Dayo sat outside his house staring into the moon, wondering what was going to be his next line of action. He had just returned from a one month trip with his wife to visit his children around the country after three months of lazing about in the house. He had visited all his friends and even taken time to watch as many home video movies than he had ever watched in such a short time. Now all he felt was a void and a feeling of lack of purpose. Not to mention his finances that were dwindling quicker than he anticipated. This was not how he envisioned his retirement. He didn’t know having so much free time and nothing to do with it was ever going to be a problem. All through his years of active service and especially towards the last years, he had always dreamt about the day he wouldn’t need to wake up early and be rushing out to work, or the traffic he had to contend with. In his widest dreams, he never thought he would miss it. His biggest dilemma now was what would he do, and if he figured it out, how would he start? At 65 wouldn’t he be too old to be starting a new career?

Just like Dayo, a lot of retirees have suffered post retirement stress and anxiety. The transition from full time active service to complete joblessness can sometimes be overwhelming both mentally and health wise. One report states that retired people, especially those in the first year of retirement, are about 40 percent more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those who keep working. So with these odds stacking up against potential retirees does it mean retirement is a bad thing and one should work until they drop dead? How do these retirees deal with post retirement depression?

If you are currently in service and have a few years left to work, the wisest decision will be to start planning for your retirement. except you run your personal business, retirement is inevitable. So instead of allowing it to take you by surprise, begin to plan for it financially and psychologically.

To answer Dayo’s questions, which happen to be the questions on the minds of most retirees, the first step is to acknowledge that retirement is actually a new phase in ones life and a beautiful one. So instead of fighting the change and feeling uncomfortable with it, embrace it. To be fair you have earned it after dedicating almost all of your adult life to working.

Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean you should hands off all form of work, instead it should be an opportunity to set and pursue a new dream. Probably one that is centered around your passion. It’s never too late to start a business or pursue a new career. If you have a dream or passion you weren’t privileged to pursue during your active years, you can now focus on it and learn at your pace and even earn some major bucks off it. You can look into becoming a consultant from the comfort of your home. Afterall your years of service have opened you up to a wealth of knowledge that you can now convert into a money making machine. So without the pressure to meet up with any boss’ expectations, you can be productive and always have something to look forward to.

Don’t allow age limit you from doing great things. Like Dayo, 65 is not an old age for anyone to start a business or career. The famous Col. Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken started at 62 and became a global success. No time is too late for you to learn a new skill, start a new business or career. Just go for it, what do you really have to lose at this age. Be mindful however about pouring money into any venture you do not have sufficient knowledge or experience on. It is always better to start small and learn on the job.

Finally but not the least, we understand that not everyone wants to work after retirement, you can engage in extracurricular activities like sports, book clubs etc. to keep your mind and body active. Also invest in the right financial systems so your money can grow passively.

Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum through her NEF-Retirement programme, teaches pre-retirees how to plan properly for retirement and teaches them on areas where they might venture into. Kindly contact us for more details.

By: Omore Orifa