Retirement is supposed to be a joyous occasion. After all, this is the time when you get to leave the constraints of a busy career behind. You’re free to set your own schedule and spend your time as you wish. There’s no boss to report to. No clients to manage. No big projects to complete. You’re free to do whatever you like.
So why is retirement so difficult for many people? Very often, new retirees realize that this new phase of their life isn’t all they had expected. They miss socializing with their colleagues at work. Without a job, they feel a lack of purpose. They have trouble transitioning to life at home. In fact, a recent study showed that retirees were twice as likely to suffer from depression as those who are still working.1
The good news is you can take steps to ease into retirement and pave the way for a smooth transition. Below are a few tips to consider as you leave the working world:
Structure your day.
During your career, you likely had a set schedule. You had tasks, obligations, and goals you wanted to achieve. You may have even had a to-do list.
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to abandon that structure. If you get comfort from having a list of tasks or objectives, keep doing it in retirement. Set a schedule for the next day. Instead of focusing on work-related tasks, you can pursue a new hobby, meet with friends, or even do something nice for your grandchildren. A structured day could help you fulfill your need for productive activity.
Set short-term goals or milestones.
At work, you’re always looking forward to the next milestone. Maybe it’s landing a new client or finishing a big project. In retirement, you may not get that same feeling of achievement or success.
In retirement, you may feel depressed or anxious without a similar set of goals or objectives. Just because you’re no longer working doesn’t mean you can’t have goals. Plan a big vacation for you and your spouse. Take up a new activity or hobby and set goals for yourself. You could even volunteer for a favorite charity and take on a big fundraiser or similar project. You could coach your grandchild’s sports team. By setting short-term goals you can give your retirement a sense of purpose.
Make new friends.
Maybe you think of your coworkers as friends or maybe you think of them as merely colleagues and acquaintances. Either way, they may play a major role in your social life. They’re a source of adult interaction and socialization. After you retire, you may find that you miss your coworkers and the daily conversation you have with them.
Socialization isn’t just important for your mood and happiness. It’s also important for you health. A recent study found that retirees with large social networks had a 26% lesser chance of developing dementia.2
Look for opportunities to make new friends in retirement. You could pursue a hobby or join a group of like-minded people. You could volunteer. Many community centers offer outings and activities for retirees. Be proactive in expanding your social circle. It could make your retirement happier and even healthier.
Ready to plan your transition into retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Jim Lee Financial. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy.
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