Being a bloke in retirement

GriefLine is holding an education seminar Living a Man’s Life in Today’s World, which examines the changing role of men in the context in which we live – the changing world of relationships, retirement and general wellbeing.

The seminar will feature John Besley from the University of the Third Age, who’ll discuss life in retirement; Martin McDaniel from Black Dog Institute, who’ll discuss how to cope with depression; and President of the Melbourne Men’s Group, David Mallard, who’ll talk about how to enrich the lives of men through relationships, personal growth and wellbeing in retirement.

[Media Release]

How to be a better kind of man
Big boys do cry and those who don’t should be encouraged to, according to David Mallard, President of Melbourne Men’s Group.

Sadly, however, most men are raised within the confines of an emotional straitjacket and see sharing emotions as a sign of masculine failure.

Mr Mallard is also speaking at GriefLine’s Education Seminar: Living a Man’s Life in Today’s World, which will examine the changing role of men in the context in which we live, the changing role of relationships, retirement and general wellbeing.

Mr Mallard believes that Australia, as a society, is paying for this straitjacketing today, with more dysfunctional men unable to display real emotions nor support other men to talk about real issues.

“Society has changed a lot in recent years and many men are confused about their role in society. What it means to be a man and masculinity is no longer simple,” said Mr Mallard. “There is no doubt that the ‘job description’ for being a man has changed. Men tend to be judged on the job they do, the car they drive and the sporting team they follow, which does nothing to help a man talk about being an individual with hopes, dreams and feelings.”

He will tell the workshop how men can build trust, step over the line, and open up to a better kind of manhood.

Retirement: plan to make it work
The reality of retirement may not be all that it is cracked up to be, suggests teacher-turned-counsellor, John Besley.

Mr Besley, who has now experienced 20 years of retirement, is one of three speakers at GriefLine’s seminar. He will discuss the myths and pre-conceptions around retirement, drawing on his own experience.

“All of us look forward to retirement and expect a life of leisure and pleasure. The reality for most of us is much different,” he said.

Mr Besley suggests that part of the reason behind his up-and-down experience of retirement is that he had been defined by his job of 40 years, a teacher at Melbourne Grammar.

“My job gave me status, activity, meaning and enjoyment, but when it ended I had not properly prepared for a new life, a fall in income,” he said.

Rather than mope, Mr Besley slowly built a new life, becoming involved with the University of the Third Age as a tutor and on the management committee, where he served for seven years as President. More recently, Mr Besley has become both a registered counsellor and a GriefLine counsellor.

His advice to men nearing retirement is to consciously plan and start some activities before it happens.

“Many men have no retirement plan. Some might think playing golf three or four times a week is a good idea, but they can end up finding golf boring and are just waiting to die,” Mr Besley added. “As a counsellor, I’ve seen the loss and grief suffered when people retire. It’s one of life’s major events and you need to be ready for it.

“Health and fitness can’t be underestimated. Keep fit, do anything. I used to coach students swimming and now I swim for fun. I’ve also picked up yoga and other activities.”

About GriefLine
GriefLine is Australia’s only dedicated grief helpline service that provides counselling support services to individuals and families free of charge. These include: telephone support; online counselling; in-house one-on-one counselling; education and training, and health support programs. Callers have the opportunity to share their stories anonymously and confidentially with someone who will listen.


Event details: Living a Man’s Life in Today’s World

Date: Thursday 4 August 2016
Time: 4pm to 8pm
Venue: GriefLine Community & Family Services, Level 1, 479 Warrigal Road, Moorabbin
Cost: general public: $55, volunteers and students: $30, GriefLine volunteers: $20. Refreshments provided.
Registration: email
Enquiries: (03) 9935 7444

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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