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Planning Your Transition To Retirement

Planning Your Transition To Retirement

By Susan Williams

Some time back, Dr. Martin Hyde from Swansea University joined us to share some research on some of the challenges that people may have as they transition into retirement.

I was delighted to have him join us again to discuss some possible options on how to improve our planning and approach to this major life transition.

Dr. Hyde along with a team of researchers were commissioned by the CGF and the Centre for Ageing Better to conduct analysis of the outcomes of individuals taking specific courses designed to help them prepare for their transition to retirement. In the following video, he shares what they discovered;

If you are interested in watching the first segment with Dr. Hyde here is the link: Transitioning To Retirement – What The Research Says

These are some of the highlights of our discussion;

About The Research Conducted

  • The primary purpose of the research that Dr. Hyde and a team of researchers was to evaluate a number of different courses that took a more psych/social approach to retirement planning/later life planning and shifting the view of retirement from strictly a financial perspective
  • Things that were included for consideration in the workshops were activities like hobbies, social activities, working longer and other things that you needed to put in place to ensure you were able to do the things you wanted to do later in life

The Findings

  • The research discovered that overall the outcomes of the courses were positive. People came away with clearer ideas about their goals and people’s interest in their overall well being increased
  • What they also uncovered was the unexpected result of the participant’s social networks decreased following the course. After further researching this finding, they actually discovered it wasn’t that their connections had declined but rather it was as a result of having a higher appreciation of their social networks and being able to also identify potentially toxic relationships
  • They also found that those people that attended that had the lowest well being or low self kindness or how well you looked after yourself had the greatest improvements as a result of participating in the courses. There was one exception however and that related to attitudes towards aging. Those that had a negative view towards aging when they started tended to also have less of an improvement following the program
  • 90% of the participants in these courses were women. Dr. Hyde believes that they may have seen different results if the audience were more gender balanced given different challenges that men face. Other research has shown that men do tend to plan better for the financial aspects of retirement however they also tend to suffer the most due to loss of social network and contact once they leave work
  • As a result of the workshop, for many people this was the first time that they thought about their plans for retirement and following the course the majority had conversations with the partners and significant others
    • What is also interesting to note is the majority of the participants were primarily in the role of caring for others so thinking about their own needs was often quite revolutionary
  • They also found that there was a great deal of value in participating in these types of workshops face to face. The ability to share and discuss with others in the same situation helped to increase awareness that they were not alone in going through this transition
  • One of the major take homes from of these courses was communication. The need to talk to your co-workers, your manager and helping people to realize that this life transition is not an individual activity and is in fact a process

The Opportunity For Employers

  • Many employers offer workshops for financial retirement planning (which is important) however employers may be reluctant to offer these non financial courses because they may believe that it’s to try and motivate people to leave. What the research discovered was that it’s actually the reverse. Offering these types of programs made the employees feel that the employer cared about them and their well being beyond their direct working relationship. Being this type of supportive employer has massive ripples throughout the entire workforce as others view the employer as being interested in their well being both while at work and even after they have left
  • Age friendly workplaces are emerging. Right now they are focusing on desk design, ergonomics and hiring practices but Dr. Hyde believes that this could well extend into later life transition planning as well

Dr. Hyde’s Top 3 Pieces Of Advice For Those Transitioning To Retirement

#1: Talk to people

Talk to people about what you are thinking about related to your transition into retirement. Don’t worry if you don’t have it all clear in your head. Recognize that this is a process.

#2: Get a hobby

Have something else to be working on that give you a sense of purpose and start this before you retire. The uptake of new hobbies after retirement is quite low but the rate of continuity after retirement is quite high.

#3 – Surround yourself with people that will help you make good choices

Whether it’s your coworkers or people outside work. Ensure that you have established positive social relationships outside work and have created what you want your social network to look like in retirement.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.