You still might be working full time, yet retirement is drawing closer every day. The idea of no longer working full time used to seem so far off, and now, as more and more of your friends retire, you find yourself counting down the days with a mix of eager anticipation and possibly some trepidation. Retirement is like the Great Unknown, so how can you adequately prepare for something you’ve never experienced?
You’re not alone in your mixed feelings. After a long time spent in the workforce, retirement can cause a lot of anxiety for some. Unlimited amounts of free time may sound like heaven to some, for others all they see is a difficult transition punctuated by stress, uncertainty and maybe even grief.
At Tacoma Elder Care we work with many retirees and talk with them about their experiences, and we’ve found that with a little guidance and some insight, transitioning into retirement can be one of the easiest transitions you’ve ever made in your life.
Here are Seven Tips that might help Make the Retirement Transition Relatively Easy
One: Plan for a longer transition period than expected. Expect there will be some trial and error until you get it right. It may take weeks, months, maybe even years to get used to retirement. That’s ok. The good news is, you have time!
Two: As your retirement kicks off, take a mini vacation. An opportunity to breathe. By taking a week or two to relax before you move into your new routine, will better prepare you for your new lifestyle. You’ll be well rested and ready for the challenge.
Three: Keep telling yourself, “this as a new beginning.” This mental preparation is an important component for a healthy transition. Rather than seeing retirement as the end of your career, view it as the beginning of an exciting new phase in your life. Begin reading retirement-related articles, talking to current retirees about their experiences, taking classes you’ve always wanted to take, or pursue volunteer opportunities.
Four: Work on getting fit. This should be fairly obvious, but it’s vitally important. Committing (or recommitting) to a healthy exercise routine, a healthy diet, plenty of water and rest, will help to reduce stress, build self-confidence, and benefit every aspect of your life from attitude to cognitive ability. You have no more excuses, and you have the time.
Five: Maintain your friendships. Friendships and social activities can help to reduce stress and provide emotional support. Having a strong network has been shown to improve physical and mental health as we age.
Six: Build a strong mental foundation for change, and develop a strong sense of identity, nurture (or create) a strong social network, and discover a strong personal mission and purpose. Now that you are no longer associated with a work title or career, begin to develop an honest sense of who you are as a person in this world.
Seven: Remember to always follow your dreams. Retirement isn’t an end, but a beginning, and the best way to ease yourself through the transition to retirement is to rediscover the world through a new lens. Explore being an optimist, not a pessimist!
The Retirement Transition is Really about the Right Retirement Plan
Regardless of how old you are or what your circumstances, a solid retirement plan is always the best solution. Even if you worry that you aren’t prepared or don’t have enough, a well thought out plan can show you the way forward toward a better retirement , including not only a financial strategy, but all the essential elements that matter most, including legal, housing, health and family. With a plan in place you can be prepared, and anxiety can be replaced with confidence and a sense of optimism towards this new chapter called “retirement.”
We encourage you to Join Us for a FREE Workshop! Tacoma Elder Care is all about helping you prepare for the secure retirement you deserve. Sign up for one of our Workshops today. Or call for a FREE consultation.