top of page
  • Writer's pictureDamilola Agubata

3 Common Retirement Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Retirement is such an inevitable part of life that even when we don’t excitedly look forward to it, it will come and we must be prepared for it.

We must also understand that while retirement can be beautiful and pleasant, it can also come with its own unique challenges that can throw us off balance if we are not secure enough.

This is why it’s important that we familiarise ourselves with some of the most common challenges in retirement and how we can overcome them should they occur.

We, therefore, present to you the three challenges that retirees commonly face and how to solve them.

a male retiree sitting on a chair in the lobby
3 Common Retirement Challenges and How to Overcome Them. Credit: Oak Pensions Limited

1. Having more free time but less disposable income

This is a challenge that can stop retirees from enjoying their retirement. “I went from always having disposable cash to buy almost everything I saw while sitting in traffic on my way home to taking evening walks and not being able to return back home with some fruits and vegetables for my partner and grandkids,” says Michael, a 63-year-old retiree.

In retirement, you can decide to withdraw a lump sum and then your remaining balance is your monthly pension. It so happens that sometimes your monthly pension is not enough to cater to a few of your regular, miscellaneous expenses and you are left at the mercy of waiting for your monthly pension which in most cases has already been budgeted for more important bills such as electricity and water.

How to solve this:

“I now had more free time and I wanted to be able to surprise my loved ones with gifts from time to time so I took on a part-time job. It was nothing strenuous (considering I had to retire at once due to a medical condition): the opportunity to contribute to society in a meaningful way while getting paid enough to afford some niceties for my family made me feel better,” Michael shared.

Surely, getting a part-time job can help you with some of the day-to-day expenses that you could normally afford when you were actively working.

2. Having trouble finding productive ways to spend your newfound free time

At first, you are excited that you won’t have to wake up every day to compulsorily be at work and then you realise that your newfound free time is too much for you because you’ve exhausted most of the fun activities you planned.

What do you do? How do you spend your retirement without feeling bored and apathetic about your days because there are fewer activities to do and more than enough time than you’ve ever had your whole life?

“I bought a lot of books when I was about to retire,” begins Sayo, 67. “I thought I would bury my head in books all the time and wouldn’t be able to get enough but I was wrong. Three months in and I wanted to go back to the good old days of working. It was almost as though I did more but there was still enough time — more than enough time to observe what my neighbours were getting up to and I was starting to feel like the street gossip.”

How to solve this:

Volunteering is a good way to spend your free time in retirement. When you volunteer, you get to feel productive and it will be worth your while.

Gaining new friends, increasing your sense of self-worth, and enhancing your physical health are all benefits of volunteering. It's a fantastic way to share what you've learned on the job with others or to pick up some fresh expertise to keep your mind sharp in retirement.

3. Finding it difficult to unwind and enjoy retirement, especially in the first few months

It’s definitely a challenge to ease into retirement in the first few months, especially when your job gave you a sense of purpose. Anna, 66, says she thought she was losing her mind.

“I was one of those young people who looked forward to retirement. I was 25 when I started actively planning for retirement so you’d think it must have been a breeze for me to retire. That wasn’t the case. I almost lost my mind. When I retired, my salary was about ten times what I was earning when I got my first job which enabled me to buy my first car. It was not the thought of losing a monthly salary; it was my expectations. I had high expectations and it didn’t turn out as I’d expected or looked forward to.”

While some retirees enjoy their first few months in what is normally considered the honeymoon phase, others do not.

How to solve this:

First, you need to recognise how you feel. Do not try to force yourself to feel a specific way about retirement. Then you need to understand that there is no proper or improper response to entering a major phase of your life.

By allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you're feeling — whether it's anger, sadness, anxiety, grief, or a combination of these and other emotions — you'll find that it passes, no matter how strong it is. Whether it's to a trusted friend or in a journal, sharing your struggles can help you feel less alone.

The good news

Even as you experience retirement as a major life-changing event, Oak Pensions can be there for you as a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) you can trust to administer and pay your pension as and when you need it.

However, if you are yet to open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) with Oak Pensions, it is advisable that you do so without wasting any more time.

You can also transfer your Retirement Savings Account (RSA) to Oak Pensions.

Whether you want to open an account or transfer your existing account, all you have to do is call the Marketing Manager on 09087448661 or send an email to


bottom of page