How To Prepare For Retirement Emotionally

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Continue Investing In Line With Your Goals

How to prepare for retirement both emotionally and financially | Q&

While you can still invest well into retirement, its sensible to reassess your portfolio in line with your new requirements. Your investments may be your main source of income, so its likely youll want to switch to options that are most likely to offer steady, measured returns rather than high-risk products. Theres no set way to do this, so its always best to get some advice before making any changes.

Why Is Retirement So Stressful

Many of us spend years picturing our ideal retirementwhether its traveling the world, spending more time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies such as painting, gardening, cooking, playing golf, or fishing, or simply enjoying the freedom to relax and take it easy for a change. But while we tend to give lots of thought to planning for the financial aspects of retirement, we often overlook the psychological impact of retiring from work.

Initially, escaping the daily grind and a long commute, workplace politics, or a difficult boss, for example, can seem like a great relief. However, many new retirees find that after a few months the novelty of being on permanent vacation starts to wear off. You may miss the sense of identity, meaning, and purpose that came with your job, the structure it gave your days, or the social aspect of having co-workers.

Instead of feeling free, relaxed, and fulfilled, you feel bored, aimless, and isolated. You may grieve the loss of your old life, feel stressed about how youre going to fill your days, or worried about the toll that being at home all day is taking on your relationship with your spouse or partner. Some new retirees even experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

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It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living. Eckhart Tolle

Happiness and quality of life are something that many, if not all of us, strive for. One thing that I have noticed through my work with people in retirement is that the pull toward both of these aspects becomes even stronger when the days are no longer filled with work obligations. I have witnessed many people entering retirement who have no idea what makes them happy, and it makes me wonder why we arent very good at figuring that out. After all, you would think that happiness would be something that we constantly work toward and get better at over time. Ive seen many people struggle with what they are going to do during retirement and how they are going to live their lives. They spend so much time worrying about what they will become and what will happen to them. Many are even concerned that they will literally stop breathing if they stop working. Though I dont feel as though Im in the position to give you the answer to living a happy life just yet, I have realized that there are some consistent habits of happily retired people, and Id like to share them with you.

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Preparing For Retirement: The Definitive Checklist

If youre preparing for retirement, there are a number of financial and emotional factors to consider. Careful retirement planning will allow you to enjoy a long, happy post-work life and stop you falling prey to a callous scam that promises to boost your retirement income. Weve put together a list of the top 10 tips for planning for a happy retirement.

Plan How Youre Going To Stop Working

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Retirement doesnt have to mean you cut your working hours from full time to zero immediately. You could semi-retire for a few years by reducing your working hours or finding another part time job that takes you away from the stressful corporate world. This strategy could make it easier to adjust, both mentally and financially, to full retirement.

If you know giving up work altogether isnt going to suit you, you could use retirement to pursue goals youve never had time for. After all, youre never too old to start a new business venture or volunteer for good causes in your area.

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Top Emotional Signs That Its Time To Retire:

  • You cant wait to retire
  • You dont enjoy work anymore
  • You feel like work is in the way
  • You feel left behind
  • You and your partner are on the same page
  • 1. You cant wait to retire

    There seem to be two camps of people those who cant wait to leave their jobs and those who cant imagine not working.

    It’s worth spending some time reflecting on why you “can’t wait” and whether it feels positive or negative. That will help you design a better retirement for yourself. It might be the drag of having a fixed schedule, it might be the stress of managing responsibilities, or it might be that you’re looking ahead to a compelling future.

    Whatever your reasons, if you find yourself counting down the days until retirement, youre probably more than ready.

    2. You dont enjoy work anymore

    We spend a lot of time at work, so finding something we love to do is key to our well-being and happiness. If youre feeling unmotivated, apathetic, or resentful, you might be ready to move on.

    This can be difficult to navigate if you felt like your identity was wrapped up in your work. After years of focusing on your career, the thought of retirement might trigger an identity crisis.

    3. You feel like work is in the way

    You might want to start a business, travel more, or spend time with your family. Feeling like work is getting in the way of your personal goals is a clear emotional signal that youre ready to retire. Its a sign that your priorities and values are beginning to shift.

    Find The Passions You Want To Pursue

    Now that youâre post-career, you have the time to spend doing other things â in fact, research has shown that spending on experiences brings more happiness than buying material goods. Find experiences that bring you joy, whether thatâs learning a new language or instrument, traveling, volunteering or exploring your creative or adventurous side. If youâre busy doing something you love, youâll spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your money.

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    How To Prepare Yourself Mentally For Retirement

    As someone who writes about personal finances for people in their 50s and 60s, I get a lot of retirement books. Most of them are perfectly fine, parroting the traditional financial advice about saving wisely and managing expenses. Some are off the wall.

    But I recently read a new one called The Retirement Boom: An All-Inclusive Guide to Money, Life, and Health in Your Next Chapterthat I liked and recommend specifically because its not about the financial side of retirement planning. Its about the other side: the personal, emotional, and psychological side.

    All of us are boomers whove reinvented ourselves for retirement and probably wont retire until our 90s, Allen told me. The co-authors come to the topic of retirement from very different backgrounds, which is one reason the new book is so useful: Allen and Foley have worked at corporations Bearg spent years in the nonprofit and government arenas and Smith is a career consultant.

    Highlights from my conversation with Catherine Allen:

    Next Avenue:Why did the four of you write The Retirement Boom when there are so many other books on retirement?

    Catherine Allen: As we did our research, we found that most retirement books about financial planning dont address lifestyle issues. That gave us the impetus to write this book.

    Lets talk about some of those lifestyle issues. You write about the need to visualize retirement with a walking meditation. What does that mean?

    And whats your advice about retirement robbers?

    ‘you Face A Lot Of Emotional Crises’

    Therapist Dr. Kenneth Cole on Preparing for Retirement Emotionally

    ‘I think its really important for older people to make the most of their circumstances. You face a lot of emotional crises, but the important thing for me is facing up to them and finding a way out of them.

    Jay found that there was one vital consideration missing in her retirement planning. I found that when you plan for retirement, you plan financially, you plan where youre going to live, whether you want to upsize, downsize, move to a different country, move to the sea. But the one thing you dont plan for – I didnt and many of my friends said the same is what youre going to do with all the free time youll have on your hands.

    ‘I was used to running my house, doing my shopping, cleaning, washing, and ironing. But after about 3 weeks of being retired, I remember sitting having a cup of coffee about 10 oclock in the morning and I thought, “Gosh is this it?” But then I thought: “I could live for another 30 years, which is almost half my lifetime.”‘

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    What Will I Do With My Time

    Lack of activity will often lead to depressed mood, lack of motivation and poorer health. One exercise I often do with my patients is have them plan out activities ahead of time: What brings you pleasure and when do you want to do it?

    For example, scheduling a visit to the YMCA or a call with a friend to invite them over for tea. After completing the activity, I encourage them to think about how pleasing that was or how accomplished they feel afterwards.

    Sometimes without structure or routine it can be difficult to motivate yourself to do an activity, but when you refer back to your activity planning worksheet, it can encourage you to act even if you dont feel like it.

    At Iora, we have classes such as chair hip-hop, meditation and Lets Reminisce. Try one class or try them all, and reflect on how they impact your mood.

    Ease Yourself Into Retirement

    Retirement doesnt have to happen suddenly. You dont have to leave your 9-5 job on a Friday and begin your retired life on the Monday. Instead, you can ease yourself into it!

    Flexible retirement is when you gradually reduce your hours or days before permanently retiring from work. For example, you might go from a full-time role to spending a couple of years working part-time. Or you could spend a year working 9-2.

    This method can reduce the shock of suddenly finding yourself without a job, and it also allows you to enjoy the final years of your working career with slightly less pressure.

    Youll want to consider how your finances will be affected by this method, but if youre over 55, you could even supplement your income with your pension.

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    Pick Hobbies Or Skills That Youd Like To Learn

  • Learning new things can keep you active and engaged. Its also a great way to meet new people and keep retirement life interesting! If youre not sure where to start, check your local community center. They often offer activities, lunches, or trips designed just for seniors. Here are a few other activities you could try:XResearch source
  • Take an art class
  • How To Emotionally Prepare For Retirement

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    People tend to focus on the financial aspect of planning retirement but fail to learn how to emotionally prepare for retirement. Adjusting to retirement is quite a challenge, especially for those who identify themselves through their career.

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  • People tend to focus on the financial aspect of planning retirement but fail to learn how to emotionally prepare for retirement. Adjusting to retirement is quite a challenge, especially for those who identify themselves through their career.

    Over the years, youve learnt that your time equals money, so what happens when thats no longer the case? It can stir up quite a few emotions, denial, anger, sadness, nostalgia, joy. All of the feelings you feel now are entirely valid, as its a big transition.

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    Dont Let Fear Kill Your Dreams

    Retirement is the time where youve worked hard for yourself, and you owe it to yourself to make the most out of it. And sometimes fear can get away from our dreams. We let the negative inner voices distract us from what we want.

    Dont be afraid to dream big and go after what you want in life. Its your life, so make sure you live it the way you want it. And have no regrets.

    If you want to make your retirement the best time of your life, then my Ebook is definitely something for you!

    ‘you Think Retirement Is Nirvana’

    Jay explains how she felt in the lead up to retirement: I think like most people of any age, you think retirement is nirvana, you think its going to be fantastic. And I had worked in the exhibition business which meant I worked weekends, evenings, and long hours. It was a fantastic job, really interesting, but I suppose in a way I was quite exhausted. And I was thinking, Oh wouldnt it be fantastic to not get up early in the morning, not to be working in the evenings.”‘

    But when retirement materialised, it wasnt the dream that Jay expected, I think emotionally I was dying to do it. But after 3 or 4 weeks it hit me that I could sit here looking at these 4 walls unless I personally took charge, took responsibility and did something.

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    Physical Transition To Retirement

    Whether you are physically ill or perfectly well, retirement is a time to focus on your physical health. For some, that looks like medication and physical therapy. For others, its a time of good nutrition and exercise.

    Why bother if Im retired, something I hear a lot, and can completely understand. My answer is because you have the time to put yourself first. You also dont need a lot of money to move your body. There are social groups that take walks or hikes, some cities also provide free classes in yoga, pilates, swim classes, Tai Chi, cycling, and loads more.

    Nourishing our bodies does a wonderful thing in negating symptoms of depression and anxiety that are caused by adjusting to retirement. If anything, anyone retiring should consider at least twenty minutes of exercise a day, and it doesnt need to be intense exercise.

    As well as a mood booster, it will help keep the mind occupied, get you socialising, and strengthen your body at the same time. Theres no rush in doing everything at once, but consider one activity that you might enjoy and gets you moving.

    Consider Your Pension Options

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    Closely related to the previous point, youll want to think about how to use your pension when you retire. Youll have a few options:

    • Drawdown up to 25% of your pot as a lump sum without paying tax and leave the rest invested.
    • Drawdown a small amount from your pension each month, and leave the rest invested so it lasts longer.
    • Use your pension pot to buy an annuity which provides a guaranteed income for the rest of your life.
    • A mix of the above.

    Your circumstances and desired retirement lifestyle will influence your decision. If you find it difficult to decide, you may want to speak with an independent financial adviser ahead of time.

    If you have more than one pension, read Should I consolidate my pensions?

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    What Are The Five Emotional Stages Of Retirement

    When you actually retire, youll experience a range of emotions too. Its like any major life change youll go through different stages as you settle into your new reality.

    The excitement of your first day of freedom might give way to melancholy when the novelty wears off. Or your initial trepidation might turn into delight as you fill your time with things you love.

    In fact, theres a pretty standard journey that retirees take called the five emotional stages of retirement.

  • Realisation This is when you realise your retirement plan and the big day actually arrives. After planning your retirement possibly for years you say goodbye to your co-workers and clock out for the last time. Youre likely to feel a mixture of relief and anxiety as you face an unfamiliar future.
  • Honeymoon period Youve ditched the 7am alarm and your only commute is to the kitchen for breakfast. You now have time to live life on your terms. You might start a hobby, take a holiday and reconnect with family and friends. Life is busy, fun and fulfilling.
  • Disenchantment After a year or so, the gloss might start to wear off retirement. You could find yourself feeling bored, lacking direction, even depressed. Things are a bit same-y and you cant face another week with nothing on your agenda. This isnt unusual and planning for this period will help you push through it.
  • These stages take time and remember as you work through them, youre growing older.

    Keep Up With Social Activities

    Isolation and loneliness can harm our emotional wellbeing, and it can be easy to slowly lose social activities when you stop working. Your workplace may have played an important role in your social life, from a quick chat on your lunch break to going for a drink together after work. Spending time with family, friends or old colleagues comes with plenty of benefits. Retirement is also the perfect time to meet new people who you share an interest with.

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