Retirement – moving from challenges to opportunities

Mona Bani

Retirement has once again been making the headlines. The issue of loneliness among retirees has been the focus of much recent discussion, but this is just one of the many challenges that we face when we make the transition from work to retirement. The Shaftesbury Partnership’s new venture, Retirement Transition Initiative (RTI), equips people who are around the retirement transition with the information, networks, resilience, and opportunities they need in order to continue purposeful activity post-retirement.

People retire where they live, not necessarily where they work. Research shows that once retired we benefit greatly from the resilience that comes from having strong connections in our local community. For many, retirement can be an opportunity to form new friendships, to do volunteering, as well as enjoying more leisure time. RTI aims to support people in gaining access to these opportunities.

In piloting the RTI programme, we are testing our main assumptions and programme design in Stoke, with fifteen local residents attending a two-day event, where they could access support and advice on financial planning, health, post-retirement work opportunities and perhaps most importantly, have the opportunity to meet with other local people who are also approaching retirement.

The feedback has been hugely positive. One participant has written to us saying it “was a fantastic experience with so much learning from others”. Others have commented that the weekend event opened their eyes to aspects of retirement they hadn’t considered, and some have requested to be volunteers for future programmes.

Next steps are to build on this initial success and to use the learning and feedback from participants to expand RTI to a formal pilot programme, which will take place across Stoke, Manchester and Coventry. Our hope is that participants will contribute as peer ambassadors and that a strong network can be established in Stoke, where the retired community help us shape this new initiative.

To find out more about RTI, contact Paul Gutteridge

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