Transition to Retirement

Retirement is the goal of most people and they can’t wait to get there. But actually retiring is a process that takes some time before we discover what retirement for us is really going to be like, on a real time basis.

For many, this newly retired period can be a very pleasant and exciting time, redirecting our time and energy into new pursuits. But even then, there is still a big transition from doing what we have been doing for a long time to something new.

The transition to real retirement can be a little scary and even disappointing to many people. Some may want to go back to the safety and security of their job, just to get out of the uncomfortable position they feel in their transition to retirement.  Retirement may not “yet” be what they thought it would be.

Many people have told me they gave up on retirement and went back to work. Most did this before one year had passed and they usually retired from something and not to something. The something missing was where to redirect their interests, passion and energy. Many did not try new things. They stayed home and got on their spouse’s nerves, did not socialize with people, lost their passion for anything and generally grew miserable. They knew something was not right and they were not living their retirement dream.

So back to work they went to ride a train they had been on for 30 years because it was comfortable for them and they just couldn’t work out the concept of retirement.  I really feel sorry for these people and wish I could help, but each person has to find their own way.

Each person does make the transition into retirement in a different way, but the successful ones usually find something they like to do and people they like to do it with.

In Mary Ann’s and my case, we did slide into retirement, cutting back on our home based business. Some do it by reducing their hours at work. Some by consulting. Part time retirement is better than it sounds, because it allows you to start the transition to the retirement process. I would recommend it.

Another thing we did was to get involved with our local Active Adult Center, yes sometimes called a Senior Center. I know it sounds bad, but there are some really neat “active” senior centers. I joined the walking club and enjoyed walking three days with a week with the guys. On the other days of the week we played Bocce with about 15 people who because our new friends too.

This gave me a great insight and that is: Activities in retirement bring you new friends!

With that understanding, after a few years at the Active Adult Center, we realized our big house with master bedroom upstairs was not good. We did consider moving locally, because we really did like the Johns Creek, GA area where we lived for over 30 years.

However we found out about Active Adult Communities and they seem to offer what we needed; that being a one level ranch style home, friendly neighbors and many, many activities that we knew would bring us new friends.

We now have been in our Del Webb Community for one year and love it! We are enjoying our activities and our new friends.

Now we love playing bocce, cooking class, pickleball, race walking, blogging, collecting, taking cruises, entertaining, reading, going to the gym, talking with people, concerts, going to community theater, trying new restaurants, visiting the local attractions and towns, traveling and checking out the events schedule to see what we can try next. It’s not about how many activities you can do, but finding a few that you have a passion about.

Recommendations for Your
Transition to Retirement

Doing: Try plenty of things. Do things you like. Be brave, try new things. You may find something you didn’t know you liked, until you try it.

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” -Walter Anderson

instaquote-05-09-2014-18-26-40Activities: This is key. Do activities you like with other people. In my case it started with taking dance lessons, walking with others, bocce games, but there are endless opportunities.

As they say, don’t just retire from something, retire to something. Let go of that job title mentality, in retirement we don’t care who you used to be, and you won’t either soon.

I would highly recommend doing some activities at your local Active Senior Center. Then you may want to do what we did and move to an Active Retirement Community where you will have more than plenty to do and many friendly people to do them with.


Finally, remember even if you stumble, you are still moving forward. Most people make the transition very fast and love it.

  • “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” -Anonymous
  • “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra
  • “If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.” -Mark Twain
  • “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney








By Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc. and publisher of Robert and his wife Mary Ann live at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert has visited many 55+ Active Adult Communities and blogs about Active Adult Community Living.

One reply on “Transition to Retirement”

Great ideas, well presented. The activities the elderly need to do should now include weight lifting now that recent research has shown that regular weight lifting has a very significant beneficial effect on memory and the reversal of mild cognitive impairment at the beginning of dementia. This is a great finding, and very easy to act on.

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