Don’t become a Wet Fallen Leaf!

Japanese Wives use the derogatory term nure-ochiba (a wet fallen leaf) to refer to retired workaholic husbands who don’t know what to do with themselves when they’re not working and hang around the house expecting their wives to plan their spare time. ‘They follow their wives around, like unwanted, wet fallen leaves which are stuck to the bottom of one’s shoes’.

I identified in my book, Retireability, that hard work and the life as an executive is the worst possible preparation for retirement. The wife (or of course the husband) may have lived without her work-immersed husband’s domestic support, and has achieved emotional independence and ego-identity.

She possesses appropriate skills for social survival and networking. On the other hand, the husband may lack such skills. He is like a fish out of water, becomes dependent on his wife, while the latter feels annoyed with him who constantly disrupts her routine and demands attention. In the US they have even diagnosed this as Retired Husbands syndrome.

Retirement is more than just accumulating a nest egg. You need to psychologically prepare and gradually change your mindset, leaving behind the corporate identity and discovering your authentic real self that the corporate life had kept a lid on all those years, forgetting past glories and thinking ahead.

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