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The experience of retirement can vary widely depending on individual circumstances, health, financial security, personal interests and support networks. For many it is a fulfilling & enjoyable phase of life. However, for some retirement doesn’t turn out to be as positive as anticipated and whilst the first few weeks seem like a holiday, many start to experience some or all of the following:

· Loss of Identity & Purpose : the roles and responsibilities and interaction with colleagues provided identity & purpose and for some this loss can be overwhelmingly difficult

· Social Isolation : many experience social isolation due to the absence of daily interactions with coworkers and work-related events

· Financial Concerns : many worry about whether they have saved enough to maintain their desired lifestyle during retirement. Adjusting to a fixed income can be challenging

· Health Concerns : some face declining health which can impact their ability to enjoy retirement

· Adjustment to a new routine - the idea of not having to set the alarm to begin with is perhaps exciting, but establishing a daily routine that suits the retired lifestyle can be challenging

· Emotional & Psychological Adjustment - the adjustment can lead to feelings of loss, anxiety about the future and even depression in some cases

· Family Dynamics – spending more time at home can impact relationships with spouses and children

· Housing & Relocation - decisions about where to live and downsizing can be daunting, difficult and requires careful planning

· Boredom or lack of stimulation – many think they will never have time to be bored but there is surprisingly a lot more time than expected

If you are only a few years away from retirement, here are my 8 TIPS help you plan ahead and make sure you transition smoothly into retirement:

1. Find a sense of purpose and explore which activities will correspond to it. This will provide psychological well being

2. Get some Financial advice – there is no time like the present - even if you are quite a few years away, to get some help with pension planning, investments and to plan how you budget and manage your finances carefully, and ensure you will be able to maintain the desired lifestyle

3. Maintain an Active Social life and make new connections It is particularly helpful to meet others who have just retired in your community

4. Get regular healthchecks, eat healthily and plan a daily exercise routine

5. Get up at the same time every day and take time to plan each month ahead. Make sure you incorporate sufficient time for leisure, personal interests as well as family responsibilities

6. Get Support – seeking support from a coach well ahead of retirement can help you find your purpose and meaningful activities. Talking through your concerns and emotions before and during retirement can make the transition easier and enjoyable.

7. Communicate as much as possible with spouses and if you are single/divorced/widowed then talk to your family or close friends

8. Learn a new skill, take up a new activity or pursue a lifelong passion #retirementcoaching

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