Retirement Time – Will You End Up in the Black Hole?

Your retirement is in sight. Some are eagerly awaiting it, while others are really dreading it. Will it only be fun from now on or do you have no idea how to fill this time? The time has come when you no longer have to go to work every day and there are no more work-related obligations. No more having to get up early, no more boring meetings, no more stressful deadlines… Suddenly you have tons of time. But how do you fill in that time? And how do you ensure that you do not fall into that ‘black hole after retirement’? In this article we give some tips and ideas to prevent this ‘black hole’. So that you too can enjoy your well-deserved retirement without any worries.

Prevent the black hole after your retirement

Some retirees know exactly what they want to do with their time; finally make that trip around the world, buy a second home, pick up an old hobby or volunteer for society – in short; to enjoy! But that’s not for everyone. Some don’t know what to do with the amount of time. Retirees can (over time) end up in a so-called ‘black hole’. Especially when the daily (work) rhythm has disappeared, people don’t really know what to do. It becomes difficult to give a meaningful interpretation to the available time and emptiness is lurking.

However, retirement also offers many new opportunities and possibilities. It will be a challenge to find a pastime that you can both spend your time on and have fun with. Keeping busy is important, finding a new structure and continuing to develop can help you with this. In this way you avoid that black hole. We give some inspiring tips.

Get involved in society

Many retirees are looking for a meaningful use of time for their retirement. They like to ‘give back’ something to society. With their acquired knowledge, experience, passions and talents they want to mean something to others. This can be done in various ways. Volunteering can be a great way to continue contributing in an area that interests you. For example, if you have worked in education for years, providing additional and guest lessons at schools or language stimulation at libraries could be a good option. However, the possibilities are endless; from driver of elderly transport to hostess/host in a social (care) institution and from organizing walking tours to board member at a local association. In most towns and villages special initiatives are even organized for this. Look for something that you can enjoy working with.

learn something new

Keeping busy is the motto, both physically and mentally. So keep challenging yourself and try to learn something new every day. Whether it’s cooking a culinary masterpiece, sheet metal working, engraving, solving tricky puzzles or embroidery, your retirement is the perfect time to learn something new. You can do this independently, but there are also many possibilities to do this in groups. Courses and/or lessons can be found on almost every subject and every craft. These are often organized in community centers, libraries or neighborhood initiatives. There are also many options online. Of course it is also possible to do this abroad. How about a Hinduism course in the mountains of India or a painting workshop in the French countryside, for example?

Avoiding the post-retirement black hole – How do others do it?

Often a combination of enthusiasm and fear arises as people approach retirement. The enthusiasm comes from having more free time, but the fear comes from not knowing how to use this time. What will all this time do to me? We asked two pensioners how they dealt with this and how they found a meaningful use of the available time.

Harold (67) from Rotterdam worked for decades as a manager at an international construction company. He has been retired for 1.5 years.

“At first I didn’t want to retire. I was still quite enjoying my job and I didn’t really know what to do with ‘the last years of my life’. However, when my wife took early retirement – she is 61 – I decided to take this step too. In the beginning we did whatever we wanted; sleeping in, cooking elaborate every evening, visiting old friends and family and reading, especially reading a lot. It was wonderful to have so much time and not have to worry about anything. Over time, boredom set in. We had already worked through many cookbooks and met all our old friends again.

I decided to learn something new and signed up for a graphic drawing course. I learned to draw with different kinds of pen tools and brushes. I never knew I would find this so interesting. And a nice side effect; it keeps my mind up to date. Besides the fact that I am busy, it is also a lot of thinking. In the meantime I have gathered quite a bit of knowledge with regard to graphic design, so that I can teach the ‘youngsters’ from the group myself. Great to be so busy! But… my wife and I still like to sleep in. Fortunately, the course does not start until 11 a.m. every week!”

Elsbeth (69) worked for more than 40 years as a counselor for pregnancies and deliveries. She has been retired for 5 years.

“I loved my job! I have been able to guide so many pregnant women and have been present at hundreds of births. When I stopped working, I missed this greatly. I didn’t know what to do with my time and caught myself that I still kept in touch with ex-colleagues to ask how things were going and to give them – solicited and unsolicited – advice. After being retired for over a year, I decided to take the plunge and contact a midwifery practice in the new city where I live.

I thought maybe they weren’t waiting for such ‘old pliers’, but nothing could be further from the truth. We scheduled an introductory meeting and that went very well for both sides. I didn’t want the heavy work and obligations anymore, but I still wanted to mean something to others. I have been working as a volunteer in practice for some time now. I make sure that everything is ready and that the mothers-to-be feel at ease. I also sometimes babysit the children of the employees. A wonderful change! And sometimes I even give you some advice!”

Find the right balance

There is not one solution to not end up in the black hole after your retirement. Your pension can be structured in many different ways. Have a new balance sheet after you retire. Look for a meaningful use of time and especially ask for help if something doesn’t work out.

With the Essenburgh Pension training in sight, we will discuss – together with you – the various aspects of retirement, such as health, saying goodbye and how you plan your retirement. The perfect preparation for your well-deserved retirement.

Knowing more? View the different Pension in Sight training courses. Or download the (free) checklist on the right and find out immediately how well you are already prepared for your retirement.

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Ans Withaar

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