Retirement: Time for teachers to try out new things

With up to 54,000 teachers currently considering retirement, many will be busy planning ahead for a smooth departure from the teaching profession. Some will be concerned about money, while others will worry about the emotional and psychological effects of retirement.

To cope with the change from classroom chaos to long, endless days at home, retirees can take effective steps to manage the transition. Gary Robertshaw, course manager at the Teacher Retirement Agency suggests that variety is the key. “Avoid mind numbing routine. Be reckless and spontaneous sometimes! It’ll make you feel refreshed and give you something new to talk about.”

Patrick Nash, chief executive of the Teacher Support Network agrees: “Hobbies can be a great way to enjoy your spare time, meet new people, try new activities and learn new skills.” Try contacting local authorities, read local newspapers and check notice boards at doctors’ surgeries for social events and health activities, he advises. “Alternatively you could always start up your own coffee afternoon or games club if nothing available appeals to you,” says Patrick.

“Retirement can be an exciting time but may present new problems and challenges continues Patrick. Some retirees may feel stressed owing to changes in personal relationships, such as spending more time together with a partner; or maybe a loved one has fallen ill or passed away. For those in that situation, Patrick suggests contacting Relate , a relationship counseling charity, or Cruse Bereavement Care , a national charity for bereaved people.

Here are some useful tips from the Teacher Support Network and the Teacher Retirement Agency:

Think before moving
The teachers’ pension should provide well for those who have paid into the scheme. But if you’re facing difficulties you might think about moving home. Weigh up the pros and cons of this carefully though, as a move away might solve financial problems but present you with social difficulties if you are miles away from friends and loved ones, says Patrick. Also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for financial advice.

Travel around
Travel is free by bus for those over 60, and discounted by rail, so if you’re feeling up to it you could bus your way from North to South England or anywhere else you’d like to travel. With free travel there’s no excuse to stay at home so get out and about, visit friends and relatives, and see more of England.

Keep time for yourself
If you’re in a relationship, you could find yourself spending more time with your partner which can be fulfilling but can also feel a little strange if you’re not used to this, says Gary. Make sure that you keep time for yourself and agree this with your partner so that they understand.

Enjoy it, don’t endure it
“It’s really about choices,” says Alan Farnish, course leader at the Teachers’ Retirement Agency. “There are hundreds of routes to choose from because there is no one way to spend retirement. People need to ask themselves what choice they are making and why they are going down that route.”

It’s impossible to know how long you’ll live for, but we do have average life expectancy rates. Better diets, exercise and medical knowledge mean that we can all expect to live a darn sight longer than previous generations, so retirement can literally be seen as another life-time. Plan carefully and enjoy your golden years.

Age next birthday


Life expectancy in years


Life expectancy in years


Source: Government Actuary department 2007

For help on retirement issues contact:
Teacher Support Network
Teacher Retirement Agency
Teachers’ Pensions
Cruse Bereavement Care

Like more advice? Visit Retirement and pensions

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