Making the Most of Retirement

older couple in kitchen

Retirement is one of the biggest adjustments in our lives. We can spend upwards of 40 years in the workforce, then are suddenly met with a massive shift in pace of lifestyle. And while there’s plenty of advice available to help you navigate the financial side of retirement, there’s not much out there when it comes to mentally preparing for the change.

To address this knowledge gap, Marianne Heron and Paul Britton created ‘Rewire Don’t Retire’ for Irish Life Health. This free guide focuses on the practical and psychological aspects of retirement, to make sure you enjoy a fulfilling one. So, whether you’ve just retired or it’s on the horizon, check out some of Marianne and Paul’s top tips below...

Retirement Has Changed

First of all – as the guide explains – retirement is a relatively new concept, and the kind we experience today is even newer. Thanks to a longer life expectancy, retirement can almost last as long as a typical career, stretching perhaps 25-30 years. So, instead of thinking about it as a retreat from life, consider it a ‘rewirement’ that, with the right plan in place, will allow you to pursue the things that truly fulfil you.

rewirement circle

Meeting Your Needs

We all expect to be happy in retirement, but forget that happiness is a by-product of doing the things that bring satisfaction or offer new challenges. For lots of people, those things were tied up in their working life, and they can forget to replace them when they retire. Without a plan in place, the initial sheen of retirement can wear off after a few months, leading to a feeling that something is missing. We all have different needs that make us feel satisfied; things like recognition or making a difference. If your needs aren’t being met, you’re likely to feel dissatisfied or experience a sense of alienation. In the guide, you’ll find exercises to identify your own specific needs, and help devise a retirement plan that will meet them.

group of older people


Having friends and being part of a community are top ingredients for a contented retirement, whatever your situation. Single or widowed people face the challenge of ensuring they don’t spend too much time in not-so-splendid isolation. Cultivating outside friendships and interests is therefore a great idea. For couples, no matter how much they looked forward to having more time together, they may experience teething problems. Before retirement, they each had set routines, but afterwards, identity and roles shift. You’ll find several helpful exercises in the guide to help navigate these changes with your partner, friends or family.

Make Retirement Your Own

Ultimately, there’s no one single recipe to create a fulfilling retirement – after all, you’re unique! The main thing is to find what fires your imagination and gives you an exciting view of all future possibilities, and then put a nice plan in place to help get you there. Download Marianne and Paul’s full pdf guide: ‘Rewire Don’t Retire.” here.