Settling down for retirement after many years of work can feel like a sigh of relief, a moment to catch your breath and slow down. However, this shift in lifestyle can also bring up feelings of sadness, anxiety, and loss of purpose. Studies show that a third of retirees develop symptoms of depression, especially those who have lost a spouse, live alone, retired unexpectedly, or are simply struggling to adjust. Such a drastic change can be challenging, so it’s important to acknowledge how you feel. In addition to finding empathy for yourself, the following tips can help prevent these feelings or help you cope with them if they arise.
- Take it Slow
Rather than diving right into the retirement deep end, you can find ways to offload your work commitments incrementally, using the extra time to relax, pick up new hobbies, and get a taste of what retirement is like and how you’d ultimately like to spend it. You could go from full-time to part-time employment and gradually work fewer hours with time. If you are unable to take a gradual approach, try to take some time to map out what you’d like to do once you retire, almost like an extended vacation plan. This can help you build excitement for retirement and get you ready for the retirement lifestyle.
- Engage in Your Community
One of the reasons you may be putting off retirement is that it can be hard to replace the purpose and social life that employment provides. Although time to yourself is beneficial, if you’re worried about what will substitute the fulfillment you get from work, you might find great purpose in engaging in different communities. Local community sports, arts, volunteering, reading to children, or finding a partner to go on walks with are just a few examples. Interacting with others and actively making new connections and friends with other retirees, whether they are your peers or not, can get you out of the house and active, building your networks and filling you with a sense of purpose.
- Explore Your Inner Child
There’s a saying that goes, “as we grow older, we are a sum of all the years that came before.” When you reach your 60s, you’ve gained invaluable experience, knowledge, and memories, but don’t forget that you’re allowed to feel like the same person that once experienced those memories for the first time! Can you think of any activities you wanted to do in your early years that you never got around to? Maybe it’s trying out a specific cuisine or taking a trip somewhere. Whatever it is, retirement is the perfect time to reignite that old flame and pursue as many of those dreams as you can. Exploring your inner child is a great way to rediscover parts of yourself and create new memories.
If feelings of sadness or anxiety persist, it would be wise to reach out to a professional and talk to them about what you’re feeling.
Retirement can be an eye-opening phase, seeing new sides to yourself or your life. This time in your life has many adventures and learning experiences to offer. But what’s also important is that you can make the most of your savings to afford this great time of enjoyment and exploration. To find out how you can better deal with your finances in retirement, Click HERE to sign up for a time to talk to us at Integrity Financial Planning today.
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