Stage 5 of the retirement process is the Reorientation phase.
After the honeymoon and the subsequent letdown of the disenchantment stage, Reorientation is the process of adjustment and adaptation to the reality of retirement. Otherwise known as ‘getting your act together’, it involves identifying and doing what you need to do to start to make retirement work for you.
It might involve getting a part-time job to add structure and a sense of purpose to your days. It might involve voluntary work that enables you to feel useful and valued again. It might involve embarking on an exercise programme to lose those extra pounds and restore your flagging energy levels. It might involve a heart-to-heart discussion with your partner to decide how you can start to enjoy your time together instead of getting under each others’ feet. Only you can decide what's missing from your life and take the action needed to put it right.
The potential pitfalls of the Reorientation stage include:
Not getting absolutely clear about what you want your retirement to look and feel like
Not articulating what you want for yourself and your retirement in case it makes you seem selfish, frivolous or foolish
Not speaking up for yourself and being honest about your wants and needs with partners or family members and, thereby, allowing other people to decide, by default, how you will spend your time
Not sharing your vision of your ideal retirement with your partner and not truly listening to and trying to understand your partner when they share their own vision with you
Not making a genuine attempt to create a combined, mutual version of your ideal retirements that works for both you and your partner
Failing to properly identify the causes of your dissatisfaction and deal with them to the best of your ability. (I realise that not everyone can completely eliminate all their causes of dissatisfaction but we can all take steps to make the situation better.)
Not experimenting with different ways of living/being/doing things/keeping life interesting
Tomorrow - the final stage of the retirement process, Routine. Don't forget to come back!
Don't waste another day of your retirement! If you're struggling with the Reorientation stage of retirement, my Retirement Detox Programme: 40 Days to get your retirement back on track ebook is available for immediate download here.