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Why So Many Retirees Are Unhappy

ABC Radio

Most of us try to have some kind of financial plan in place when it comes to our retirement but how many of us plan how we're going to fill our days?

Merilyn Hill is a consultant whose specialty is helping baby boomers work out what they're going to do with all their free time.

“Unless we retire to something, we have high incidence of depression of ill health,” she says. “We need to be thinking about engaging meaningful things for us to do in retirement.”

She says people should start planning their retirement five years ahead and should think about joining social and community groups. Men, in particular, suffer when they suddenly find themselves with nothing to do.

"So much of their identity is involved in terms of their work and so they've got to create an identity that is beyond work, perhaps by getting involved in community activities.

“We've got a nation that is needing the skills, the knowledge of a mature age workplace,” says Merilyn Hill, “and how do we bring that back in again? We need to engage those people who have the knowledge and experience to take our booming nation forward.”