What does retirement mean for the elderly

Retirement - what now?

Women often have an easier time there. They are less likely to fall into a hole at the end of their working life. "Women stand on several legs from an early age," says Hammer. They not only live for their jobs, but mostly tend to take care of the household and the children and maintain their social contacts. The continuity in these areas makes the transition into retirement life easier. In addition, women may have experienced this type of fracture before. For example, thanks to parental leave, they often already know the situation of saying goodbye to professional life for a certain period of time.

Prepare for retirement in good time!

It is therefore particularly important for men to deal with the subject of pensions beforehand. "Do not work through to the last day," advises social gerontologist Hammer. Going from a hundred to zero makes the change even harder. Reducing working hours early, i.e. taking partial retirement, is a good way of preparing for retirement. "You should also realize that colleagues are not friends," said Hammer. So look for activities and contacts outside of the workplace at an early stage.

For the first time in human history, retirees are facing a "third age," as research calls it. Today, seniors between the ages of 60 and 80 are still largely physically and mentally healthy. "That's 20 years that need to be designed," says Hammer. "Our grandparents didn't know that. They worked until they couldn't anymore. After that, there was only a short time until they died."

Keep in touch with others

In order to structure these years actively, you should cultivate hobbies, take up leisure activities or do sports regularly. "It can make sense, especially for men, to find an activity in which they are important to others," said Hammer. Keep in touch with other people and look for an occupation in which you can use your skills in a different way. This can be charitable work or an honorary position. "Just sorting stamps or putting the garden in order is not enough. The meaning of life is usually created by meeting other people." Contact with others not only protects against loneliness in old age, but also keeps the brain fit.

More time with your partner: opportunity and risk

Speaking of meeting other people: You will now meet your spouse much more frequently in retirement. "That can be very nice for both of you because you finally have the time to do the things you always wanted to do together," said Hammer. Traveling together, having a leisurely breakfast, beautiful hiking tours during the week.

At the same time, this extra time is of course also a major challenge. "This is a first for many couples," said Hammer. The spouses were just busy in the stressful everyday life with work, children and household. And now this completely relieved time. "Some partners get to know each other all over again," says the expert. "And unfortunately also sometimes hate."

Indeed, retirement can lead to a relationship crisis. "There are studies that show that marriages tend to get worse with age. The divorce rate among seniors has risen dramatically in the last few decades." In such crises, Hammer recommends the help of professionals who help seniors through this difficult time in couple conversations and seminars. "Even if the inhibition threshold is high, seniors should keep in mind that at 60 you may have 30 years ahead of you that you will spend together." And those should definitely be good, relaxed years.

If necessary, a healthy dose of humor also helps. Keep up with Loriot. If at any point your partner is completely unnerved by your presence, tell them, "This is my first retirement. I'm still practicing."