Retirement and looking forward podcast

These podcasts examine one of the biggest transitions we go through, and discuss the reality of life after work.

They include tips on how to deal with what can be an emotional time, how to stay positive and how to remain connected to former colleagues via the interne

Keeping in touch online

This podcast introduces you to the various applications available through the internet for keeping in touch with friends and family. It also explains what each of the 4 applications are - Skype, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - and provides signposts to further resources.

The transition from work to retirement

This podcast explores the realities of moving from a working life to a world of retirement. Using John Fisher's Personal Transition Curve, it demonstrates the rollercoaster of emotion experienced by an individual when going through any type of change. It also highlights some tips for keeping positive during retirement.

The internet is a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues both past and present. This podcast will introduce you to Skype and Social Media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Skype is free to download to computers, smart phones, TVs and tablets and allows you to video call your contacts who are also on Skype. Whilst Skype does not replace an outgoing phone line it does provide the opportunity to reduce costly telephone calls when contacting friends or family in the UK and overseas, plus with the added advantage of being able to see them and for them to see you.

To register simply click on the ‘Join’ button and follow the simple steps which follow.  Once registered you can access your Skype account and contact friends for free from any internet device wherever you are in the world. Skype also tells you when a contact is online so you can be sure to call them when you know they are there, or alternatively you could use the real time chat facility instead.

Social media refers to the means of interaction amongst people in which they create, share, exchange and comment on content amongst themselves in virtual communities and networks. The most popular social networking sites are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

As of March 2013, Facebook has 1.1 billion users registered worldwide, with 665 million users on line every day. The minimum age to register is 13 and you must register before being able to use the site or look for friends. After registration you create a personal profile with photos, add other users as friends, exchange messages, and receive automatic notifications when they update their profile.

Additionally, users may join common interest groups. Facebook is also used by companies and charities to raise awareness of their products, services and campaigns.  There are various privacy settings and you should pay close attention to these when determining who has access to your page and information.

Facebook is a great way to keep in contact with friends and family. You can see photos, read their profile updates and chat on line.  There are many other functions on Facebook.  Many people have negative preconceptions about the site and whilst it does have its issues the best way to make up your own mind is to give it a try. If you decide it’s not for you your profile can be easily deleted.

Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is a professional social network for people to connect with colleagues and business associates. It also offers a job search, events information, special interest groups and messaging facilities. LinkedIn is particularly useful when job searching, reconnecting with ex-colleagues and for showcasing experience. There are currently around 175 million members worldwide and it is free to register.

Launched in July 2006, Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". At the end of 2012 Twitter had over 500 million users, generating over 340 million tweets a day.  Anyone, anywhere in the world can join in. Users can follow, and have access to, the opinions of and information shared by experts, politicians, authors, celebrities and more. Tweeters can comment and share comments from other people by ‘retweeting’ them to their own followers. As with Facebook, there are various privacy settings to allow users to control what information is displayed and who can see it.

The power of Twitter is that worldwide news can now be broadcast by anyone as it happens, rather than waiting for official press releases. When lots of people are talking about the same subject on Twitter it is said to be ‘trending’. Many employers also use Twitter to advertise jobs as it is free and the tweet is often retweeted across the Twitter community reaching large audiences. By following friends, family, people or organisations which interest you, you will receive real time tweets as and when news happens.

For more information about how to download and use Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Linked in visit GCFLearn or Digital Unite.

If you are on a Prospect Branch committee or section, don’t forget that social media is also a great way to engage and communicate with potential new and existing members. Prospect also has a Facebook page and various Twitter accounts so why not register to keep up to date with news.  We hope this podcast has helped to raise your awareness around social media. A written transcript, including all of the relevant website addresses is available as an accompanying document in the Prospect website.

Thanks for listening.

Retirement is one of the biggest transitions in life.  Often people look forward eagerly to retirement, counting down the days and dreaming of what they are going to do with their new found freedom. However, we also all probably know people who spoke at length about how they couldn’t wait to retire but who struggled to cope with retirement when it actually happened, so why was that?

John Fisher's Personal Transition Curve demonstrates the rollercoaster of emotion experienced by an individual when going through any type of change. Emotions can range from anxiety, happiness, guilt and even depression, before a person can move onto acceptance and looking forward. The curve is not time bound and people may move between emotions on a daily basis impacting on those around them. If retirement is unexpected or forced this may also bring an additional emotional response.

Recognising that these emotions are all expected and part of the change transition is certainly something to be aware of – be this for yourself, colleagues, family or friends.

From working 35 or more hours per week suddenly your time is your own, and the structure you have lived with for the majority of your working life is no longer there.  Even though you may have been happy to leave work you may miss colleagues, routines, and the feeling of being a respected and valued member of a team. Coupled with this some people may feel a loss of status and purpose and don’t forget that partners are likely to be impacted by this change – be this with you being at home more, undertaking new and different leisure activities and hobbies and of course, reduced income. 

Those people who struggle to come to terms with retirement usually have a number of things in common. Often they have not planned their retirement beforehand; they expected it ‘just to happen’.  They might have assumed that their partner would now be their new social life and that rest and relaxation would be sufficient to fill their days. They may also not have had the opportunity to build contacts outside work, so became unconnected with society. Once having left work behind, they realise the value of the social connections they had previously and these are missed as part of the daily routine.

So, here are some top tips for keeping positive during retirement:

However much you might think its counter intuitive you need to make plans. These can be short, medium and long term but having focus and making activities time bound can help to give purpose and structure to your day. Revisit your personal aspirations, are these now achievable? Think about a time when you were really happy, what does this tell you about the type of person you are and what things you should pursue which will leave you with a sense of fulfilment?

Financial implications also require careful planning. An unknown retiree once said ‘Retirement can be a great joy if you can figure out how to spend time without spending money’. Discussing your financial plans, options and worries with a financial advisor can help. The unbiased website for the money advice service also has lots of useful information for those who are retiring and considering their future financial requirements.

Make sure that whatever you are doing you find purposeful and that it helps to maintain your self-esteem.  Keep your mind sharp by learning and trying new things.  Perhaps you don’t want to retire from work completely so working part time or on a consultancy basis might also be an option, or volunteering  can be a useful way to use your skills and experience to help others and meet new people. Retaining your Prospect membership and joining local  interest  groups can help to keep you active.

Looking after yourself seems obvious but is often forgotten, so try eating a healthy diet and taking some regular exercise.

Age UK’s website also contains a wealth of information about later life including all of the topics covered in this podcast and much more, they also have a free phone advice line.

Further ideas for keeping in touch and keeping active, including more information on volunteering, can be seen in our accompanying screencasts. We also have a series of career and personal transition podcasts available on the Prospect website at:

A written transcript, including The John Fisher Transition Curve is available as an accompanying document from the Prospect website.

Thanks for listening; we hope that whatever retirement looks like for you that it is long and fulfilling.