Yesterday, I was at a meeting with a few of my more senior colleagues, and I mean that in terms of age. A couple of them were joking together about looking forward to early retirement. Although I’m at least (depending on government policy!) a comfortable 30 years away from retirement age as it stands at present, I was able to wistfully dream along with them, only half-jokingly, about my wish to retire early as well.
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So I found this article in the Telegraph today and thought it related an interesting point. Basically, it highlights some research made that retirement can affect both physical and mental health adversely.
Truthfully, although I can dream of days when I don’t go into work anymore, I know it’s the case on a very non-scientific study of people whom I work with. I have been allocated and worked in a few men who, just past 65 have retired and then have been dogged by significant and debilitating depression.
The article relates to financial difficulties faced in retirement. I’d venture a guess that there is also a relation to a loss of a significant role and social environment that work can give. With men, in particular, ‘of a certain generation’, there is an expectation to work and to provide for the family. There is significant time spent out of the house working and away from the spouse that when both can be together day and night can lead to tensions that might not have previously been apparent.
Of course lower spending power is an issue but also not having the same structure to the day and purpose to respond when people ask ‘what do you do’ to mean ‘who are you’ in social settings.
The study claims that some of the answers can be found in part-time work and perhaps voluntary work, even in an area completely unrelated to that in which the career had been focused.
You know, I’d take that kind of retirement. That’s when I think I’ll start my flower-arranging course.. (I know, I know, but honestly, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do!).