You’ve just retired, now what?!

Geraldine Locke – Transition Coach

Imagine this.

It’s the first day of your retirement. Last week you had the party, you cleared your desk, you shook some hands and said some goodbyes.

And now, it’s Monday morning. No train to catch, no need to get in the car. You might potter upstairs to sit in your home office – but then what?

Geraldine Locke - Longhurst


Research on retirement shows that for many people there’s a honeymoon phase that can last for a few weeks or months.

That sense of freedom to do what you want when you want. Often there’s a big trip – a cruise, an interrailing trip, the campervan purchase.

But then reality can set in, especially if winter is coming on, and life can start to feel a little empty.

It’s quite common for retirees to say that they don’t even know what day of the week it is!


Sometimes it’s scarcity that allows us to value treasure and having every day of the week feeling like the weekend means there’s no delineation, no marker and no treats.

So, how do you maximise the joy that this newfound freedom can bring?

One of the keys is to plan a routine.

And that means planning for the year, as well as for the week.

The bigger picture

In Longhurst’s retirement coaching programme, we help clients by looking at some of the overall questions such as:

  • How many big holidays do we want to take in a year?
  • How many smaller trips – mid-week breaks, visiting friends and family?
  • Do we want to go on any courses, or take time away to write, to think, to walk?

Note of caution – if you are retiring with a partner this is the time to talk!

It’s not unusual to find a couple where one partner wants to take the opportunity of retirement to take a big trip, and the other wants to learn a language, or take a degree – and the timetable of the activities is incompatible.

Your new plan

Once we’ve mapped out the bigger picture, then it’s time to look at a weekly routine.

  • What weekly commitments do I have: caring responsibilities, volunteering, part-time work?
  • How do I want to make time for socialising – regularly, ad hoc?
  • If I have a partner, do we want to plan for a regular “date day”?
  • How do I want to balance the week? Do I want to leave Mondays and Fridays flexible so I can go away at weekends?
  • What’s my exercise routine now, and what do I want it to be? What does that mean?
  • Do I want to learn something? Now I don’t have to do evening classes what freedom does that give me?
  • Do I want to have time alone away from my partner, and is that a mutual feeling? Do we both want to be able to spend time at home alone and is that a source of friction between us?

Next steps

Use the free downloadable planners in SmartRetire® to help you map out your ideal week and year – give it a go, you might just find it a valuable exercise!

Then, if you have any questions or would like to arrange a complementary 45 minute discovery session with me, get in touch.

Full confidentiality will be maintained by the coaches, with Longhurst Limited only being told about your engagement if you choose to tell us.

Longhurst Limited does not accept any legal or financial responsibility for the services offered by our external coaching partners.