I have struggled to find a topic this week. Partly because as the weather cools after the autumn solstice I am caught up in planting, but also because trawling online yesterday I kept coming up against really depressing articles about boomers being laid off during the pandemic, ageism a major obstacle to employability, and more people needing to earn in retirement. Before I absorbed all the negativity I thought I had better sleep on it and try again today.
Fighting to retain our Freedom is another theme that keeps rotating through my mind. It is rapidly becoming a global movement, but how does it affect Boomers who are entering Retirement? Apart from the harsh restrictions being imposed on our mobility and our lives in general, from what I am reading, it seems to be having unanticipated consequences on our employability as well as our choice as individuals to remain in the job market.
But let’s take this a step further. When I retired, my social circle had shrunk to a few dedicated friends from my youth, as a result of my work demands. In the latter years, when I was working as an entrepreneur – particularly when I was in the hospitality industry where I was pandering to the needs of clients all day – I had little energy over at the end of the day to socialize. So when I retired I quickly realised I needed to widen my social circle as I had so much more time to fill and people are an important ingredient. But with all the social distancing regulations, how are people achieving this today?
Having moved to a small rural village in the middle of 2020 this has become a very real challenge for me. Fortunately, the small community and the climate have allowed me to invite acquaintances to have a drink on my stoep of an evening so that I can get to know them better. But it has meant my integration into the community has been slow. If I had not been someone who is content with my own company, as well as having work to occupy my time, it would have been a nightmare.
Many of us dreamed of working our way through a travel bucket list in retirement. What has happened to those dreams? I am hearing of people who retired in January 2020 with a long list of travel plans that have completely gone up in smoke. If you remember my talking about Atchley’s stages of retirement, travel and relaxing can be an important part of a smooth transition to retirement life. (A full description of Atchley’s 6 Stages of Retirement is in my book, Chapter 9, available on Amazon) Is it back to the drawing board? What would be a suitable substitute?
Yes, I know I am simply presenting a lot of obstacles to Retirement in the face of the pandemic. But that is because I realise that for many of us it is going to mean accepting things are different, going back to the vision board and completely revamping our plans.
How has the pandemic affected your Retirement plans and have you had to make major adjustments to your original plan? I would love to hear about your adjustments, so feel free to share them in the chat below. Feeling overwhelmed by it all? Email me to make an appointment to chat online and unpack your options.
Looking forward to hearing from you,