Retirement is one of those times that some people dread, or actually welcome, depending on their job satisfaction, the state of their emotional and physical health, financial circumstances, and desire for new challenges. In the UK the official retirement age used to be 60 years old for women and 65 years for men. But that is gradually increasing to take account of the growing longevity within the population, and the increasing demands on health care. Retirement now stands at 66 years old for everyone, and at some point will reach 70 years.
Of course, that is the legal time for the benefit of paying pensions, but anyone can retire from their work whenever they wish. There is no ‘ideal age’ to retire at all. In fact, one of the people who has inspired me the most is the owner of a vineyard in France who was still managing her business successfully at 92 years of age! She was a classic example of her determination to live her life the way she wanted, and not according to other people’s fears and diktats. I can see myself being like that if I live long enough to be her age!
As humans, who fear ageing, we love to put ourselves into little age boxes of perfection where different things occur at different ages, especially when it comes to retirement, because work dominates our lives so much. But life is for living every single day we are granted, and the moment you actually retire is entirely down to you! No one can tell you when is a suitable age for your retirement because that depends on five things, in particular, apart from just age:
- How you FEEL inside you; whether you still feel energetic, able to work, fired with enthusiasm and wish to continue; or you just feel tired, burnt out and ready to simply relax and enjoy yourself.
- Whether you still love what you are doing and wish to continue it as long as possible.
- Whether you would like to do something else with your life, perhaps fulfil a long time dream, and wish to make a start on it.
- Whether you have enough money to see you through your retirement.
- Whether you are fit and healthy, or have any chronic illnesses.
Only you can answer those personal questions, and the answers should clearly reveal whether you are ready for retirement or not! But, as you can see, age is a significant factor only if you are governed by an ageing mindset, as it is the least important of all the listed criteria!
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