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When is the right time for Retirement?

  • March 16, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 31 Comments
When is the right time for Retirement?

Amongst my group of friends, who are mainly in the over 60s age group, there is a lot of talk about retirement. To be honest most of the men are already retired, whereas some of the women still work part-time. Up until recently I worked part-time in addition to writing my blog and doing some freelance writing work. After turning the milestone age of 60 I am beginning to question when is the right time for retirement?

Most of my friends and myself have worked part-time over the years and we often discussed whether we wanted to continue to work into our sixties. Our main problem is what do we do with ourselves once we do retire? We can’t go shopping everyday (or we would pretty soon run out of retirement funds!) We don’t want to turn into one of those ‘gym junkie’, bottled water-sipping, lycra-clad women who spend everyday working out at the gym. We don’t feel like taking up knitting, cross stitch or sudoku either!

My memory of my retired grandparents was that they grew roses in their garden, went fishing or sat around on their recliners watching daytime TV drinking copious amounts of tea! In other words they were fairly sedentary. During a recent visit to my Dad’s house I noticed that he has very wisely replaced the cups of tea with a drop of port! His philosophy is that at his age “it aint gonna kill him”.

I also notice that my mother does a lot of knitting, jigsaw puzzles and sudokus. I often ask her why doesn’t she go and play cards or bingo with other senior citizens. Her very prickly reply to that is “there are too many old people at those places”. Well I guess when I get to her age I’ll be in denial as well!

These days people at 65 years of age (legal retirement age), are comparatively younger than people of the previous generation. I’m sure you’ve heard that 60 is the new 50 and so on. Mostly people in this age group have better health than their parents and keep fit and active rather than sitting around. Hence they are spending their retirement travelling and taking up new sports or hobbies.

So the question still looms, what do we do with ourselves once we retire? I think the answer to that is keep doing what we already do (apart from going to work!) If you really miss work start up a small on-line business, get a cushy little job a couple of days a week or do some voluntary work. Schools are always looking for people to help students with their reading and hospitals like volunteers to help with patients.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Rediscover an old hobby or start a new one.
  • Stay physically active, through walking, swimming, gym or sport.
  • Study a course with The University of the Third Age (U3A). U3As offers adult learning courses for older people. Plus local libraries run all types of short courses and workshops free of charge.
  • Make the effort to stay in contact with family and friends. Offer to babysit your grandchildren.
  • Check out local community centres for upcoming activities you might enjoy. Even if you’re not sure, try something new. You might surprise yourself!
  • For men, Men’s Sheds offer a space to share ideas and skills and participate in practical activities such as woodwork, metalwork and restoring old cars.

Retirement is something that we all vie for as we get older, however from what I’ve seen first hand is that it sometimes comes at a cost of retaining our sense of usefulness and industriousness. I have seen many retired people become bored, lonely and even depressed. So my advice is to give retirement careful consideration, particularly before the age of 60.

What are your thoughts about retirement? Do you feel that people are retiring too soon?

For more great articles on retirement and planning for retirement read Jan & Rowan’s blog: Retiring Not Shy

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset. The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age


By 50 Shades, March 16, 2017 Kathy Shade is a 50 something year old who is married with 2 children who has spent most of her life being a housewife, mother and working as an Accounts Administrator in the public school system. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Her friends would describe her as being a 'have a chat' with an outgoing personality and zest for life. Kathy also has a great love of shopping and is known for her bargain hunting prowess!
  • 31

50 Shades

Kathy Shade is a 50 something year old who is married with 2 children who has spent most of her life being a housewife, mother and working as an Accounts Administrator in the public school system. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Her friends would describe her as being a 'have a chat' with an outgoing personality and zest for life. Kathy also has a great love of shopping and is known for her bargain hunting prowess!

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31 Comments
  • Jan
    March 16, 2017

    Great post Kathy and thank you for the shout out.
    I think it’s not so much retiring too early as retiring without a plan that leads to depression.
    I love your Mum’s attitude to not hanging around with old people 😉

    • Kathy
      March 16, 2017

      Thanks Jan. I’m seeing a lot of my husband’s male friends sitting around looking very bored with their lives since retirement, but no so much the women. I wonder why that is? I think we women are able to entertain ourselves a lot easier than the men maybe? My mum is hilarious. She is 85 years old and still thinks young! #TeamLovinLife

  • Lydia C. Lee
    March 16, 2017

    Good post. It must be hard to re-establish your life and create new routines you enjoy.

    • Kathy
      March 16, 2017

      Yes I think the important thing is to have a alternate plan for retirement and not just sit around waiting to die! I love it that retirees tend to travel once they retire. It certainly cures the boredom! #TeamLovinLife

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    March 16, 2017

    I don’t think people are retiring too early – it’s a personal choice and also depends on circumstances. I think it is a matter of planning and ensuring that you still have a purpose! You also still need to be able to get a sense of achievement and accomplishment so should continue to challenge yourself as well as keep active. If you sat around like an old person, you’d become an old person and a very unfit and unhealthy old person at that. You’re right that people in their 60’s are much younger, fitter and healthier than previous generations of the same age. #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      March 16, 2017

      I know a few people who I would consider to have retired too early because they have turned into very boring people with little purpose in life, but on the other hand I have met many people in their 60s and 70s that are really challenging themselves both mentally and physically and I think good on them! Retirement certainly isn’t what it used to be!! :)

  • jodie
    March 16, 2017

    It really does depend on your definition of retiring!!
    I retired from dentistry pretty young, but that doesn’t mean I”m sitting around twiddling my thumbs!! This blogging has been a great learning process and keeps me busier than busy!!
    When my husband and I were looking into a 55+ place to downsize, my stepmom (the 60’s model on my blog) commented that it would be full of old people! And we laughed because we are old!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      Yes I agree Jodie. Retirement, like ageing is a state of mind. It’s what we do with our time when we retire that is important. Blogging has been my saviour in a lot of ways, as is my other passion – travel. My mum is the same. She is 85 and is well and truly in denial! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Chris
    March 16, 2017

    Depends on the individuals really and what makes them tick. At barely mid-fifties, hubbie and I are pretty much retired (just a little bit of this or that paid work from time to time) and we’re madly busy and most definitely not bored. Our perpetual lists never seem to get shorter let alone done. So much to do! Kids, grandkids, house reno’s, hobbies, sports, holidays, food, friends, and it goes on. But if you love your work and it keeps your brain ticking, and there’s nothing else you’d rather do, why not? I’d say the right time as soon as you can, IF you want.

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      Yes it does depend on the individual Chris. My husband and I are both semi-retired but we find ourselves a little bored at times. However generally we find a solution to this boredom and go on a road trip or hook up our caravan and have mini break somewhere. Blogging and my freelance writing does keep me fairly busy and I’m still waiting for grandchildren to come along. I think I will always find things to keep me busy, but I worry about my husband sometimes. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne
    March 16, 2017

    Retirement is a bit like the carrot on the stick for me. After having 5 weeks off over Christmas/January, I could imagine never going back to work. BUT 5 weeks of filling my time is a lot easier than 30 years of doing it! I like my part-time job and as long as it keeps going strong, I think I’ll hang in there. When I hit 60 I’ll probably be re-evaluating retirement too.

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      Sometimes I miss going out of the home to work part-time and the social interaction that this provides. I am pretty much holed up in my home working from my laptop and definitely miss socialising with other people. I do go to Pilates and Yoga classes, walk with girlfriends and try to catchup with friends for coffee or lunch. I think a lot of people would love to work from home, but it does have a downside. I’m pretty sure I will continue to do my freelance writing as long as there is work for me well into my 60s. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Debbie
    March 16, 2017

    Hi Kathy, I was made redundant late last year ( I knew it was coming since May) and it was the most awful of times. I’m 56 and didn’t know what I would do with myself. My husband retired earlier this year at 60 so we are both footloose and fancy-free. I didn’t know it would be this good, and as I have blogged for years now I added this area to my subject of posts. I have made some great blogging friends and although it’s early days yet I am not looking for anything to help fill in my days. I am busier,happier,healthier and more active than I was. As I wrote in a recent post which I’ve shared o the linkup I was unaware of how much the toxic nature was affecting me. It’s great to find you and I will be look at some of the others as well. Great post and I can relate!

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      Lovely to virtually meet you Debbie. It is heartening to hear that you are enjoying your retirement and have plenty to keep you active and busy. I’m busy most of the time, but do go a bit stir crazy at other times. I recently gave up a part-time writing job for some hotels and I think I’m now looking for something to fill that void. I really can’t complain however because now I have more time to cook healthier meals, exercise and even have the occasional afternoon nap. My husband and I love to travel so we are looking forward to a few trips we have planned this year. Thanks for joining in with the linky. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo
    March 16, 2017

    I agree that retirement these days looks so different to the retirement of our parents. We are living so much longer that it’s no longer sit down by the fire in comfy slippers and drink tea. It’s more like – WaHay, where’s the gin! Joking! I don’t think there’s a right time to retire. If you hate your job, then now’s the time, but if not, then it’s good to keep the grey matter turning.

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      Doesn’t it ever Jo. To be quiet frank I used to think that retirement was scary! Now that I call myself semi-retired I realise that it is a special time to take care of yourself and have much more “me” time. We have so much to look forward to this year with two great overseas trips coming up and in between other mini breaks. We are very blessed to have such good health and two great adult kids that we love to bits. As long as we are still productive in some form I think retirement is fantastic. :)

  • Janet
    March 16, 2017

    My Dad retired at 55, nearly 20 years ago now and has always been a busy little bee. My stepmum on the other hand retired recently, and just quietly I think she’s finding it more of a challenge after years in academia! Hubster wants to retire at 60 (11 years away) but I’m not thinking of retiring just yet, having way too much fun with my own business!

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      It sounds like your Dad is enjoying his early retirement Janet. I can’t see myself completely retiring for a while yet either. I love blogging and I’m picking up heaps of freelance writing work that keeps me busy and the dollars rolling in. My problem is that I love travelling so much it interferes with my work!! #TeamLovinLife

  • Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject
    March 16, 2017

    My hubby is closer to retirement than I am. I must admit I am concerned about him “driving me nuts” if he’s bored. I might have to show your list to him so he can think of some things to do. Did I hear the words “part time job”? :) #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      I think women tend to find more things to do in their retirement than men for some reason. My husband drives me nuts 5 days a week, as he only works 2 days. He continually asks me what I’m doing and thinks I play on Facebook all day! He does have interests, but probably needs something where he is using his brain to keep him occupied. I guess it is a time of adjustment, like a lot of things in life. :)

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    March 17, 2017

    I’m nowhere near retirement (it would be wrong to retire in my early forties, right??) but you’ve given me lots to think about.

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      Ha ha! Yes you are way too young! But you would probably agree that retirees are much younger these days than the previous generations? It’s never too early to plan for your retirement. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty & Beyond
    March 17, 2017

    I was totally lost when I retired Kathy. I retired at 55 to spend more time with my husband but six months in and I wasn’t happy. I started the blog and took on some bookkeeping and website/social media work. It definitely depends on the person but anyone retiring certainly needs a plan.

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      It think this is the problem with retirement. Suddenly you are faced with an entire day and night to do whatever you please and sometimes the hours drag by without you feeling that you have achieved anything. On non-blogging days I can sometimes feel this way, so I now write myself a to do list for each day and try to cross a few tasks off it, plus get out and about in the great outdoors. I guess when we had jobs we felt a sense of achievement and self satisfaction, but now we don’t necessarily have this. Having a retirement plan is definitely the key. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo@JoSimplyWill
    March 17, 2017

    Kathy thank you for this terrific post. What I don’t like about either the word retirement or the idea behind it is that it seems to suggest a boundary that one steps over never to return. My older brothers (aged 69 and 71) are perfect examples of people who have stepped in and out of the workforce as interesting opportunities have presented themselves. One is still doing this. So to describe him as ‘retired’ when he is not working is not accurate. I know several other people who are approaching their later years in this way. We need another word…..will have to brainstorm this!
    I agree there are so many hobbies and interests to explore, or organisations who would love to have volunteers. Those who don’t already do these things in addition to paid work must really have to plan very well for their post-work years.

    • Kathy
      March 17, 2017

      It does sound a bit archaic Jo. The word conjures up images of oldies sitting in their recliners in their slippers and cardigans! I think there is a whole new take on retirement these days. Like you say some people still undertake a bit of part-time work and others take on a challenge, like competing in a marathon or learning a new language. These are the type of people I would love to emulate in my retirement. For now I’m busy travelling and writing about it, but someday I guess I might need to look for new horizons. :) #LovinLifeTeam

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    March 18, 2017

    Too many old people! That’s what my mum says (69) and that’s what my husband’s mum says too (she’s 80). I think my grandmother may have even said it when she first entered the aged care facility at he age of 88 (she’s now 95) I love it. I’ll be the same. I hope.

    I think it’s the mindset. The senior ladies in my life don’t act old. They are still young in their thoughts and actions. Others just seem old because they do “old stuff”. So I get where they’re coming from.

    #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      March 18, 2017

      Mindset definitely has a lot to do with feeling old. I still feel very young and active, but know a few people who have become very inactive since retiring from work. I hope I keep doing “young stuff” to ward off the inevitable! :)

  • budget jan
    March 19, 2017

    Marty and I are both retired. I love my life and although I haven’t worked for approx. 5 years, if the right position was to materialise I can see myself working again. I don’t even know what this position that would lure me out of retirement would be, but I don’t like closing doors!

    • Kathy
      March 19, 2017

      I could see you doing something creative and arty for a living Jan. I think I would jump at the chance of a travel writing job if one was offered. I am enjoying semi-retirement at this stage, but some days I do get a little bored. I think it is the social contact that working in an office provided. :) #TeamLovinLife

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