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new life after retirement

(64 Posts)
devongirl Wed 07-Jun-17 11:28:19

Good morning all GNers. I would like to ask your advice. I am 65 and due to retire in a couple of years, but feel that I have (hopefully!) several healthy and potentially productive years left in me.

I would like to do something completely different that requires a new skill (I've been a teacher and IT person so far).

Can anyone suggest anything that I could train in (in the evenings/weekends say) that I would be able to use after retirement from my current job? Voluntary or paid is fine. FYI I love animals, would be happy to work in counselling, anything in a healthcare setting.. in short anything where I would feel I was contributing.

Thanks to all!

vampirequeen Wed 07-Jun-17 11:49:43

Before you commit yourself to anything just have fun. Enjoy not getting up at 6am (unless you want to). Enjoy lazy breakfasts whilst the world rushes to work. Enjoy days out and days in. Enjoy being free.

Don't be afraid of freedom. It's wonderful.

Nannarose Wed 07-Jun-17 12:07:20

I would broadly agree. Of course it depends on your family set-up, and other factors such as your friends, and hether you have the money for say, travelling.

But I am aware, that (a bit like becoming a mum for the first time) sometimes things don't workout the way you expect them to.
So I would say, don't commit yourself too much.

No harm in exploring options - I have friends who have done serious VSO stints; also something like learning a language can be useful.

If you have spare time at the moment to do a small amount of volunteering, or a course, you would begin to get an idea. Me, the last couple of years before I retired, I could do nothing but work and recover, I found it so exhausting!

If finance is likely to be an issue, look at the kind of volunteering that gets you freebies - I have several friends who get free membership of the National Trust or Wildlife Trusts in return for their work, and another who sees theatre productions.

I did actually have a major project that kept me busy for a couple of years; after that, I found that my voluntary work found me!

kittylester Wed 07-Jun-17 12:13:22

Retirement is a scary prospect but try not to pre think how you will feel.

devongirl Wed 07-Jun-17 12:42:22

Thanks everyone for your helpful input smile I'm not actually worrying about retirement, rather I see it an exciting opportunity to have 3rd career! Family-wise my daughter will be 27 by then and hopefully (finally!) moved out of home; I will have to move away for financial reasons unfortunately but have known that for some whi;e. So - a whole new start...!

vampirequeen Wed 07-Jun-17 12:43:09

Retirement is a scary prospect but amazing fun.

Jane10 Wed 07-Jun-17 13:41:20

Don't look for another career! The others are right. Stop and enjoy the loss of time pressures. Relax and just be for a while. Activities will come along if you give yourself a chance to recover from a hard working life. They may well be something you've never even thought about.
Life is what happens while we sit about making plans. Go with the flow. You may surprise yourself.

devongirl Wed 07-Jun-17 14:25:48

Thanks Jane - and all of you smile

I think I feel (too much?) that time is of the essence, in that productive life may be limited to 10-15 yrs - time to do something useful but not long enough for the luxury of restful pondering (on the other hand, 6 months of no work/alarm etc is very appealing...)

Nannarose Wed 07-Jun-17 14:49:01

I think that if you are moving, I wouldn't take on anything else. The work of moving, doing any work needed on the property, settling in etc. will bring you into contact with lots of people, and an opportunity for volunteer /part-time work, or an interesting course will probably just pop up.

I hope I'm not teaching my grandmother to suck eggs (!) but I would do some serious work on where you expect to move to, looking at all the activities and facilities, visiting and looking around and so on. We did that, and thought it very worthwhile.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 07-Jun-17 14:49:35

We made my husband's dream come true;sold our flat, bought a motor boat, put the few pieces of furniture, we wanted to keep and our books into storage. Packed ourselves, my husband's tools, two cats (with EU passport and rabies' vaccinations) into our boat and spent two years sailing the waterways of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, then back to Denmark, via Luxemburg and Germany.

I was less the happy about it to start off with, but I am glad now that we made the trip. We met so many who had dreamed of doing the same, but put it off too long and had to give up the idea, due to ill health or bereavement.
We met lots of lovely people, saw some places we had always wanted to, and lots of nice towns and villages we had never known existed. Got an idea of how people live in some of the other countries in Europe. Wow, such small houses in Belgium and the Netherlands, and if you think houses are dear in UK, then think again!

So retirement is the time for turning dreams into reality, or at least seriously considering whether you want just to dream or to do the things you, or one of you, have been dreaming about.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 07-Jun-17 14:51:09

We made my husband's dream come true;sold our flat, bought a motor boat, put the few pieces of furniture, we wanted to keep and our books into storage. Packed ourselves, my husband's tools, two cats (with EU passport and rabies' vaccinations) into our boat and spent two years sailing the waterways of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, then back to Denmark, via Luxemburg and Germany.

I was less the happy about it to start off with, but I am glad now that we made the trip. We met so many who had dreamed of doing the same, but put it off too long and had to give up the idea, due to ill health or bereavement.
We met lots of lovely people, saw some places we had always wanted to, and lots of nice towns and villages we had never known existed. Got an idea of how people live in some of the other countries in Europe. Wow, such small houses in Belgium and the Netherlands, and if you think houses are dear in UK, then think again!

So retirement is the time for turning dreams into reality, or at least seriously considering whether you want just to dream or to do the things you, or one of you, have been dreaming about.

devongirl Wed 07-Jun-17 14:54:34

Well done, grandtanteJE65 - that sounds amazing, and what a great thing to do instead of 'waiting to die' which I always felt my mother was doing from about 70 onwards..

Jane10 Wed 07-Jun-17 15:07:59

Life doesn't have to be 'productive' or a matter of 'waiting to die'! Seriously, a house move is a big adventure. Lovely to have the luxury of time to do it in instead of having to fit it in while still working.
One tip I'd offer is to try to keep weekends special. Some structure to Monday-Friday helps even if it's only one thing a day.
My retirement turned out unexpectedly and continues to surprise me!

devongirl Wed 07-Jun-17 15:11:16

tbh Jane, I have peers who are already retired, and they seem to be (unintentionally!) busier than ever, and really enjoying retirement, though I fear my financial situation is going to severely limit what I can hope to do, sadly.

LadyGracie Wed 07-Jun-17 15:15:31

I retired 4 years ago at the age of 62, I love it, plenty to do, lots of hobbies. My DH retired at 65 the same year, it's been great, we go out together but at home do our own thing.

M0nica Wed 07-Jun-17 15:29:34

At 65 you could have 30 years of useful life ahead of you. Obviously I know nothing about your state of health, but the first thing to think about is remaining healthy and well for as long as possible. The mantra for old age is 'use it or lose it' and I would start first with developing patterns of activities and habits aimed at keeping fit. By preference I am a walker and gardener, but others swim, go to the gym, run marathons. Find something you like and stick at it. That applies to keeping your weight down and eating a good healthy diet.

The mantra applies to the mind as well. I am never an enthusiast for deciding too far ahead exactly what line your life will follow. It can limit your horizons and you miss opportunities you would enjoy that you have never thought of.

I took into a retirement a leisure pursuit I had had for years and now had time to devote to it. A chance advert in the parish magazine took me into a line of voluntary work I had never considered and which I enjoyed and have had considerably success.

Keep an open mind and a wandering eye to pick up opportunities you see mentioned by friends, print media or online and if something tickles your fancy, enquire further.

HeyHo Wed 07-Jun-17 15:39:18

Hi, I am 69 this year, and still enjoying productive work - I love meeting people, and finding out things. You are IT trained and have en enquiring mind - why not become a self employed genealogist like me - people love having their family trees done, and you could work as and when the fancy takes you.

I don't like the heat, so I had a siesta after lunch today and now it's clouded over I am going to spend a couple of hours working... errr when I have finished this!! Oh, where is that cup of coffee ??

Enjoy your retirement whatever you decide...

devongirl Wed 07-Jun-17 16:00:23

Such a cheery post HeyHo! - and sounds like a good way of using my experience, I'll look into it! Actually, I always fancied the idea of being a private detective and I'm sure no-one would suspect a 'grannie'!

ajanela Wed 07-Jun-17 16:25:44

I have friends who house sit animals whilst their owners are away. They travel to other countries, stay in the owners house and hopefully enjoy the animald and see a different country. They have to pay their own travel expenses and are careful where they stay. You can also find people who just want to house sit their house.

Sounding out hospital volunteering or joining RVS was wrvs might help. See their website.

Set up a local gransnet group.

What ever you do be warned you are starting at the bottom again. Even in volunteering there is heirachy.

But as others say do some of the things you want to do, that isn't wasting time it is expanding your horizons.

morethan2 Wed 07-Jun-17 17:49:58

I have been retired since April. I'm only 64 and fairly fit. I can remember a few years before retirement chewing over what useful things I could do in my retirement. My sister intervened saying you've been doing useful work all your adult life. You can stop now and do somthing useful for yourself and Mr Morethan. I remember thinking she's right. All our plans for when he retires next year have evaporated really because of DiL illness. I'm needed here to help. I don't mind that's useful too. I was determined not to look back. None of that " oh on this day I'd be doing such n such if I was at work" I've holidayed, visited neglected relatives, still trying to sort out a neglected house.spent more time looking after me. Done much less ironing. I'm much less stressed. I'm enjoying it and what's more it's made me realise that perhaps I never really like going to work!

vampirequeen Wed 07-Jun-17 20:51:33

Why the need to be productive in the working sense? I think I'm productive. I still cook and clean ...well I have OCD grin but I also read, watch Jeremy Kyle (yes I know lol), listen to music, see my DDs and DGC, go out, stay in and generally go with the flow. Retirement isn't about waiting for death. It's about doing whatever you want to do.

Are you afraid of being bored? Honestly you won't be.

Penstemmon Wed 07-Jun-17 21:19:13

My advice would be to see if you can reduce your paid working hours gradually..maybe work 2/3 days a week. That way you naturally fill the new 'free'space and it won't feel as 'empty' as an overnight change.

hildajenniJ Wed 07-Jun-17 22:53:28

I don't miss work at all. I love my free days, doing a bit of housework, going for a walk, reading and crochet. I can fill my days quite easily. I discovered that our little town has a "knit and natter" group which meets in the library. I went today for the first time, and met a lovely group of ladies. I need to socialise! I've lived here for fourteen years and know only my next door neighbours, that is because I worked nightshift for several years before retiring. It took some getting used to sleeping at night. 😄

JaneD3 Thu 08-Jun-17 10:02:34

I retired one year ago from teaching and I have loved every moment of my year at home. I am on top of the garden - well nearly! - and I have made a start on the painting and decorating. I have done two and three day grandchild - sitting sessions when their Mum and Dad have been on awkward shifts.
I have started quilting again and been for lovely lunches with friends and relatives.
Currently doing a bit of part time work to help a headteacher friend but only three more weeks to go!
Relax about retirement and embrace it. It is a lovely time of your life if, as you say, you are young and fit enough to make the most of it.
How about a bit of home tutoring or train to counsel children, since you are used to working with them.
Good luck!

NaughtyNanna Thu 08-Jun-17 10:10:02

I've retrained as a Personal Development Coach. I plan to do some charged work and some pro bono (with young adult carers). I also work ad hoc as an Expert by Experience with Choice Support, helping the Care Quality Commission with getting patient, resident and relative views of the services they use. And I'm now applying for a role as a Lay Member with Health Education England and a role as Chair of a charity. I also do some voluntary work which involves training and once a week shift work. I think it's called a portfolio career! Oh, and I've joined U3A and do Tai Chi, a Current Affairs and Philosophy groups and fortnightly walks. I have complete control over the hours I actually work, but have some income of my own and hopefully am still doing some worthwhile things! I don't know if it would be the same for you but after seeing a financial advisor to try and understand the new pension regulations, I found I will be better off than I thought from my bits of pension pots from third sector work - when my state pension finally kicks in!