Retiree says there?s still life after work
By RENEE REDMOND
CHRISTOPHER MacartneyFilgate doesn't like describing himself as retired.
"I don't want to feel like I'm on the rubbish heap and no longer needed," the 78year-old Georgica man said.
The president of the University of the Third Age in Lismore believes it is important for men to find something which replaces the feeling of job satisfaction.
"For men work is life. You are what you do, and when you lose that you need to find something to replace it," he said.
The Northern Rivers is a known haven for retirees, with Ballina Shire Council predicting the proportion of the over-65s in Ballina will hit 24 per cent of the population by 2026.
Christopher says at present there are 590 Northern Rivers members of the U3A.
"We are the company of friends," he said.
Christopher said most men viewed retirement as a loss of importance.
"You might have been the head of a department and you no longer have that power, scope and command," he said. "But if you stay active you'll find retirement gives you a chance to do something different."
David Hughes, North Coast Area Health Service clinical men's health nurse, said up to 700 retired-age men suicided in Australia each year and that depression was a major factor.
Mr Hughes said the best way for men to avoid depression was to get involved in their local community and make themselves useful.