Life After Work : A Psychological Guide to a Healthy Retirement book cover
1st Edition

Life After Work
A Psychological Guide to a Healthy Retirement

ISBN 9781138335851
Published October 22, 2018 by Routledge
128 Pages

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USD $38.95

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Book Description

Retirement is a comma in our lives, not a full stop. Life After Work looks at the psychological, emotional and wellbeing issues that surround this complex and important transition in life. This book suggests that retirement is a life stage over which we may have greater control than previously thought; it no longer has to be the case that retirement is a terminal point, a time where you became sedentary and inactive.

Retirement is on one level a private, individual matter that affects one’s sense of self and purpose, physical and mental processes, as well as financial security or provision. On another level, retirement has an impact on relationships with loved ones, family and friends, as well as colleagues. It can strengthen or disrupt bonds, leading to new bonds being formed or to withdrawal. This book is written by successful authors and psychologists Robert Bor, Carina Eriksen and Lizzie Quarterman, each with many years’ experience of helping people cope with life stage changes and prepare for retirement. It contains illustrative case studies throughout, from which valuable lessons can be learned, and draws on the very latest psychological research and techniques to provide a blueprint for planning and living a wonderful retirement or life post-work.

Planning for your future is crucial in enabling you to maximise the opportunities available. Following the book’s blueprint will help you prepare for this phase in your life, and the sooner you start the better. Life After Work will be of great interest to readers of all ages seeking guidance on retirement and will also appeal to psychologists of life stage changes.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Brett Kahr


Chapter 1: The changing face of retirement

What is retirement?

Why has retirement changed?


Health advances

Government encouragement to offset demographic change

Higher standard of living

Higher cost of living


Chapter 2: Psychological perspectives

Why is psychology relevant?


Impact of thoughts

Negative expectations

Positive expectations

Some of the things you may miss

Thinking traps

Fear of change

How people react to change

Psychological techniques to overcome fear

How to avoid overreacting

Factors that affect "healthy" adjustment

Emotional instability

Chapter 3: The maturing brain

What happens to the mature mind?

Mental processing as we age


Keeping your brain fit

Common "purposeful" activities

Giving back


Become a trustee


Join an altruistic society, or become a fundraiser

Pass on your skills

The power of play

Use it or lose it

More tips for improving your mental health

Chapter 4: Psychological approaches to challenging feelings and behaviours

Fear, worry and anxiety: Thinking errors

Strategies for coping with fear, worry and anxiety

Low mood

Strategies for dealing with low mood

Loss, grief and bereavement

Strategies for coping with loss

Sleep problems

Strategies for dealing with sleep problems


Strategies to help you deal with loneliness


Strategies for coping with addictions

Chapter 5: Retirement and emotions


Emotional stress

Low mood



Chapter 6: The impact on relationships

The impact

Overcoming relationship difficulties

The impact of retirement on home life

Relationship tips

Develop separateness

Gender, sex and problems

Relationship breakdown and dealing with divorce

Chapter 7: Life after work, or unretirement

Leaving the workplace

How to retire from self-employment

How to retire from unemployment

What next?

Carry on working

Setting up on your own

Beware the traps

The volunteering trap

The failing to fly the nest trap

The caring trap

Chapter 8: Mind your health

Quick fix for successful ageing



Diminishing muscle mass

So what’s the solution?

Brain function


Mediterranean diet

Balance your blood sugar

Nourish yourself

Eat mindfully

Track yourself

Retirement as an opportunity to improve your health

Chapter 9: Mind your money – financial planning for retirement

How much income will you need?

How much capital will you need?


What return do you need?

Tax relief and legislation

Money in bricks

Chapter 10: Bringing it all together – the blueprint for a psychologically sound unretirement

Planning ahead

Start saving

Prepare for old age

Your 20-point retirement blueprint


Further reading

Organisations and links

About the authors

Professor Rob Bor

Dr Carina Eriksen

Lizzie Quarterman


Steve Leonard

Oliver Patrick

View More



Professor Rob Bor is a Consultant Psychologist at the Royal Free Hospital and also in private practice as Dynamic Change Consultants as well as the Centre for Aviation Psychology. He works at Leaders in Oncology Care, The London Clinic, St Paul’s School, The Royal Ballet School, The Royal Air Force and several UK airlines. He divides his time between London and the Cotswolds, and has young twins and a cocker spaniel.

Dr Carina Eriksen is a registered and chartered Consultant Counselling Psychologist. She runs a busy private practice in central London, Chelsea and the City. She is a fellow at the BPS, a BPS board committee member in aviation psychology and a BABCP accredited therapist. She is married with two young children.

Lizzie Quarterman lives on a National Trust farm in Gloucestershire with her husband and several characterful cocker spaniels. She grows vegetables and paints landscapes and in professional life is an experienced writer and editor of business and psychology books and articles.