Retirement: The Third Age of Life with fulfilling life experiences

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“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your year”- Abraham Lincoln. My parents are both government employees. For whose Retirement just happened, it was something inevitable. It was like climbing a mountain. They were finally enjoying the view. Like after working all their lives in one occupation, one city, building a house, they now drew pensions and led a quiet retired life. But is it the life that our parents or even we look ahead to? Not sure, as a lot can change between generations. Retirement was not the only withdrawal from their post or employment; my parents did. But also their fulfilling life experiences derived from that active work life. And I have watched the happiness closely, even the grimace at the same with this word Retirement.

Retirement: The Third Age of Life.
My parent’s post-retirement

Retirement; is like fallen autumn leaves. My mother told me before her Retirement that she sees bright life possibilities. I remember clearly her words that old leaves were beautiful in their time. From pale green with the first bud to fiery red, orange & yellow by the end. But there comes the point where the branch needs to let go. Our work life is similar to these leaves. One needs to move on from tremendous active growth, to embrace a sedentary lifestyle.


It is spring for us, and of course, there is a risk as change is an uncertain process, whether mental, physical or social. But with faith and willpower, we can subdue it. I was amazed by her thought. Throughout working life, most are focused on children; post-retirement might be the same. But is this important? My dad said it is not indispensable. But roles get reversed with time & age. Emotional, as well as mental dependency, tends to increase. Suppose you look at the brighter side; it’s the end of one chapter of life & the beginning of some new & exceptional one. In a manner, he was correct, as age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it does not matter.

When we think of Retirement, what vision comes to our mind? Is it financial stability or deciding what to do after we quit work? One of my parent’s friends shared an exciting concept about the question with my friend towards the query. He said Retirement is not a destination; we look at its deliverance. It’s the pot at the remnant of the rainbow. Let’s believe it’s the start of our third age. The longest life journey with multiple stages. And each step has its opportunities & challenges.

There can be & will be numerous issues- health, death, travel, leisure, a marriage of children, the birth of grandchildren and so forth. And if we talk about financial stability, government employees are secured with their pension; the current generation needs to be concerned. And it’s the hard-hitting truth! He added that Retirement is an emotional perspective, not a financial one, as we know what we are retiring from but are yet to figure out what we are retiring to.

Retirement: The Third Age of Life.
Retirement Saving

When putting together Retirement for our generation, then it is a lifestyle, a mentality, a process, and a goal. Ideologically, we will continue to follow the same ecosystem but with an effort towards self-fulfilment & happiness. However peaceful it may sound does not involve any compromise in aspiration – though my parents planned a simple retired life, but with a particular lifestyle. They began to take out their passion for travel to gardening & majorly community work since both were an integral part of central government Unions, along with a clear expectation from us- on our responsibilities towards them.

Retirement: The Third Age of Life.
Usage of new gadgets

Ah! Welcome to the sandwiched generation, who have dual personalities, and by and most comfortable with both of them- as they cohere to the Indian tradition of family values and adapt amidst the rapid change in technology & digitalisation, a significant cultural shift. Innovation trends are so impactful that they shape societal constructs or how people conduct their daily lives. My mother is a massive fan of OTT platforms & Instagram; on the other hand, my dad is still evolving to Wats app from SMS.

Retirement: The Third Age of Life.
I am reading a book or listening to Music.

Alongside picking up hobbies, socialising is also integral to a happy retirement. A close built-in social network of colleagues and acquaintances helps maintain proportion. I contended that my parents had a massive fan following, as people always surrounded them. It is also vital to maintain physical and mental health, so adding exercise as part of the routine is essential- Walking & Laughing classes are the best as exercising and socialising happens together.

Retirement: The Third Age of Life.
Meeting friends & Co-worker

Though the concept of Retirement and its seamless transition is changing quickly. But the traditional government employees still feel the gap. As they never took Retirement in a fundamentally different manner. Hence the conventional trajectory now needs a flexible approach. Here’s a new perspective that has to be developed to address ageism. As with ageism, more complex emotion comes from things. On the surface, that would appear to lack the capability to cause any feeling except relief that this period of your life is over. This emotion needs to be shaped or filled with a positive mental frame and habits. Exceptional attention to health and safety, staying connected, and sustaining the confidence to live on their term, despite the inevitable losses and setbacks in a long life, need to be the mantra.

Retirement: The Third Age of Life.
Yoga- Part of daily life

Shedding old leaves is extraordinary, with a trust that new leaves will grow back in the springtime. There’s a risk that the fresh leaves may not be beautiful when they grow this year. But the faith that the lushest, most bountiful year is yet to come helps build a positive mind frame. The Indian population’s cohort meticulously plans the financial saving for the next stage. However, the transition to fill the busy work vacuum is not scheduled. So a constructive approach needs to be made toward Retirement. Ideally, we should retire from employment. And not from experience, & this was finally adopted by my parents too.




2 thoughts on “Retirement: The Third Age of Life with fulfilling life experiences

    1. Thank you, Mam, I just tried to capture the feel what I saw around me. I am glad you found it relevant.

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