Normally when you stop working, in the Honeymoon period you will have less contact with your previous co-workers, business associates and other groups of people, which could result in you socialising less. This could result in you spending more time with your spouse. This can put a strain on your relationship especially if couples do not share the same interests. In our book “ the Next Step- Planning the road through retirement “ we cover this important aspect in Chapter 7, Page 113. This adjustment could place a strain on relationships if couples do not have similar interests or social circles. New conflicts could arise about sharing chores, or how to spend their leisure time, and assist to manage the household.

When you are still working you have an identity, sense of purpose and respect. When some people stop working may miss that identity and sense of accomplishment. I had a friend who was in a senior position experienced the above and it took over 3 months to adjust to his new lifestyle.

If you are nearing retirement, you could be anxious about entering the Honeymoon period. I have spoken to several people who were close to retirement, expressing similar concerns. They all used the same word “petrified.

Listed below are some suggestions that may assist you, when planning your future retirement.

1. Consider creating a new routine in retirement.

Starts asking yourself how are you going to spend this time, especially if you foresee having more time on your hands. What hobbies do you have or thinking about doing. What other activities you would like to spend some of your time. There may things that you always wanted to do but you never had the time.

2. Find a new identity

Find ways to be productive, consider volunteering, working part-time or learning new skills.

3.Looking at the possibility of joining a retirement organization near you.

There are several excellent Retirement organisations that you may wish to consider joining. I have been very fortunate to been associated with several such associations including various Probus clubs, SAARP (South African Associations of Retired Persons) and U3A (University of the Third Age.

4. Consider becoming a mentor.

If you wish to give back some of your many years of knowledge and experience, an ideal opportunity exists is to come a mentor to some deserving person. Besides giving you personal satisfaction, it enables you to remain a part of the working world. It can also create a new stimulus in retirement, rediscovering old skills and discovering new skills. In addition, it could lead to developing a new relationship

5. Provide yourself time to adjust.

There are no exact time lines to adjust to your new life and therefore it is important to give yourself time to find your new role, routines, and relationships.

The above suggestions are just a few which may assist you through the Honeymoon Phase of your retirement which could result in you having a great and satisfying retirement.