1st Edition

Life After Work A Psychological Guide to a Healthy Retirement

    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.