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Are you in retirement or planning your retirement?
Hilary Henderson looks at eight areas of life, and how these will be affected by retirement

planning for retirement 2

The word Retirement is defined in Wikipedia as ”the point where a person stops employment completely”.  Well, these days how many of us can afford to do that?  The term tends to conjure up images of slowing down, getting old, stopping work and moving out of your social circle into knitting or bridge circles.  We Baby Boomers are changing all that.

The phase of life we  enter around the age of 65 is the stage when we are no longer  ‘chained’ to work, the children should be independent and we can get down to working through our bucket lists.

Yet, many people spend no more time planning their lives in Retirement than they do an annual holiday.  Yes, we may be putting money away for most of our lives, and spend quite a bit of time worrying whether it is going to be enough – but how much time have YOU spent planning around how you are going to fill your days and give your life purpose and meaning.  Think about how much time you put into planning a career when you were a teenager – are you giving your 10-30 years of retirement as much thought?

planning for retirement

 Our lives encompass many aspects.  In Life Coaching we look at 8 specific areas :

  • Health
  • Family and Social
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Occupation/Career/Vocation
  • Personal Development
  • Financial
  • Partner

 Have you thought about all these areas of your life and how they will be affected by retirement?


How well are you covered for your medical expenses, especially with the dread diseases such as cancer, stroke , heart attack and coronary artery bypass ?  What can you do to stave off the chronic illnesses and, keep yourself healthy for as long as possible to ensure that you won’t have exorbitant medical costs later in life?

Family and Social

If you are leaving your current work environment, you will be leaving that social circle behind.  You will need to build up a social network that is like-minded and living on a more flexible schedule, like you.  For some, the joy of becoming more involved with grandchildren is paramount.  For others, finding a bridge club for regular bridge, or a weekly social golf outing is important.  All of this needs to be organized.  You will now need to fill your social calendar 7 days each week, not simply at the weekends.


Does the thought of leaving work and moving into the last phase of life leave you depressed, or does the thought of flexibility and freedom make you exhilarated and excited?  If your finances are not sorted, maybe you are feeling anxious and uncertain.  Do you have the will to make the most of your retirement days – I have heard stories of people who have just given up after they left work and barely lasted a year or two.


As we move into the last phase of our lives, many of us need to reconcile our spiritual lives and prepare ourselves.  Some may need to look back and see if they have achieved what they set out to do.


Many words, but they all point to a life with meaning and purpose.  If you are going to end your working career, what is going to replace it?  Do you perhaps need to embark on a new career and create a means to supplement your pension?  If not, I understand that you may love golf/photography/reading/hiking or whatever takes your fantasy, but do you want to do that 7 days a week?  For some, this is the essence of what Retirement adjustment is all about.

Personal Development

In retirement, you will probably have time to do the things you might have wanted to do earlier in your life, but put them aside.  Perhaps it is studying for the sake of learning, rather than gathering qualifications; discussing philosophy or mastering meditation.  Volunteering for people who have so much less than we do has a way of teaching us so much about ourselves.


As mentioned earlier, the vast majority of the baby boomers cannot afford to retire on what they have saved – so we need to think about ways of creating an additional income stream.  Apparently, only 6% of South Africans can afford to maintain their standard of living in retirement.  If our economic situation continues to deteriorate as it has recently, we will need to be very creative and think way outside the box with regard to creating income streams or enjoying our lives on less.


Will your marriage need re-negotiating when one or both of you are leaving full-time work and spending  7 days a week based at home?  For some marriages/partnerships, this will require a major shift in attitude and maybe even some compromises.

senior couple on the beach

When we get to the end of the above list, it becomes obvious that reaching one’s mid-60’s is almost like re-living our teens.  The decisions are every bit as life-shaping.  It will be easy for some, as it was for the youngster who knew from a young age that he wanted to be a doctor, but for others, there is much brain-storming and planning required.

Retirement coaching gives you a chance to review your life and understand what you will need to make the most of your retirement

Article by:  Hilary Henderson

Landline:  021 689 3260

Cell:   082 297 4864



Facebook:    Nuhorizons Life Coaching

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 Hilary Henderson


  • Michael says:

    Makes for interesting reading. My personal take of a “Social Circle” after retirement is as follows. We moved from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape. As one has often read: ‘We do not fit in here. They from different school,clubs interests etc.” Fortunately for us we received our “coaching” during the early phases of our lives Home was for occasional socialising but a family sanctuary most times. Most socialising was at our sport clubs. This stood us in good stead here into retirement. Now we can cherry pick for example good courses and or outings from fine institutions like U3A but still maintain our family sanctuary in our busy 8 day week!

    • Marilynh says:

      Thank you for sharing your view, Michael.

      It’s quite amazing that we hear the same thing over and over again – we are so busy in retirement that we don’t know where we found the time to work!

      Good to hear that you have worked out a great balance between family time and socialising/doing courses/going on outings.

      It’s not easy for some.

      Kind regards
      Marilyn, YEI Editor

  • Shozi says:

    Quiet interesting. I always believe that one lives his/her own life.
    Simple living with your spouse, whilst working can have a positive impact
    at a retirement stage. It is not a lot of money, but just enough to keep and maintain
    a good & healthy retirement lifestyle.

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