Is it retirement or rewirement?

Retirement has really changed in the last 20 or 30 years. There isn’t really a set retirement age and, of course, generally, people live many years after the age they may give up work. Pension providers have different expressions for what used to be retirement, rewirement is one of them. As well as people getting their head around the financial implications, it is one of the biggest transitions anybody makes. For those facing retirement or rewirement, planning their finances and future can be daunting, intimidating, and just plain scary.


What is rewirement?

I assume the pension offices consider this to be where everything changes. Instead of putting money away for a rainy day, you are meant to spend it. What are you going to spend it on? Will you have enough? What are you going to do to fill your time? How will you build a routine into your life? How do retirees know how much money they need, if they don’t know how they are going to enjoy the remaining years of their life? Yes, the word should beto enjoy otherwise why have we spent all those years working if not to provide for their enjoyment?

There is a lot of good information on planning your retirement including: 

Retirement mistakes

I have known people who have wished for their retirement all of their working careers without any planning and have not lasted long after retiring and basically fading away. Other retirees who have been very successful in their careers, but with very few outside interests, suddenly find themselves with loss of status and subsequent loss of identity. These retirees often take a couple of years to rebuild their own self-esteem and position in their community. Normally we still have a third of our life to live – how are we going to enjoy ourselves in a time-rich environment?

Steps to planning a successful retirement

Firstly, consider: Do you want to be a...

Cliff edger

A 'cliff edger' is somebody who works full-time up to retirement and then suddenly on a Monday morning has a totally different lifestyle and possibly has somebody at home who may have to adapt to this too.


A part-timer seems a logical approach gradually reducing hours as retirement approaches and getting a feel for what retirement might look like. Trying one or two things out, maybe hobbies before the retirement date.

Wind downer

A wind-downer gradually increases the amount of holiday taken. When I was at a corporate one of our team had Friday off every week which was great for him but not the rest of the team!


Re-inventors finish one career and start another career which instead of being financially important may be something you actually enjoy doing with remuneration being lower down on the list.

Open ender

Open-enders have no commitment to retire, many people just keep going and by keeping the brain alert, often have a longer life than those who retire early.

Or a combination? I had a portfolio career for nine years and now I purely focus on coaching which wasn’t what I did during my corporate career.


Secondly, reflect on the following:

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What does your partner enjoy doing?
  • What will you enjoy doing together?
  • How will you create space for each other?
  • What other pressures may you have (family)?
  • How will you go from a full-time working life to retirement or pre-retirement (working fewer hours but still earning money)?
  • How will you adapt to saving for your retirement to spending your hard-earned pension (this is a big mental shift!)?
  • What else concerns you about retirement – loss of ego, purpose, fulfilment, friendship, challenge?

For retirees to rewire and feel more confident about their future it only takes a couple of hours with me face to face or on Zoom to answer some basic questions to establish what their future is going to look like. I start off with a retirement questionnaire followed up with a retirement wheel and, after a healthy discussion, this normally relaxes coachees and helps them to have thoughts on what to explore for their major change in life. For the final session, whenever fits their timing, we put together a typical action plan of what they want to do going forward.

If you need somebody independent and totally confidential to give you a different perspective about the non-financial aspects of retirement, please get in touch with me  or learn more by visiting my profile.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5JZ
Written by Neil Williams, Career Coach, Business Mentor and Retirement Coach
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5JZ

I am an accredited coach and coach supervisor (Association of Coaching) who only coaches topics which I have had the experience of, in my business and personal life. I have been coaching now for 15 years. For the foreseeable future, I am purely a virtual coach which works well wherever you are in the UK or elsewhere.

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