No, this is not another ad for financial retirement planning! I’m assuming you have enough money and resources to retire. What you need to do is to think about what retirement means to you. Does it mean the end of your present life or career? Opportunities for a new life or career? Does it mean a change in your family relationships? Some ideas to consider:
First, retirement from your present position means that this job is over. If it’s been your life’s work, it means that you can feel a sense of accomplishment. You should take pride in having done that sort of work. It’s important that you give yourself credit so that you can go on to your next tasks.
Second, retirement may also have coincided with your children becoming adults and getting somewhere in their lives. Ideally, they are on their way. You can take pride in that success as well.
Third, retirement is your time. Assuming you have enough money so as not to worry, you can find those things you never had time to do or to do to your satisfaction. The most important goal here is to play, to try and enjoy your free time. You may “make mistakes,” finding some things that don’t work and others that do. No one is judging here, but you. And, if you’re honest with yourself, a lot of those judgments are ones from other people or places you knew in the past. So, relax and let go.
Fourth, retirement is a time when you need to plan for the next stage of your life. You have to learn to age as best as you can. Not only should you begin to get your financials in order, but you should begin an exercise program to get your body in better shape. You should start thinking about future arrangements, for being helped by your kids in terms of decision-making and health problems.
Fifth, retirement is the period in which you will spend more time with your partner. You will go through adjustments at this time—who is with whom, and when? Who does what chores? How do you rearrange your home to make it work more effectively? If you’re alone, now’s the chance to widen your circle.
You can do a lot of this planning and renegotiating without help. If you get stuck, go to a therapist who is experienced with older couples to help you with the planning.