Addressing the pitfalls of retirement will be the focus of two upcoming programs offered at Okanagan College in Kelowna and Penticton this spring.
The courses are intended to help participants prepare for a successful transition to retirement, beyond just the financial aspects, and to consider a retiree encore career that could entail from starting a home-based business to consulting, volunteer or part-time work.
“Retirement isn’t just about collecting a pension and moving into life of leisure,” said Kathy Fahey, a certified retirement coach and one of the course instructors.
“Work meets many of our basic needs besides providing a pay cheque—a sense of identity, opportunities to contribute, structure to our day, mental stimulation, potential to connect with others and form relationships.
“Figuring out how all those needs will be met once you retire is key to making your transition easier.”
The Am I Ready to Retire? workshop runs April 7 at the Kelowna OC campus and April 14 at the Penticton campus, while the Launching Your Encore Career course is six weeks in duration starting April 11 in Kelowna and April 17 in Penticton.
Related: Lake Country growth spurt continues
Fahey says as we approach retirement, considerable thought and angst is directed at our finances, whether or not we will have enough money to live on.
But that often overlooks the equally disruptive lifestyle changes that occur, thinking about how to adapt to filling that eight to 10 hours a day previously fulfilled though work.
“In the beginning, we often are not sure what the lifestyle impact will be to retire and think we will figure it out as we go. That works for some folks, but for others once you’ve passed the honeymoon retirement period and the bucket list is done and the home repair list completed, what do you do next?
“There is a high percentage of depression among people within two years for retirement…they are looking ahead at the next 20 or 30 years as we live longer these days, wondering what is the meaning to your life moving forward and what will get you out of bed every morning.”
For many retirees, Fahey says putting your unique skills to work in another career or as a volunteer are personally stimulating objectives.
“l lot of people love their jobs, and they still feel healthy so why not keep doing it.”
She says encore program participants would likely be five years or less out from reaching retirement, want to keep working in some capacity when they do and can also be looking perhaps to try something new.
“What they are doing for work at this stage may not be cutting it anymore and the opportunity arises to see what else is out there,” she said.
Fahey said more than 1,000 people are eligible to retire everyday in Canada, and when the baby boomer generation reaches full retirement age by 2030 they will represent a huge population with a large talent pool of skills to offer.
She says in Canada, we are a little behind of what to do with that growing retiree resource compared to the U.S., where a myriad of programs across that country seek ways to connect retired people’s job skills with social or economic needs, from mentoring to working with non-profits.
To learn how to register for either of these courses, visit online at okanagan.bc.ca/cs.
To report a typo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.