Retirement is a transition in life, and one of the major ones at that.
Reading some research from Harvard University, I found this useful concept: the identity bridge.
What is this bridge? It is about finding a form of continuity, hence building a bridge, between your identity pre-retirement and post-retirement. To put it differently, to connect “who was I?” when I worked to “who am I?” post-work.
Some concrete ideas for this “bridge” will help to explain the concept better.
1. Return to a long-neglected passion e.g. gardening. Or carry over some work-based skills in a volunteering capacity.
2. Maintain a sense of being valued: as you experienced it at work. Friends and family may provide this.
3. Hold tightly to certain core beliefs of yours, such as optimism, to help guide you through the tricky transition of retirement.
4. Open a business, but without the profit motive, based on something you have always wanted to do; say running a single malt whisky bar.
5. Grandparenting. When you worked you didn’t have time to be an effective grandparent. Now you have that time post-work, you can increase your engagement with grandchildren.
The choice of which bridges to build is yours.
Retirement: You won’t know what it is like until you get there.