By: Patricia Dinkens-Greene (USA)
Retirement is a part of life that most people look forward to obtaining, living and experiencing. Previously, according to the Social Security Administration, the typical age for full retirement was 65. However, starting with people who were born in 1938 or later, that age slowly increases until it reaches 67 for those born after 1959 (Social Security Administration, n.d.)
You should approach retirement with your eyes open because it is not just one-dimensional. Often when people approach retirement the focus is on personal finances. However, you should ask yourself “am I psychologically ready to transition into retirement?” For example, when moving toward retirement you may have a feeling of great exuberance, but retirement comes with no guarantees. The loss of the continuity and identity associated with work can result in psychological and emotional damage. When approaching retirement think of it as a time of reflection to understand how to move forward. As you approach retirement, you become free of the constraints that have kept you contained in a box as the result of your daily work environment. Retirement offers you the opportunity to pursue individualism. This is the time to embrace the fresh start that is staring you in the face. You can do the things that you have always wanted to do but never had the time because you were bonded by a 9 to 5.
Making a fresh start requires an action called change. In approaching retirement the change involves modifying your surroundings, conditions or situations in some way that is different from pre-retirement. If your experiences as an adult are different from your childhood experiences with the same type of changes, you may have difficulty getting past preconceived knowledge and forming new ideas. Have you heard of the “butterfly effect”? This theory states that a mere fluttering of a butterfly’s wing can cause typhoons and tornadoes on the other side of the world. The butterfly effect can change all aspects of your personal life by taking simple actions, if you adopt the fresh start approach as you transition into retirement.
Patricia Dinkens-Greene, the Midwife for Midlife, of Strategic Midlife Transformational Coaching partners with individuals to help them achieve awareness, balance, confidence and personal development.
She holds a certificate of completion focusing on the Extraordinary Women from the American Association of Christian Counselling and became a credentialed Christian Life Coach in 2011. Patricia holds two Master’s degrees, Practical Theology and Human Service Counselling. In 2016, she was ACHI Magazine’s Woman of Influence nominee.
Patricia uses insight, humour, and a spiritual eye to assist individuals in redefining midlife by giving birth to brand new dreams.