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Post Retirement Blues

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by HariLakhera, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Post Retirement Blues

    Life after retirement is much more complex than we think. We like to imagine that retirement is the beginning of a new, more relaxed life. When the realities of that life begin to unfold one begins to wonder if working life wasn't far better.

    Retirement is generally referred to as retiring from our employment with public or private sector organizations. Most of us plan for retirement as we know the date well in advance. Most of the companies retire their employees between the age of 60 and 65.

    Some of us have to take up some gainful employment to supplement our meager income and live a slightly more comfortable life. For some it is a great relief. Having worked for almost 40 to 45 years, a major part of life, it is always a welcome relief. Particularly if your children are well settled in life, you have a roof over the head and most importantly have enough savings to carry through for the rest of your life. Such people have lot of post retirement plans. It’s like trying to live life once again from the start. With a feeling of leaving your most productive years behind but full of dreams for the future, you start packing up your personal belongings.

    1. You are not indispensable:

    Finally the D Day arrives. A grand party is thrown. Colleagues shower you with gifts and praises. Some even go to the extent of suggesting that the company or the concerned department will never be the same anymore and you will be missed very much. This fuels the ego further and one revels in feeling how indispensable he is. There is no wonder that some even make discrete enquiries to find out how bad the situation is after he left. Some even visit their old office only to find out if all is well. The illusion dies when one is told that not only the company is doing well but doing better and the junior is occupying the coveted seat. End of myth number one that you are indespensible.

    2. Guest of two days:

    The working days were quite hectic and the official work kept you too busy to have time for anything else. The friends and relatives kept urging you to spend time with them and relax. Now is the time to make amends. You are a free bird now and not a prisoner of schedules and official commitments. The first port of call will be the all welcoming friend in that beautiful hill station. You give him a call more as matter of formality than anything else and convey your intentions to spend some time with them. After a few hmms the other side shows the welcome flag and you are on your way. The first day is eventful as nostalgia takes over everything else. The second day is slightly boring as all has been said and shared. The third day starts with the friend and his better half getting themselves busy in their daily routine. You feel like you have overstayed your welcome. You talk to your better half and decide to return. In the evening you express you desire and after a few hmms and oofs they urge you to come sometime again when they are more free to spend ‘quality time’ together. You start packing.. , end of myth number one. End of myth number one that your friends or relatives have been missing you and will insist to stay longer.

    NO more experimentation. Good sense prevails and you decide to visit other dream destinations and make arrangements for your stay. At best you will call your friends or relatives in such towns and if they insist drop in for some tea and snacks politely saying your schedule is too tight for anything more.

    3.Traveling is expensive and full of hassles;

    You had always wanted to visit religious places, the ‘Thirthas’ (Seats of our great religious icons) the ‘Dhams’ (Seats of Gods and Goddesses) temples, historical places, beaches, hill stations which you had no time to visit during your working days. Your wife had always been complaining about it. You decide on a religious pilgrimage. You book your train tickets well in advance, take help of the travel agent to book your hotel accommodation and everything seems to be perfect. On the appointed day you resume your journey and land at the hotel booked by the travel agent. The facilities are nowhere near the promises. The food is horrible. The temple is too crowded. There are touts offering to help you for a price. You somehow manage to pay your respects and return to your hotel. You remember the working days when you traveled by air or first class on trains and had never to worry about accommodation as the company booked you in the best hotels. You were on expense account and not counting your pennies. This is the end of the third myth that you would have a wonderful time while on your own. You home is the best place on earth.

    4. Your ‘enough’ savings are not enough indeed:

    Prices are rising. Interest on your deposits is decreasing. Your part time maid servant is asking for a hefty raise. The driver is dropping hints on how much other drivers are earning. Your wife is complaining of how her budget is going tipsy- turvy. Children keep making subtle offers financial help but you don’t want to seem dependent or needy. Visits to the theatre are rare now. Forget about those fancy restaurants and shopping malls. Anyway, outside food does not suit your appetite and your closets are already bursting with more clothes than you need.

    You do not go out so often any more. The driver can be dispensed with. What is the use of keeping a car too? Whenever required, you can always hire a taxi.
    Medicals bills are increasing. Every time you visit your family doctor he prescribes one more expensive medicine. Insurance companies are no more interested in you.

    End of myth number four that you have a healthy retirement fund to take care of everything.

    5. Your children need you:

    Your children want you to spend some time with them as they no more are in a position to visit so often due to office work or children’s school. You find logic in it and decide to spend a few months each turn by turn with your two sons their wives and your four grand children. So the summer is spent with the son living in USA and winter with the son living in a coastal city in India. This will save you from the heat and cold of the North.

    USA is a great country. Your son and daughter-in-law love you and make sure that you are comfortable. Your grand children love to play with you. The only thing disturbing you is that you have to be your own in the house when your son and daughter-in-law are away for most of the day at work and the grand children at school. It feels so lonely. Next time it will be for not more than one month during the grandchildren’s school holidays.

    You expect staying with other son will not be as lonely as in your own country you are not a stranger. Come winter you are in that beautiful costal city. Your son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren are equally busy in their work and school and have all the love and respect for you but not time. Here also one month is enough during the winter vacations of grand children. End of myth number five that you can live with your children for as long as you want.

    6. Get engaged in social activities:

    This was in mind at the time of retirement. You wanted to give back to the society. In addition there are many self help books to guide how to utilize time in social service. There are may other ways to stay busy, they say. It does work but then after a while, it looks all meaningless or does not suit to your temperament. End of myth number six, giving back is not that easy.

    7. Time for old age home?

    It’s time to shift to old age home. It is now difficult for your better half to manage the household. She needs to retire too. You rent a room in one of the upscale old age home for trial living. All looks fine. After a month of so, you get discouraged by the wheel chairs and the thought that one day you may land up in similar wheelchair.
     
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    Well written . Truth of life. I enjoy my retired life. Children got married at the right time and were away from us. Being only two is we became closer. Had opportunity to visit temples and functions there. Once in a while enjoyed staying in. Children's house. Glad I had the opportunity to learn computer while working and children taught me fa cebook,
    Yahoo etc. My daughter told about this.site and since 2007 e njoying being in this site
    Glad I am one of the nominators here
    Thanks to @Cheeniya sir.

    At present in Kerala . Came here for cataract surgery and daughter and dil are not living yo go back due to.Corona.Also.saying.we are old now and should not stay alone
    Since son in law is my husband's nephew dont feel out of place staying here.

    Hope I am not out of the subject
     
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  3. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    A typical mirror image of retired life.We have been advised by so many people in so many ways. Opinion about retiring homes also differs.The fear about walkers and wheel chairs need not not emanate from old age homes

    Is retirement a boon or bane?
    Very difficult to answer.There are many who eagerly await retired life,since there are no worries about school or college fees and housing loan repayment.If it is without any dreadful disease ,it may be a boon.But all are not that lucky.People who have late marriage and beget children late have huge commitments until they are 70 or 75.
    There are people for whom the very idea of superannuation sends shivers and shock waves and daunts them even when they are 50 0r 55.
    Perhaps the ticking needles of clock depress them.
    Many people are unable to buy a house during their service and start thinking of building home out of retirement funds and the main boon is that pension can take care of day to day expenses.If their old parents fall ill and get a severe disease ,or some deadly disease falls on the bread winner,the entire energy is sucked.
    Pitiable is the position of people who have no pension scheme and who have not made wise investments for their old age.In these days of sky rising costs, their retired life will be a hell.
    More often we are advised to leave everything to God hoping that he would show a good pathway.
    We hope for the boon simultaneously prepare ourselves for the bane too.
    The idea of retirement brings smile to some and frown to others.Those who didn't have job satisfaction, denied promotions or earned some burn outs may like to retire early and find out some outlet for their passion.
    Sometimes the persons retiring from topmost positions such as MD,, CEO etc may feel a sudden vacuum and feel that they have suddenly lost all the respect and prestige and they are not prepared to face retirement.They become highly depressed and lose all the sheen and colour.
    It is a boon to people who have so long kept their passions at bay while they were toiling for bread.They revive their dream of writing, practicing arts ,music and painting and delve into spiritual, cultural and educational enhancement of the self.
    Those who define themselves primarily by their official status feel a big dent.They feel lost and deprived of everything in life.They care more for the respect society offers.
    There is another category of workaholics who consider 'work' as the be all and end all in life .They feel retirement as a prelude to physical deterioration and death.
    Old age is one of the stages of human development where a person attains wisdom, maturity,social and economic stability with social recognition and emotional fulfillment. Old people are considered as the guiding stars.They are the symbols of tradition , respect , wisdom and experience.

    It is very often said that while passing every birth day, we are nearing our end by one year.
    Actually we start dying the day we are born.Retiring age is synonymous with failing health and nearing death.
    Fear about existing or non existing diseases,fear of isolation and death.,fearful diseases affecting the children, consequent fear of losing the beloved younger ones and financial problems, indebtedness etc can create an impression that retirement is a total bane.
    Boon and bane are like two sides of the same coin.

    Without the bane, you cant understand the boon or vice versa.
    Just like how you cant understand happiness without sadness.

    It is the progress that counts,but failures play a huge role in achieving progress..


    Nothing can replace the love and affection shown by one's own dear ones.
    But in these days, many children live abroad and are unable to take care of their parents.
    Parents also are not in a position to travel abroad and live in extreme climates.
    As long as one is able to attend to his/her own needs there is no problem either at home or senior citizens' home, as long as money is not a problem.Once the patient becomes bed ridden , love and affection vanish even from the near ones, not to talk of nurses who just do the job as a duty..
    There is a saying in Tamil" virunthum marunthum moonru naal mattum"( One can treat a guest with all honour and paraphernalia for three days.In the same way a patient can be treated with max care just for three days when the position is precarious. Then automatically, the energy gets reduced and tireness and depression set in not only to the patient but also to the care taker.
    Very often we talk of olden days. Even in joint families, the elderly person was shifted to the rezhi( front enclosure to the house .Min care was taken and every one eagerly expected the
    arrival of the final journey.
    .In a home in Chennai, that advertises top most care to the totally bed ridden patient,my relative was admitted. We saw that there was a big hall having around 16 cots with similar disabilities.As we entered the hall to see our relative, the horrible urine smell pervaded everywhere and it looked like a public road way toilet. Our relative said that they clean the patient only twice in a day.Just for 15 mts that clean atmosphere would prevail. Afterwards, as nature calls step in to different persons at different hours,the discomfort felt by the patient is too difficult to describe.
    But there are certain homes, where they take special care of the bed ridden patient even with bed sores.The cost may not be afforadable to many. As one becomes old ,he/she has to forget about love, affection etc etc.
    But even at home, one has to admit that the patient( mother/father)talks ill of, and complains about the son/daughter taking care of the patient in the best possible way.Naturally the care taker is mentally disturbed.
    We can only pray for'anaayaasa maranam' .

    Jayasala42
     
  4. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Gold IL'ite

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    Physical incapacity is more tolerable than mental one. Recently I read about Sean Connery (who played James Bond in the movies) being afflicted for several years with Altheimer's disease, and couldn't recognize his wife or other close relatives. Eventually he passed away, very likely to the relief of all, relatives, and fans.

    There are many cases of the ordinarily affluent, not celebrities like 007, with more than sufficient money, but unable to enjoy their (supposedly) golden years. The video advert's we see of a grey haired (hardly any tummy!) guy and an equally fit white haired woman on a tandem bicycle doing a good clip on the wet sand next to breaking waves on a beach -- is totally abnormal.

    The fat guys with gin-tonic's sitting in the shade of the beach-bar, looking at the cyclists doing the photoshoot, is the best an ordinary person can aspire to.... if granted the boon of good health to get to a darn beach like that.

    Life is tough; one should hope to die without too much hassle to anyone. Not too many countries offer the black needle on demand: one has to qualify for that too.
     
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  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Just like we talk of degree in time,marriage in time and child birth in time-death in time -is what many of us would like to be blessed with.My sister is 97.She has already lost her husband, a son and two sons in-law all in their 80s.Her daily prayer is'tomorrow I should not get up".But she lives to see
    so many calmities at home.She sees her children suffer.What to do?

    Jayasala42
     
  6. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

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    Brought out the exact facts of retired life. I took on an early retirement, when I had another 10 yrs of service left, to anable me to relax after working for some 28 years. Upto age 60, did not feel the gap and rather enjoyed the home stay. As long as we have independent finance and good health, I would say retirement is a boon. However, age and its connected disabilities, does catch up andvitvus then, that we feel the necessity of good company in family and friend. But however loving a circle we may have, ultimately a sick and dependable person is always a burden, which may not be shown outright. As jayasala ma'am rightly points out,. The ideal would be to have ' vina dainyena jeevanam and anayasena maranam' to make it good for both the person and the carer
     
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  7. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for your nice feedback as usual. Glad to know about you. Yes facebook is a good pass time. Fortunately, I and my wife have two wonderful daughters to take care of us. Fortunately, health wise also there are no major problems. What is there in store is unknown. I always say, live for today, tomorrow may not come and yesterday is already gone.
     
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  8. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you very much for explaining how old age can be a bone or boon or both depending upon individual situation.
    The worst, of course, is a situation when someone is bed-ridden. As you rightly said, as guests are guests only for three days so are the bedridden olds in the family. There is a movie "Aadheen" (dependent). The old age couple have a son and daughter, both unmarried but living separately and visit occasionally or when called. The mother is bedridden and the husband takes care of her. No nurse wants to accept the job for obvious reasons. Father calls both of them and tell them -I am too tired. Now you both decide who wants to keep the mother as he wants to go away. No one says either yes or no. Father tells them that he has administered a poisonous substance in her drip and she will die in about 8 hours. He gets ready to leave but returns to give them another vile of a solution which if administered before 8 hours, the poison will become ineffective and leave. The end.
    The question is left unanswered possibly because euthanasia is not yet legal.
     
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  9. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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  10. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Very true. A well planned retirement can be a boon specially after the children are settled within working life.
    No one can help much with age related issues. The only thing we can do is relax and accept the truth. The worse, of course is neglect by children. And the worst is getting bedridden.
     
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