A conversation between two friends

Jim is about to retire, but Mike retired 3 years ago.

Mike: So what will you do with yourself when you retire Jim?

Jim: Relax, travel a bit, play golf and relax.

Mike: Interesting, but say a year on?

Jim: Let’s see. Now you have been retired for what around 3 years, don’t you miss work?

Mike: I did at first. Actually the transition from work to retirement was stressful and difficult, in a way that I didn’t expect. My job gave me a clear purpose. Also, I missed the friendships. But now I’ve made new friends and I see them all the time.

Jim: How did you do that?

Mike: I realised early on in retirement that I really wanted to do voluntary work, there’s plenty around, and you meet new people and test yourself in new situations. It’s not like work at all. And you make friends there.

Jim: Do you do that five days a week?

Mike: Oh no. I’m also studying Japanese. Seriously. It’s an open-ended commitment. I can do it at any time of the day for as long as I am motivated. Then when I go to Japan next month I will have a much better chance to understand their culture than when you and I went on that work trip ten years ago. Do you remember?

Jim: Yes I remember that, it all seemed pretty strange. But I think I will miss the pressure of work, it really motivates me.

Mike: I make my own pressure. No boss tells me what to do. Except for the voluntary work which I can turn off when I want to, I am my own boss.

Jim: How did you work through all these issues?

Mike: I got help. From a retirement coach. He is not a financial planner but he listens. He helped me to find my meaning and purpose since I stopped work. I can give you his details.