I personally have never retired, but through working with my clients I have experienced retirement multiple times and it’s through my experiences with others that I can provide you with this tested in the trenches advice and tell you that you better Make sure you consider the changes your retirement will bring before you retire.
We are all bombarded with messages encouraging us to save money for retirement—and that is certainly important—however, we are rarely told that we need to prepare mentally for the changes retirement will bring. After you retire, your role in life will be quite different than it is today. In fact, I will tell you that from my experiences with clients, these are the stages which most who retire will pass through when they indeed retire.
Honeymoon: You’ll enjoy the pleasure of doing what you want to do when you want to do it. Perhaps you’ll sleep in, catch up on reading, and spend time with family and friends. It’s important to realize, however, that for many people, the novelty of free time wears off. That’s when they begin to feel dissatisfied with retirement.
The Retirement Blues (I see this around the 24 to 36 moth): Don’t be surprised if you begin to feel bored or even depressed. You may feel like your life no longer has purpose. You begin to worry about health and money In fact, a significant number of people return to work, often taking part-time positions during this time.
Redefine/Reinvent: This is when you finally figure it out and you actually become good at retirement. You’ll actually begin to enjoy it. You may find purpose helping family members and friends, volunteering for a worthy organization, or traveling. You may pursue hobbies or take classes. That’s why I often suggest that before you retire, make sure you’ve thought about what you would like to do with all of your free time.
Stability: Gradually, new routines and activities will become your normal everyday life, and you’ll be launched into retirement!
As your retirement approaches, ask yourself some tough questions.
How much of your sense of self-worth comes from your work?
What will replace work during your retirement?
Which of your hobbies would you like to pursue more actively?
Retirement gives you an opportunity to reinvent your life and it’s a wonderful and fulfilling part of life—However its no different than any thing else – you have to be prepared to do it.
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