It’s been an odd week for retirement news which has certainly given me lots to think about.
Hanging up your racket
On Wednesday, the world number 1 female tennis player announced her retirement from the sport – aged just 25. Australian Ash Barty has been at the top slot of her sport since winning the French Open in 2019. Yet she is leaving the sport to pursue ‘new dreams’.
She revealed how:
“I am absolutely – I am spent – I just know physically I have nothing more to give… I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more.”
What was really interesting was how she had mentally prepared herself for this decision;
“I am so happy, and I’m so ready, and I just know at the moment in my heart ‘that’ for me as a person, this is right.”
I only wish all of my retirement clients could say the same thing! Yes, many are prepared mentally for retirement, but others have dodged the issue until it is almost upon them.
A “necessary decision”
At the other end of the spectrum, 800 P&O Ferries employees were just made redundant via video, with no warning, union consultation or empathy. People who had given years of loyal service to the company were cast aside with scant regard for them or the law. (P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite actually admitted that the mass firing had broken the law.)
Whilst the company has offered what they call “extremely generous” compensation, there doesn’t appear to be any support in place to help their ratings employees. According to a Sky News report:
“Officers were played one Zoom video and given the chance to join the new company that will carry on the service, while ratings were played a different Zoom video and not given the same opportunity.”
The sudden shift from employed to redundant will inevitably push the older worker demographic to consider retiring earlier than expected, rather than try and find another job.
If you were a P&O Ferries employee and are considering earlier-than-expected retirement, please call me for a free consultation. Or sign up for my free introductory workshop on how to Retire With Purpose. No obligation, no cost, no sign-ups, just helpful information and advice.
Redundancy and self-esteem
“(Redundancy) damaged my self-esteem and confidence. But I am a resilient person, so when I reached 66 I decided to think of myself not as an old woman on the scrap heap but a young retiree.”
It’s a big ask for people to make two radical mind shifts in quick succession: employed to unemployed, and potentially then to full time retired. As a retirement coach, I can help with 1 to 1 coaching for the transition from full time work to not working (or not working as much). My program is a mix of practical steps and mental preparation, to enable that shift with confidence and positivity.
Looking past the headlines
I admit, it’s a little difficult to find the positives in the media these days, with the focus on the rising cost of living, and headline-grabbing articles warning of “pensioner poverty” due to the rising cost of living and people raiding their pension pots early.
However, retiring isn’t just about the finances. It’s about finding a purpose for the next 30+ years. As Stuart Lewis of Rest Less said in a Wales Online article:
“The whole concept of retirement is changing. The idea that retirement is a cliff-edge where you work five days a week for 40 or 50 years and then suddenly stop, ‘cold turkey’, is no longer accurate. Instead, more and more people are viewing retirement as a transition to a new phase of life to be lived in a fulfilling and purposeful way.”
That’s precisely what Panthera Life’s Retire with Purpose programme is all about. For those P&O Ferries crew members, it may feel like they have walked the plank into cold and unfriendly seas. However, for those approaching retirement age, they may have actually just stepped off onto the firm soil of a new lifestyle.
Been made redundant or not happy about retiring?
Contact me for a free consultation to discuss one to one retirement coaching, or sign up for my next Retire with Purpose introductory workshop.