Retirement Blues: Average Retiree Grows Bored After Just One Year, Survey Finds


  • New survey finds that two-thirds of retirees feel working part-time would give them a renewed sense of purpose.
  • Words commonly used by respondents to describe retirement: Boring, lonely, and quiet.

LONDON — Retirement may seem like the light at the end of the tunnel for working adults, but for many, it winds up being more of a disappointment than a delight. In fact, the average retiree grows bored after just one year of a life free of employment, according to a new survey.

That’s right — of the the many adjectives that the 1,000 British retirees in the survey used to describe their retirement, three of the most common were “boring,” “lonely,” and “quiet.” It seems the major life change is simply too much for some. Nearly 3 in 10 respondents (27%) said they have more time to themselves than they anticipated when they retired.

Most retirees said they spent their time reading, watching television, and hanging out at home with their significant others. Researchers found the most common downsides of retirement were not earning enough money, boredom, and lack of social interaction. One in four respondents said that everyday simply feels the same since retiring.

And while most retirees felt bitten by the boredom bug after a year, 1 in 10 respondents said they were struggling to find something to regularly pass the time after just five months.

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About two-thirds agreed that working part-time would give them a better sense of purpose, though only one third said they’re seriously considering doing so. Four in 10 retirees say the primary reason for working part-time again would be to meet new people, with another 40% wanting to just get out of the house. Interestingly, most would opt to try a new experience rather than return to their prior occupation.

The survey was commissioned by the National Citizens Service, a British organization where experts in a field can help mentor and teach teens various life skills.

“Police officers and other public servants tend to retire earlier than others, and while that sounds appealing, it can be a shock to the system,” says Chris Tolley, a 54-year-old retired police detective who leads a program with the NCS, in a statement. “It’s important to keep mental stimulation going and putting our skills to use in a different way – and there is nothing more satisfying than feeling you have benefited young adults and encouraged cohesion, mobility and engagement for society as a whole.”

The survey was conducted by market research firm OnePoll.

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