The forgotten period of life

By Sarah RaparoliLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

No matter how much you like your job, most people are looking forward to retirement. But many only realise on their last day at work that many things will change. A new phase of life begins, and everyone can prepare for it.

At a young age, life seems to be easy, trouble-free and the path towards adulthood is set for the most (but by no means for all) of us: school, apprenticeship, university, first job, own house or flat, children. The first major crisis follows in our late 20s, when we want to gain a foothold in the job market as young professionals. Thoughts like "What am I doing here anyway?", "I can't do anything", "I can't do it" or "How does everyone else do it?!" massively pop up. At some point this fear subsides. We grow up. Over the years, more minor crises come our way until retirement is imminent.

Now, think back to the first lines of this paper: The beginning of our lives is (mostly) planned. But what about the years after retirement? Have you thought about this – whether you are currently working or already retired?

30 to 60 = 60 to 90

"We plan our whole life, but the period after that is a bit forgotten" is a statement made by Vibeke Walter during our visit to a presentation on retirement and reflects well the premise of this text. Vibeke Walter works at the organisation gero – Kompetenzzenter fir den Alter. She is the person responsible for the geroAKTIV department. "I'm in my mid-50s and I'm already thinking about what I want to do later", she says. "It's good to deal with things as they come, because I don't want to say that everyone has to plan everything. That is not always possible either. But it would be important to think about: 'What do I want to do? What else do I want to do or what have I always wanted to do?'" The following statement can make one think. "The period between 30 and 60 is just as long as the time between 60 and 90. It's crazy what can be done in that time."

Heng Feit made it his mission to make people want to experience what will happen afterwards. He leads the presentation called "Pensioun, an elo? (in English: Retirement, what now?) on said evening at Schauwenberg Castle in the Bertrange village centre. He was able to retire at the age of 60 in 2019. He had been employed in finance for 37 years and, as he says himself, had not really been accompanied on his way to retirement. "I had an exit interview with my supervisor, but that's about it." He sat at home a lot, called his wife three or four times a day, he confesses and laughs. "Of course, I had dealt with the idea a few months before, but this topic is hardly ever discussed publicly. I felt alone with it."

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