Brave and Retiring New book helps with the process of moving on from full-time work Retirement should be a creative, exciting new chapter in a person’s life, says a new book by staff at the Institute of Education. Retiring Lives, edited by Eileen Carnell and Caroline Lodge, aims to help people with the process of moving on from fulltime work. It will be a useful aid for directors of Human Resources and Staff Development who want to find ways of helping their staff plan for the future, not just financially, but for all aspects of their lives. It will also interest individuals thinking about retirement. Jacqui McDonald, Head of Staff Development at the IOE, runs retiring workshops and other support activities. “Retirement should be seen as a ‘professional development’ or ‘self-development’ journey,” she writes in the book. Planning is essential, she says. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ - though the importance of maintaining spontaneity and fun is also stressed. The book contains practical help and advice, including exercises on visualising an ideal retirement, and ‘daring to dream’. For instance a retiree may have always wanted to live abroad, develop a talent, or become involved in voluntary work. Some may want to take steps towards finding other employment. For them, maintaining contacts and networking are crucial, says McDonald. It is important to develop contacts for future consultancy or part time work before retirement, she points out. Retirement should not be the end of an organisation’s relationship with an employee, she says. “Flexible approaches need to be adopted so that organisations do not lose valuable people who have so much to offer and want to continue to make a contribution, to help with mentoring of existing employees and provide help and assistance with their work.” The IOE runs retirement workshops for all employees approaching retirement alongside a Retiring Women’s Group to support employees and smooth the transition. “The first residential weekend in particular made me realise that, although it was slightly painful to give up on my career, I had achieved a great deal, particularly in the last 15 years and that the move into retirement was not going to be the last transition in life I was going to make,” says group member Marianne Coleman. Retiring Lives contains the real life stories of people at various stages of retirement, and focuses on the different social, psychological and practical aspects of the experience. Having witnessed some family members suffer illness and early mortality Ashley Kent was particularly aware of the importance of making the most of life, and took inspiration from his father who retired at 50 and lived until 90 “travelling, working part-time and having a varied and fulfilled last 40 years”. Retiring can be an opportunity to get involved in new activities that use knowledge and insights acquired in your working life. After a career based in London, Jennifer Evans became a governor of a school which “faces none of the inner-city problems confronting most of the schools I’ve had contact with in my work”. She was able to get involved in its activities and share some of her experience. “Retirement can be a lengthy process,” say the editors, “a dynamic period in which retirees go through a series of transitions. This book captures many aspects of the process of retiring.” End. Further information on the book Retiring Lives from James Russell, +44 (0)20 7612 5556 [email protected] Retiring Lives, edited by Eileen Carnell and Caroline Lodge, ISBN 978-0-85473-848-9, £15.99, paperback, 180 pages, can be ordered from all good bookshops and from online retailers including Amazon.co.uk The Institute of Education is a college of the University of London, UK, specialising in teaching, research and consultancy in education and related areas of social science and professional practice. The Institute conducts over one-third of the educational research in the UK and last year’s Research Assessment Exercise judged that 35 per cent of the work it had submitted was “world leading”, while much of the remainder was of international significance.