If you’re employed (or self-employed) and approaching retirement have you planned how you’ll spend your retired time? And if you’re an employer, what do you do to help employees who are retiring to prepare for their leisure years?
Here are some thought-provoking facts and figures to think about from ageUK’s “Later Life in the United Kingdom” factsheet (Oct 2016):
- There are over 15 million people in the UK aged 60 and above.
- When asked what stage of life they were currently living in 55% of 60-64 year olds said ‘later life or old age’ and 43% said ‘middle adulthood’.
- For 65-69 year olds the split was 75% ‘later life’ and 23% ‘middle adulthood’.
- People aged 65+ spend 3¾ hours a day (on average) watching TV/DVD/Video.
- Over-65s spend an average of 80% of their time in the home.
- 48% of over 65s are active in social activities in their local area.
- Current UK life expectancy estimates at the age of 65 are 85.9 for women and 83.4 for men.
That’s a lot of time to fill when you retire. So how much do you know about planning your time to enjoy leisure interests and hobbies when you retire, and the ways you can fill your time, to avoid becoming a ‘later life’ couch-potato?
Is enjoying retirement really that difficult?
People look forward to the benefits of retirement, one of which is the ability to choose to do what they want, when they want. Some people are used to organising their own time and have probably done so throughout their careers, but being presented with a huge surplus of unscheduled free time can present many challenges once work ceases and retirement begins.
The abundance of free time doesn‘t automatically equate to a sudden uplift in the quality of life in retirement. Having too much time on their hands can be a burden for some people and create huge patches of boredom. In other cases it may make people feel lonely and that their useful life has come to an abrupt halt.
This is all far from the truth if people know what they can do and understand the need to plan and manage their time, so they can make the most of their later life / leisure years.
There’s science behind this too
An extract from Pauline Johnson’s “Retirement Factors Website” includes some acute observations from a survey (carried out by Wei-Ching Wang and her team). These include the need to apply more focus on retirement and leisure time, while pointing out that retirees and prospective retirees benefit from guidance on how to manage this unscheduled free time. One specific quote observes:
“Rather than using free time in a healthy and constructive way, many individuals spend their free time without planning. Such free time usually involves ‘killing time’ and avoiding boredom”.
The researchers found several aspects of free time management were positively related to improving retirees quality of life, including:
- Setting goals and priorities for free time;
- Evaluating these goals for appropriateness and feasibility;
- Utilising techniques such as organising leisure activities and organising time on a daily or weekly basis.
The observations conclude that actively managing free time is a key indicator as to whether retirees experience an optimal quality of life during their retirement years.
So how can coaching help?
Time management is one of the most important tools that Life Coaches help clients to improve and apply as a means to achieving their aspirations and goals. This is just one aspect of how Wellbeing and Retirement coaching can help people to enhance the quality of their retirement.
Many people suddenly arrive at retirement without a plan of action regarding how they want to spend their leisure time, what hobbies they might pursue, and how they will use the time now available to fill their days with purpose and enjoyment (as well as a bit of gardening!).
Life Coaches typically use their questioning and listening skills to help new retirees, and those approaching retirement, to consider the activities, goals and aspirations open to them. Part of this involves time management, including helping people to resist the urge to decorate the entire home in the first 6 months before working out what to do next.
As you can see from the life expectancy figures above retirement can last for 20 years or more, so there’s no rush and plenty of time to mix the chores with lots of fun, laughter and plenty of achievements.
How to find out more
I provide Wellbeing and Retirement Coaching in one of two ways: through an organised workshop or on a 1 to 1 basis.
Wellbeing & Retirement Planning Coaching Workshop (Duration: 1 Day)
These are generally organised with an employer as part of their commitment to looking after the wellbeing of their employees. Some blue-chip companies and large organisations already provide this type of service and it is viewed as an invaluable and much-valued benefit by their employees.
My workshop combines a pre-course questionnaire, coaching tools, information sharing, discussion, group work and worksheets. These help employees understand what retirement can mean for them and how to plan their time to make the most of it.
The main aim is for people to share their thoughts and ideas, and leave feeling positive with a personal action plan, ready to enjoy their later life.
Benefits for employees
- A better understanding of the phases of retirement
- Things to consider, such as time management, health, leisure and support resources
- Understanding what retirement means to them and the expectations of others (e.g. spouse, partner, family members and friends)
- The importance of having a goal, planning and organising their free time
- Identifying any challenges and obstacles that may occur
Benefits for employers
- Improved employee physical and mental health
- Enhanced employee engagement, satisfaction, trust and loyalty
- Increased productivity amongst older employees
- Potential reduction in absenteeism due to sickness
- Supports Investors in People and EFQM objectives (if these are applicable)
1 to 1 Wellbeing & Retirement Coaching
These can be used by:
- Employees who have attended a workshop who have issues or concerns so personal to them that a group environment is not appropriate for them to discuss matters.
- People who are self-employed or employed by an organisation or company that does not offer any kind of retirement / later life planning service.
The 1 to 1 coaching sessions are very specific and personal to each person, using the same format as the workshop to help individuals (or couples) determine what they want from retirement and how to achieve it.
Each session last about an hour and clients decide how many sessions they need before they feel prepared for their retirement / later life years.
If you are an employer and interested in introducing this service for your employees, please contact me to discuss the Wellbeing and Retirement Coaching Workshop and we can arrange a meeting to look at the benefits for your company.
If you are an employee or self-employed and struggling to work out what to do in your retirement / later life years, please contact me to discuss my 1 to 1 Wellbeing and Retirement Coaching sessions.