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‘Retirement glow’ fades after less than a year

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The average retiree suffers from an attack of boredom just ten months after giving up work, it has been revealed. Researchers, who carried out a detailed study, found the early stages of retirement are crammed full of a dizzying round of visiting friends and family and getting stuck into new hobbies.

But the retirement glow begins to wane after less than a year when they start to miss daily involvement with work colleagues and begin to find it hard to fill the days.

Stacey Stothard of Skipton Building Society, which conducted the study said:

”Retirement is no longer something that just happens at a set age. Increasingly people have options and therefore decisions to make.

”Being able to retire with money, health and general happiness is everyone’s aspiration – but for many of us, that might not happen without the right approach.

”Despite anticipating retirement for a greater part of their working life, our study shows that many people struggle to adjust to a new existence that’s free of structure.

”Some feel unproductive or that they’re wasting their accumulated career knowledge. Ten months in and many feel their retirement isn’t as good as they thought it would be.”

The study of 787 people in retirement showed before retiring, respondents looked forward to having lots of free time to pursue personal hobbies and interests, meet up with family and friends, and embark on lots of holidays.

But the report found despite looking forward to the days when they didn’t have to clock on at 9am, when it comes to it most people miss their place of work.

It also emerged many retirees struggle with the feeling they are still capable of completing a full time job, while others said they found it hard to cope without their monthly wage packet.

Around half of those who took part in the study said the retirement glow wears off because they missed the camaraderie they had at work, while four in ten said they felt their mind was no longer being pushed.

Around one in three said they felt ‘everyday ended up being the same as the last’, and a fifth felt ‘completely redundant’.

Loneliness, boredom, and the feeling of aging quickly were also cited as reasons why retirement wasn’t as enjoyable as they had imagined.

The study also found many people tire of ‘poor’ daytime television, while others said the weather often put a stop to them getting out and about.

Additionally the report uncovered a trend of retirees not enjoying being classed as ‘old’ simply because they were retired.

Others went as far as to say they were ‘taken for granted’ by family, who expected them to run around after children and grandchildren.

Lack of disposable income, partners driving each other mad and putting on weight due to inactivity were other reasons why retirement ended up being a disappointment.

The stats from the report also showed one in five retirees enjoyed meeting friends for lunches, spending time in the garden and reading during early retirement but still believed they should never have left work so soon.

During the first few weeks of retirement a third of people went on a much anticipated holiday; while 23% used the time to have a big clear out.

Booking a holiday, buying a new car, taking up a new hobby and spending more time with the grandchildren are all ways people enjoyed their time as soon as they left the world of work.

Interestingly, of those polled, more people retired in March than in any other month of the year – and 42% of people admitted they have a better outlook on retirement during the summer months.

And there are certain elements which make retirement easier – two thirds of retirees claim having plenty of money makes life less troublesome, while 84% say good health counts for a lot.

Living near friends, having a partner who is still around and retired, and having plenty of hobbies all pave the way for a more relaxed and enjoyable retirement.

Stacey Stothard added:

”There are certain things in life that you can’t anticipate or plan for.

”But we all hope to reach retirement age, and based on that alone, we can take steps to plan for that new-found free time – no matter how many years away from retirement we are.

”From thoroughly understanding your personal finances, through to establishing what you actually want to do or achieve in your retirement; considering these key areas can give you much needed direction and drive.”

REASONS RETIREMENT GLOW WEARS OFF

1. I missed the camaraderie I had at work
2. The novelty of not working wore off
3. I was bored
4. My mind wasn’t being pushed
5. I didn’t have as much disposable income as I thought
6. The glow just wears off because you get used to it
7. When everyday ended being the same as the day before
8. I didn’t have many friends who had retired
9. The nice weather ended and I had t spend more time indoors
10. I was lonely
11. I just didn’t have enough things to fill my days
12. I didn’t have many hobbies or interests to fill my time
13. I didn’t like being seen as ‘old’
14. I felt redundant
15. Daytime television is awful
16. I put on weight as I wasn’t as active
17. I ended up running around after everyone else i.e. grandchildren and children
18. My partner and I drove each other mad
19. I hated telling people I was retired
20. My partner was still working and I resented that.