Financial security is always a major consideration but emotional security is equally important.
Few people facing retirement consider the profound psychological adjustments a new life style brings. Entering an entirely new realm of living poses diverse challenges. While some retirees glide smoothly into giving up work, new research shows many more encounter depression, anxiety and overwhelming feelings of loss. Each of us is unique in our retirement challenges.
5 of the Most Difficult Challenges of Retirement
- Too much intensive time with your spouse. You’ve been careening in different directions for a long time. Suddenly it’s just the two of you with lots of time to be together. Sometimes you realize you don’t know this person as well as you assumed; personalities and interests are different or even conflicting.
- Too much time on your hands. Plenty of spare time and not feeling productive is guaranteed to result in unhappiness. Plan where to invest your time and implement those plans effectively.
- Too little money for what you have planned. When financial projections fall short it impacts all you do and retirement becomes a worrisome existence instead of the adventure you had always envisioned.
- A large part of your identity is lost. Men especially are identified with what they do for a living and it gives them a sense of purpose. When work identity is lost, a person begins to feel aimless and dissatisfied.
- Uncertainty about Social Security and other assets. Is it more reasonable to take Social Security early or should you wait until full retirement age? When would be best to begin spending other retirement accounts? Will current investments be important in covering your future lifestyle?
Psychologists and researchers have found working or volunteering helps to prevent depression but these activities aren’t necessarily a good fit for everyone. According to a study by Jacquelyn B. James Ph.D. of the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, “only those people who are truly engaged in their post-retirement activities reap the psychological benefits.”
5 Steps to Energize your Post-Retirement Living
Determine What Matters to You – Even in Retirement there are distractions if trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Focus on your goals. Instead of duplicating another’s plans, question what matters to you. Why should you chase someone else’s dreams and end up regretting time wasted on a lifestyle you never truly wanted? Choose your own course of action.
Create a Schedule – We are creatures of habit. Retirement presents us the new chance to hit snooze on our alarms. Lack of structure may swiftly lead to anxiety and depression when we have been more familiar with agenda schedule. Create a new agenda… for example, one hour to exercise, housework, daily and weekly errands, hobbies and social time. Enjoy the freedom to manipulate your schedule for unexpected opportunities but always have a purpose for each day.
Reduce Time Spent Worrying – One of Eleanor Roosevelt’s more memorable quotes is: “It takes as much time to worry as it does to plan.” There will always be concerns and they cannot be ignored. However, worrying about something and working on something are not the same. One creates anxiety; the other dismisses anxiety by creating a solution. Transform worrying over legitimate concerns into steps taken to mitigate them. See a financial counselor; talk to your doctor; confide in a close friend. Determine to be productive.
Invest in Relationships – The career relationships you enjoyed are still important. Interchanging them with new relationships is a healthy way to stay connected and active. Reintroduce yourself to your spouse. Create a date night and determine to enjoy new pursuits together. Find a place to contribute your knowledge and experience to a younger generation. Mentor others and invest in their future.
Choose Joy – During years of work and career pursuits time passes quickly and many moments are gone forever. Choose to enjoy every moment with your new slower pace. Hold the grandchildren. Enjoy the outdoors. Laugh more. Listen more. Smile more. Fill your schedule with meaningful and worthwhile endeavors and enjoy every moment. Post-Retirement shouldn’t be a catalyst for depression. Many of the clients at Bridge to Better Living® are being pro-active in looking at Senior Retirement Living Options. They realize it’s best to know their options and have chosen to work with an expert. When they are ready to move their research has been done.