‘Retirement is hell’ – wrong!

Retirement is hell!

‘Retirement is hell’ the headline shouted but it wasn’t quite correct!

I was recently featured in an article in the Daily Mail which looked at the impact of retirement on women who had previously held high powered jobs. You can read it HERE 

Whilst they printed most of what I said during the interview with the journalist, the spin they put on it was quite negative. Even during the photo shoot I was not allowed to smile! So, I have decided to set the record straight!

The beginning

When I first decided to take early retirement, I didn’t have a plan of what I was going to do. I know of colleagues who had a list of tasks and activities they were going to complete but for me, I thoughtthat life would fill each day. I had intended to learn to play the piano, read more, get fit and of course do lunch but this did not happen. I’m not sure if it was the lack of a plan but the void that not having to go to work created, gave my anxiety demons a chance to get into my system and as the article explains, life was hard.

After a while

Gradually, thanks to my wonderful husband, I built a routine that consisted of daily jobs, daily trips out of the house and a general acceptance that life was now different and could be great. As my post ‘Retirement – will you be bored?’ explains I found social media and that has given me a second career that I certainly wasn’t looking for and didn’t realise I’d love.

Being open to opportunities and new ideas is key when you have ended a career. It is also about a mind set that says I have finished on THAT path but not I have finished!

Retirement is a bad word

Since retiring and being referred to as ‘retired’, I know that the word retirement has all the wrong connotations to it. This belief is linked in part to the fact that people are living longer and are more healthy, so for example at 60, unlike my parents, we still have lots of life left in us. We are not prepared to settle for afternoon TV and slippers or certainly shouldn’t be!


Free e-book

This is quite a new area for many- drawing up a list of what to do beyond lunch and reading. There are lots of different aspects to consider and not only financial.  For those of you who do not have a list, this free e-book covers lots of areas that you may like to think about. Those lovely people over at the Rough Guides and Legal and General have produced a ‘Rough Guide to Retirement’. It asks you to consider whether you are ready to retire as well as giving guides to pensions, explaining what your rights are, childcare considerations and looking at taking early retirement. There is also a really useful jargon buster to help you find your way through those acronyms!


So, my story has moved from that headline of ‘Retirement is hell’ to one where I am so busy I will need to think about retiring from my retirement!

Have you a to-do list for when you retire? 

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  • I’m fortunate that I hated my job so much, retirement came as an unexpected pleasure. I had to retire early because of health issues, but I am fortunate that I have a lot of ‘sedentary’ hobbies, painting, drawing, playing guitar, photography and now blogging. There is so much to do and I look forward to every nano second of it. I am so fortunate.

  • Retired but not retiring is the byline on a blog I visit!

  • Good for you on setting the record straight. I retired in 1995, due to health issues. And, I’ll admit it took me a long time to adjust. I loved my career. But, once I did adjust, I’ve had a ball. Freedom to travel, spend time with family and friends, and pursue my love of writing.

  • my dad retired about 10 years ago now. he is so happy, busy and fulfilled. he exercises when he’d rather not, spends time with people he loves, does things he enjoys. it so lovely to see him so busy yet so happy after years of him doing work he’d rather not in order to support us all.

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