Royce Shook

1 year ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Think of self-isolation as an introduction to retirement

If you are between the ages of 50 and 65 and are not yet retired, and are in self-isolation because of COVID 19 think of it as an introduction to forced retirement. You have been given a great opportunity that I nor members of my age group did not have. You have been given the opportunity to preview your life in retirement. I am speaking to those who are not working but have money coming in from government support programs, and to those who are not working and have no or little income coming in from any source.

Why is this self-isolation like a glimpse into retirement, you may ask?

Self Worth

In retirement, you no longer have your job to identify who you are. Many experts suggest that we should not do that, but most people identify themselves through their work. Our friends are most likely our co-workers. We may also have friends from our school years and our neighbourhood, but most connect with those we work with on a regular basis. In this pandemic, we are cut off from our friends and we are disconnected from our work. For many, this can cause a crisis because they the fact they no longer no how to identify themselves.  This happens in retirement and I call it "I used to be an important person" syndrome. The forced isolation and the pandemic gives you the opportunity to explore who you want to be and to work toward that goal.


First, you have a huge drop in your income. If you have been frugal and invested wisely and had a pension plan when you retire your income drops to between 40 and 70% of your income when you were working. In this time of self-isolation, your income is probably has dropped and is now in that range. Your expenses may drop, or they may not but, if you have not been tracking expenses, I suspect that you are now and will do so again when you retire.

Circle of Friends

In this time of self-isolation, we do not get to see our friends as much as we would like. We may actually find out who are true friends are the longer we stay in self-isolation. In retirement, we do not see our friends as much as we would like, because they are, perhaps, still working, or they find other interests or they get old and sick and then they die. As the pandemic continues, we have to find new ways to connect to friends and families. When you retire you will have to learn how to connect differently with friends and family.

Hobbies and Interests

As the rules about engagement and the number of people who can be in a group tighten, we have to refocus what we do to keep ourselves busy and amused. We can no longer get together for the bowling game, the sewing circle, the poker or snooker game. In retirement, we find it harder to take part in these activities not because of the rules but because of physical limitations. It becomes harder to hear, see and move as we get older.

These are just a few of the similarities between retirement and the self-isolation we are currently embracing as a society. Take advantage of this time to rediscover who you are and what you want from your life when you retire and put it into practice now and start saving for when you retire. It is never too late to start saving and planning.

Think of self-isolation as an introduction to retirement

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John Rylance

1 year ago #1

I would recommend anyone nearing retirement to read this piece. It might not all apply to you but is a good guide to things to consider. We don't often get a chance to trial run changes in our lives. What you learn from now will stand you in good stead when you do retire.

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