Preparing Emotionally For Retirement

Many working Americans look forward to retirement. Experts point out that many people tend to recognize the toll of transition emotionally. It can take some time to adjust to a new daily life change. Let this guide you.

Ask some questions

Retirement is often synonymous with freedom from work, but sometimes retirees are disappointed to discover that retirement is not an instant key to happiness.

As you plan to retire, ask yourself some questions, including:

  •  Why am I retiring?
  • Can I afford to leave?
  • Do I want to work in retirement? If so, in what capacity?
  • How will my life change when I leave?
  • Am I physically prepared for retirement?
  • Are my will, estate, and directives in order?
  • What will I do with my time?
  • What are my significant other’s expectations?
  • What do I need to do before I retire?

Planning phase check up

Today’s retirees are active and able to take on new challenges. To do that, it’s important to be in good health and willing and ready to take on the rigors of a new way of life.

Before departing for retirement, it’s a good idea to check in with your physician to get:

  • Complete physical
  • Blood work
  • Other tests recommended by your doctor

Coping Emotionally

Many new retirees go through a honeymoon period where the first couple of months are great, but the subsequent months are when those negative emotions arise.

Conversely, other people may become depressed before retirement in anticipation of the significant life change that approaches. While everyone experiences retirement differently, but it is important to recognize common reactions may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Grief

Keeping active and fit is not only beneficial to your health physical health, but it also helps your emotional health because exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemical in the brain.

Going from a busy work schedule to having no set schedule can be jarring for some people. Consider creating a new set schedule every day to give more structure to your days and help you plan how you are going to spend your time.

Finding your purpose

A career is a big part of a person’s identity. Many people have trouble adjusting to retirement because most of their support system is aligned with their work schedule and associates.

One way to help you regain a new form of identity is work. Working part-time can bring back those feelings of accomplishment, yet still allows you the freedom to enjoy leisure time.

Experts recommend finding a part-time job in an area of interest. For example, someone who enjoys gardening may find a sense of fulfillment working part-time at a florist or garden supply store. Many employers happily hire retired individuals because of their experience and work ethic.

Retirement is also an opportunity to take classes at the local community college or volunteer for a local organization.

Redefine yourself

For most employees, throughout their working lives, they were defined by the job they held. After retirement, that identity must shift to a new state of being.

To counter the emotional consequences of identity in retirement, retirees may find solace in activities such as:

  • Crafting
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Small appliance repair
  • Volunteering
  • Writing books
  • Woodworking

These hobbies may even evolve into a small business. Research at local libraries or online will point you toward avenues for the sale of goods or services.

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