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The meaning of retirement – finding a purpose

Julia Skinner is the author of Julia’s Place. She recently shared her views on the ‘Meaning of Retirement’ in response to findings published by Skipton Building Society.
For Julia, retiring at 56 was only possible as she and her husband had been planning for it for some time, saving their income religiously.
In her blog she talks about:
  • Retiring from teaching and how her life was going to be significantly different upon retirement
  • How she enjoyed a decent income when working and didn’t want retirement to mean they had to sacrifice things they enjoy
  • Her concerns with the findings that a huge amount of people are not financially planning for their retirement
  • Struggling to adapt to the change.

Getting used to retired life

For Julia the meaning of retirement is about embracing a new beginning to your life and she feels the secret to a happy retirement lies in adequate financial planning, as with any new or big venture. One thing that stood out to Julia from the survey, was people’s worrying lack of pension provision.
Julia also notes that, despite the survey uncovering mainly positive feelings towards retirement, she struggled to adjust in the beginning, as she hadn’t made any hard and fast plans for spending her new-found free time. The change from being a headteacher, relied upon daily and with objectives and tasks to fulfill, to becoming a retiree with much less responsibility, took its toll.
I didn’t have any real plans for my ‘new life’. I assumed that there would be plenty to do but I found it very hard in the beginning. Actually, it was hell! I cried every day because I could see no purpose to my life. My ‘value’ in my eyes lay in my position as a headteacher and once that was removed; I felt I had little purpose.
Find out more about Julia’s take on retirement and the comments it evoked by reading the full article here.
Do you have a similar story to Julia? Did you struggle to get to grips with retirement at first? Share your thoughts with us below.
This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.


I am aware of one member of my extended family having trouble adjusting to retirement and having fewer responsibilities. When my time comes, I think I will ease into it; working part time at first. I can imagine it is quite a major change to get used to and Julia's remarks also show that retirement is not all about pensions.
I think perhaps doing some volunteer work could bridge the gap between work and retirement and help give some purpose to life again.
Couldn’t agree more with gnomebulb2 I feel that I will want to do some voluntary work when I retire and can understand that there is a need to feel a purpose once one’s working life is over.

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