The psychology of retirement

Retirement is coming; you have worked and served in your role for years and now it's time for 'You'. But what will your time look like, how will you feel when it arrives.

There are many retirement plans, lots of knowledgeable people giving you information to help you make decisions about your future. What to do with your money, how to use your skills, do things you never had time to do before etc, etc......

Recently retired Chief Inspector Sue Wheatley, of Hertfordshire Constabulary is repeatedly asked "how can you be so happy?" She responds by telling people how she prepared, prepared her mind for retirement, got ready mentally for the change in life and found some focus and direction.

Working with Julie Foster and through the Compass Life Coaching programme she worked for a year to prepare for this new season in her life. In the beginning when asked what her thoughts were about the impending event she could only see her retirement party, everyone gone home and her sweeping up while crying and thinking 'what next?'.

She had seen her Husband retire 18 months ago, watched him settle into it, know what he wanted to do and enjoy it. She struggled to see herself in this relaxed mindset, her transition from a full on active career to 'what?' worried her, niggled at her and she felt stressed about her retirement. However, she did know she wanted to be fulfilled, feel valued and continue to serve others, what ever she did.

The coaching experience allowed Sue to explore her past and see how her current belief system may have been limiting her choices and holding her back. Acknowledging that she could feel free through forgiveness, not influence 'everyone' and allow others to take responsibility for their own actions led to some real 'light bulb moments'. Real change occurs when you ask yourself questions and are prepared to accept different answers.

Receiving an MBE at Buckingham Palace may be the highlight of a person's career, but not if you believe that it is wrong to 'show off'. This was a belief Sue let go of during the programme. She went, with her lovely family, to receive her award and had the best day of her life!

Why is Sue so happy then? She says "I know who I am, I feel confident in my own skin and I am not a 'frustrated cop'.

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