Emphasis in retirement is generally placed on financial planning, which is critically important, but doesn’t address the potential void of emotional, psychological, intellectual and physical adjustments. Serious attention to these non-financial aspects is important for those who are considering retirement, wanting to revitalize their current retirement and/or are a partner in a retirement relationship.
The “New Retirement” explores the transition from employment and addresses the serious challenges of loss of identity and disengagement from work, habitual schedule and daily socialization. It examines the adjustment to personal and family life, outlook on health and aging, choice of leisure and social preferences, personal development and self-actualization.
Retiring may be voluntary and happily anticipated; however, if not well prepared for, joy can shift from initial positive expectations to frustration, boredom, procrastination, depression, fatigue, poor health and feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
People spend 15 to 20 years financially planning for retirement but often don’t devote the same effort to seriously think through and plan for the non-financial aspects of their retirement years.
The “New Retirement” makes informed choices and uses advanced planning beyond the financial. One is not retiring FROM something but TO something; continuous fine tuning may be necessary. Even the best plans can lose their luster so it’s always good to have a Plan B.
10,000+ individuals are retiring daily with increased life expectancy of 30+ years. Retirement can last longer than your primary career. Retirement affects all aspects of our life and if not well thought out can create mental health challenges of drug and alcohol addiction, depression and divorce.
ELEMENTS OF RETIREMENT
Change and Transition
Retirement means Change. Transition is the psychological process people experience adjusting to a new situation. For some people Change is exciting and energizing and they move through the Transition phase easily; for others Change is challenging and the in-between time of Transition can be chaotic and ambiguous before moving on to a new beginning.
Career and Work Benefits
Does retirement mean stopping work? Some people don’t plan to work and others plan to do the same work in some fashion. Some may pursue work that connects with a hobby or passion. The main benefits of work are a sense of purpose, status, financial compensation, time management and socialization. It’s important to consider if any of these areas are important to you. If so, and there isn’t a plan to replace them, it makes the transition to retirement more difficult.
Retirement is a time when personal development and self-actualization can take on more meaning. There are many benefits to continued learning and development: validates a previous interest, stimulates new interests, keeps up involvement, presents an opportunity to meet new and interesting people, exercises the brain and offers new perspectives.
How will you find connectedness in retirement? Relationships are an essential component of our lives and become increasingly so in retirement. As retirement is all about change; it’s important to recognize how it impacts our relationships with spouse/partner, family, friends and former co-workers.
Leisure and Living
What leisure interests have you had in the past that you would like to continue or renew in retirement? We tend to gravitate towards one or two leisure preferences but it‘s important to recognize and expand our categories of leisure.
How can we thrive, not merely survive in retirement? We’re responsible for the care and maintenance of our body and mind and our health practices that serve as the foundation for our wellness. This becomes increasingly important as we age and transition to retirement.
The “New Retirement” is not an ending but a new beginning; an opportunity to create a meaningful existence and the start of a new life journey of expanded proportions.