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7 things you don’t think you’ll miss about work


It might seem far-fetched that after 30 or 40 years of daily toil and travail, the freedom of retirement might seem less attractive over time, but it’s true. A survey by Skipton Building Society found that the average retiree gets bored of life in retirement just ten months after leaving work. Here’s what people miss…

The workplace banter and colleagues

People are social creatures and the workplace is usually the most social place we know. Skipton found that for well over half of Brits (54%) the retirement glow wore off because they missed the camaraderie they had at work, while 62% of retired women and 44% of men admitted they missed the banter they shared daily with colleagues.

Your job title (and the feeling of importance that goes with it)

Lots of people define themselves by what they do for a living and get self-esteem from their job title – even carrying this over into retirement. How many retirees do you know who describe themselves as ‘former’ something? Job titles give structure and meaning to people’s place in society, so it’s hardly any surprise that some people feel a loss of self-worth when they give up work – this can be particularly the case for men in more senior positions.

The stress and satisfaction of a job well done

Work can be stressful at times, but with that often comes the satisfaction of a job well done, which can be lacking in retirement. Skipton found that once retired, four in ten felt their mind was no longer being pushed and still felt capable of completing a full time job.  

The routine of a 9-5, five days a week

You might hate the drudgery of the 9-5 workday, but it’s ironic that in retirement, more than a third or respondents to a survey by Skipton said they were fed up that every day ended up being the same as the last, while one in five felt completely redundant. Loneliness, boredom, and the feeling of ageing quickly were all cited as reasons why retirement wasn’t as enjoyable as they had imagined.

Time away from the other half

Going from working a full week plus commuting time to spending all your time at home can be a strain on relationships. Research from Skipton found that four in ten couples find it impossible to live with each other during retirement as they’re just not used to spending so much time together after working for so long. Many couples struggle to fill the hours with so much spare time, and probably argue more as a result; in fact, 11% say they disagree about how they will spend their day.

Being kept busy and out of the house

Say what you like – but work does at least keep you busy during the day. Skipton found that a fifth (19%) of retirees thought daytime television was ‘awful’, a quarter (24%) said the great British weather stopped them getting out and about as much as they would have liked, while about one in seven (14%) were taken for granted a little by family, as it became expected for them to run around after children and grandchildren.

Your salary!

Most people’s incomes take a hit in retirement as they move from a monthly wage to living off a pension or other retirement salary. Skipton found that almost a third of retirees (31%) struggled to cope without their monthly wage packet – making it all the more important to have good pension plans in place before leaving work.

What do you think you’ll miss most – or least – when you quit work?  What’s taken you by surprise about having free time in retirement? Let us know in the forum!

This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.


Fascinating survey results. I'm a stay at home parent so I've been through some of this already and come out relatively unscathed. I do, however, have pretty major concerns about how my wife will cope with retirement. I'm not sure she'll find it very easy at all, especially the loss of status and the banter with colleagues.
This is a great post! I'll come back to it when I start thinking about swapping careers. I already work with the other half though, we're teachers at the same school. And I don't hate it! It's where we met actually.
Brilliant post, I work from home and am self-emplyed and whilst I don’t miss the 9-5 and working for someone else, I miss the office banter and having structured time away from the house doing something I know I’m good at. I don’t think I could go into retirement without some form of ‘work’ if I have a good pension and some decent savings though it will be easier to fill my days though.
Let's see how it goes. I'm two days away from the desk and pc!!
Well I have only been retired 8 weeks and at the moment I feel a bit lost. I really miss the people I worked with. Work gives you an agenda each day with the knowledge you have to get the job done but at home the who creates the agenda and of course the answer is yourself but this isn't quite so easy. I have plenty of hobbies and I need to get off my backside and get on with it. Happy retirement to you all.
Retirement is great. Left work 5.5years ago and glad to get out. Was on the road a lot working on my own so missing the people not a problem. Have had the odd bored day in the winter, but usually cured by a walk, weather allowing. Wife retired 3 months after me and disrupted my shcedule for a short while but still good, enjoying life.

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