Tag Archives: Feelings

It’s More Than Just Finances: The Psychology Of Retirement

It’s More Than Just Finances: The Psychology Of Retirement

There are certain phases of life that most of us just naturally fall into with little to no psychological effort. Retirement, however, isn’t one of those phases. It’s a time of life that requires both careful forethought and changes to mindset.

Many think of retirement purely on a monetary level, particularly how their finances will change. Indeed, just managing current and future finances can be a full-time job during retirement. However, retirement also involves many psychological aspects.

For the last forty or more years, your career has been one of the main things that defined your life. Just think about how many times you’ve used your occupation to partly introduce yourself, give meaning to your life, or describe who you are. There’s often an initial feeling of overwhelming identity loss when retiring. If you’re not defined by the career you’ve spent the majority of your life building anymore, then you’re going to need to reinvent who you are now and who you plan to become in the future.

Start out by composing a list of what you’ve always wanted to do, but have never had the money or time to get done. Maybe you want to be a world traveler or volunteer for a cause close to your heart. Maybe you want to complete your education for personal satisfaction, start an entirely new career, or try your hand at being a business owner. Whatever is going to help you define the new you, it should be something that’s feasible and practical to accomplish.

Be careful about thinking that retirement is the end of monotonous work and the beginning of fun and exciting activity. Research has shown that there are potentially very serious consequences (such as boredom, depression, and feelings of being nonproductive) for many that don’t work after they retire.

Many retirees mistakenly think that a certain leisure activity that they’ve always loved or wanted to try will keep them interested and occupied. But, after just a few months, most usually find that monotony isn’t something unique to work activities. One way to avoid the pitfall of boredom during retirement is to test-drive various activities while you’re still working. It makes sense that if you get tired of playing golf every weekend for a year, then it certainly isn’t going to hold your interest during retirement. Likewise, if you plan on opening a business or starting a new career, then you can test-drive your new identity by taking night classes or working weekends in a business like the one you plan to open. Finding a new you will also help you to stay happy and productive, which will be essential considering you will now most likely be spending more time than ever with your significant other and family.

Plan Ahead for Retirement With a Winning Game Plan

Plan Ahead for Retirement With a Winning Game Plan

If you’re like most people, you’re probably imagining days of leisure; visiting loved ones; traveling; and lots of time doing all you’ve dreamed of, but never had time to fit in, as you contemplate finally making the transition into your retirement years. You want to plan ahead for retirement, but just be careful not to get ahead of yourself and get tripped up by your own feet. Before you hit that time clock for the last time and say your goodbyes to the workweek, you’ll need to make sure that you have a game plan for the future.

Of course, you’ve got to know how the bills are going to get paid before you can say goodbye to your paycheck. However, many retirees forget about the potential psychological and emotional challenges they could face when they’ve retired and are suddenly faced with alternatively filling their days. Some retirees may find the extra free time isn’t as happy as they imagined, but instead incites feelings of boredom, uselessness, depression, or isolation. Like any other major change that life holds, a smooth retirement transition clearly takes a lot of psychological, emotional, and financial preparation. Here are some steps that you can take to help make your transition into retirement as smooth as possible:

* Make sure your retirement budget is current – you might have made your retirement financial plans long ago, but you need to do one final budget check to ensure that you actually have enough funds to last you through your retirement years. Determine the amount of money you’ll need each month to maintain your current lifestyle over the next 25 to 35 years. If what you have isn’t congruent with what you expect you’ll need, then your retirement strategy might need an amendment. Such a scenario doesn’t mean all is lost. You could postpone a full retirement and only partially cut your work hours, add or change to a part-time job to continue building your nest egg, or consider an entirely new and exciting second career.

* Figure in health care expenses – you’ll need to have a sufficient amount of funds set aside to pay for health insurance, even if you have a retirement health plan available through your employer. Since the cost can be increased and availability terminated for these retirement health benefits at any time, you’ll need to have all your bases covered and be capable of paying for an alternative, possibly more expensive, health insurance policy.

* Stick around a little longer – it’s tempting to run for the hills immediately after your retirement announcement, but both you and your employer can benefit if you stay around long enough for your employer to hire and train a replacement for your position. Your employer will be very appreciative that you didn’t leave them with an employment void, and you will be able to make a more gradual and easier transition into retirement.

* Get a jump start on government aid – eligible retirees can wait 90 days or more for government aid, such as Medicare and Social Security benefits, to take effect. If you’re at least 65-years-old and are expecting to receive any government benefit, then make sure that you sign up for the benefits with the appropriate agencies several months before you actually retire.

* Plan for the emotional and psychological pitfalls of retirement – you can help yourself avoid feeling bored or isolated by planning how you’ll stay active and fully enjoy the rewards of retirement. Make a list of the feasible hobbies; recreational activities; classes; groups, clubs, or committees; volunteer work; and other activities that you’d like to pursue. Remember to pick meaningful activities that make you feel happy and help give your life a sense of purpose, not just keep you busy. You might also ask your employer if they offer an alumni group to help you stay in contact with your former coworkers.