.

I was on a maternity cover secondment for the last six months, organising an office move, among other things where people you were working with suddenly dissappeared, because they were timing when they left to their convenience (as I did).

I then had 6 weeks to sort myself out before departing to university for a year to study for an MA in archaeology, courtesy of my redundancy package. Four months later we moved house, just before Christmas.

I barely had time to breathe, at home or at work.

Jerseygal Thu 03-Feb-22 12:50:46

I've had Bosses ready to Retire and they were awesome. Happy everyday. Great to work for. Best Bosses ever. smile

Urmstongran Thu 03-Feb-22 13:19:02

I loved my countdown. I set up a timer (well okay Steven in the hospital computer did it for me!) on my PC. ‘x’ number of weeks, days, hours & minutes. It made me smile every day I looked at it to see those decreasing numbers.

Plus I’d type a letter saying ‘see this patient again in 3 months’ and me thinking ‘I won’t be here to type that letter!’. Then it would be ‘see this patient in 2 weeks’. Ditto!

And I loved my job. Loved it. The work, my colleagues, my lunch buddies in the canteen from various departments. But oh boy, I was SO excited not to need to work. We did our sums on the back of an envelope and both finished when our budget allowed. That was over 7 years ago now. My state pension kicked in 16 months ago. Life’s good.

dogsmother Thu 03-Feb-22 13:28:33

Definitely felt disengaged, and although couldn’t have a pension, I knew it was time to leave.
Loved my work, loved my colleagues but really felt it was time. Health care between lockdowns. No huge pressures. Still have to wait two more years for pension ….agh! I do some volunteer work now and suits me fine.

ElaineI Thu 03-Feb-22 13:30:31

I think it is. I retired at 62 partly to increase childcare of DGC. I was totally committed to my patients but shut off from politics. Had a boss who had been very good then started being picky and would not let staff have a few hours off to take a sick child to a hospital appointment and then return to work and numerous other things that took people away from actual patient care so decided "bugger this" and applied for retirement. Never regretted it and she moved on soon after. Still don't regret it. I think you get beyond office politics as you get older.

Ladyf Thu 03-Feb-22 13:51:26

I was able to retire early 4 months ago. Very pressured and toxic work environment had made me ill. Was finding carrying on harder and harder so when the opportunity to retire presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands.

The first Monday after I left work, whilst taking the dog out for her early morning walk, I became aware that the birds were singing. I had not been aware that the birds do that in the mornings in winter! As the weeks went by I felt physically and mentally better and am enjoying being able to do things at a leisurely pace instead of frantically chasing my tail!

Your normal is what is right for you.

Soroptimum Thu 03-Feb-22 14:37:21

Absolutely switched off when the decision was made to retire at 60. I’m not saying I couldn’t care less, I was still a hard working employee, but looked forward to when I didn’t have the responsibility of ‘work’. Only things I miss are colleagues and the banter.

biglouis Thu 03-Feb-22 15:01:49

I didnt "retire" as such. My contract came to an end and I was only a few months short of retirement age (60 at my time). I really swapped paid employment for self employment. So what had been a side hustle became more important to me.

The only timr I have "drifted" was when I found myself back in the mid 1980s blocked from further progress as a librarian because of changes in the career structure which were beyond my control. Those of us who were time served and experienced were seemingly less valued than kids coming out of the new unis with a degree in Library Science. It was a bit of paper we didnt have. We were expected to mentor these people and then they were promoted over our heads in a few years time. I was not the only one affected and it happened in other professions too - not just librarianship.

I decided to step off the career ladder and apply to universities. While I was doing this I took a definite step back as far as the job was concerned. I did the hours I was paid for and filled up the time, but my heart had gone out of it. The employer got the hours they paid me for but no longer deserved my enthusiasm and loyalty.

After I got my first degree I went on to do a masters and a doctorate so I drifted into academia. Obviously I never went back into libraries. Looking at how the profession has declined now I made the right move.

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Feb-22 15:10:47

I think it's very common Beswitched. When Mr. S. retired, he was the last of his family to run the family business set up by his GGF in 1890!!

Once he'd made the decision like Chewbacca, he felt as if a weight had been lifted and although there are aspects he misses, he was there all of his working life 48 years to be exact, he's never looked back.

ayse Thu 03-Feb-22 15:14:26

I certainly switched off from the misogynistic attitudes of senior management when I retired. They made a misery of work for the admin and shop floor staff.

I didn’t switch off from anything else. It was such a relief to be away from the toxic and bullying atmosphere.

Calendargirl Thu 03-Feb-22 18:49:05

I made a paper chart with 100 squares, marked 100 going down to 1, the number of salary days until I retired. Pinned up discreetly on a wall at work, crossed them off one by one, (8 years, 4 months),

What a relief when I crossed the last one off, nine years ago now. Sad though, as years ago I loved my (bank) job, but by retirement, so ready to finish.