By Karen Redelinghuys
Life and Business Coach

You are turning 65 next year. You’ve got your finance ducks in a row, you have a financial plan, you are ready for retirement. You have a good financial advisor who has guided you, in a financial sense, to this place in time in your life. You tell your friends: I am going to do all the things I never had the time for; I am going to travel; I am going to do those art classes; I am moving to the seaside; I am going to do volunteer work for charity organizations; I am going to write a book; I am……etc.  You count the days, then next you say:  geez, I only have 6 months left at work and this time next year, I will be walking on the beach with my dog.

Before you know it, the day comes (time does really fly by). You’ve turned 65, it’s time! You think: who is this person, I feel 45, I still listen to my music from my days, I like to dance and have fun with friends.  65? Me?

The day has arrived. You go to work for the last time, maybe to sign off with Human Resources, possibly for a farewell lunch – speeches are made about you. Management and staff say how they appreciated you, how your work ethic inspired them. They thank you for your loyal service to the company. They say: you look good for your age, you look healthy.  You feel fantastic, top of the world.

People say we much keep in touch with each other, let’s not lose contact.  You exchange numbers with people you never really had contact with, but all in the name of ‘keeping in contact’.

You drive out the parking lot, thinking, this is the last time I am doing this. You feel a sense of relief of leaving it all behind you and that it’s somebody else’s problem now. Then it hits you.  You’ve waited so long for this, now, driving out the building, you feel odd?  It’s a strange feeling. Suddenly, your title has changed to ‘Pensioner’. You are no longer the employee whom other employees and management admired, for whom you were a role model to. Sure, they will remember you, won’t they?

Now you are now a pensioner, you are on pension, you do not need to go to work tomorrow. You don’t set the alarm clock.  You can wake up when you wake up…so to speak.  You can do what the heck you want to do. Your time is completely yours. The world is your oyster!

You’ve made your move to your house at the sea or wherever you fancy. For the first month every day you walk your dog on the beach. You see the same people walking each day, you start greeting them. A bit of small talk here and there! Ah great, you’re making new friends who have retired. Then you skip a day of walking, two days. Now you are walking once a week. Ok what to do now? Go to the Mall, sit in a coffee shop, watching the working people scurry around at lunch time to get something done. You feel strange doing this. You feel something is missing. You yearn for that sense of purpose; you miss the adrenaline of needing to get back to work for a meeting. You suddenly realize that you are missing being at work, being with people, missing the adrenaline pumping in your veins before a tough meeting.  All those ‘we must keep in contact promises’- well, not one person has called.  Oh wait, HR did call about something you forgot to take with when you left.

No one misses you it seems.  Life is going on without you – there, you’ve just seen it all at the Mall.

Then it hits you, suddenly you feel like you have no worth anymore, nobody misses you, nobody calls to ask your advice or for opinion. People look past you in the Mall, you feel invisible. You feel you have lost yourself. Now what?

Well…get a life coach, that’s a good start!

I am a Life Coach with a special interest in retirement, amongst other interesting things.

What has happened is that you passed through the honeymoon period of retirement. The after retirement was not what you expected.  You feel you’ve lost your purpose; you’ve become bored, you feel isolated with very little social interaction. You don’t feel like the travelling, or the art class, or the working for charity, or even for walking the poor dog. No this isn’t right, surely?

You feel you have so much more to offer the world, this can’t be the end of the road.

No, absolutely not! It is the start of another road, another path, another journey, another challenge.

I can help you create a plan for the mental, social, physical and spiritual changes that take place at retirement.

I can help you through identifying what is really important to you: how you want to be defined? How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to spend your time? You are able to now choose from a world of opportunities of how to actually spend your precious time.

Step into your future with a purpose, take that personal but figurative ‘bungee jump’ to call me. Identify your passion and make a plan to follow it.