Retirement is a major milestone, and something that many people look forward to in their working years. But what about when it’s finally time to retire? How do you navigate such an enormous lifestyle change?
When you’ve done the work – saved the money, created wealth, planned and prepared for this phase of your life – you can shift your attention to new things that you may not have had the time for before. Retirement is going to look very different for everyone. Some people dream about traveling more, spending more time with family or picking up a few new hobbies.
Here are a few ways you can create a fulfilling, rewarding retirement – and continue to grow in the process:
You might need to grieve
Retirement is generally seen as a positive, exciting event, so some retirees are caught off guard when they feel a sense of loss when it happens.
The truth is, leaving a career is a loss. The people you see every day, your daily routine, the security of a paycheck – all of that changes practically overnight. Even if you’ve planned, saved and dreamed for this moment, grief is a normal response to a major change in your life. Those emotions might be compounded if you took an early retirement offer, or felt like you had to leave before you were ready.
If you find retirement to be bittersweet, that’s normal, and it’s okay. Maybe you love the extra time you get with your family, but you miss your coworkers or the mental stimulation you got from your work. Just know that it can take time to adjust to a new way of life, and there can be a range of emotions that come along with that.
Your retirement can still include work
Decades ago, careers and retirement were a lot more set in stone. For many people, they went to school, got a job at a company, worked there for 40 years, and retired. But today, work and retirement are much more fluid. The digital age has allowed people to start businesses, pick up new hobbies and connect with other people in ways they couldn’t before.
The loss of work and all that comes along with it can be very challenging, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Your retirement could be an opportunity to pick up a passion project, start a business or work part-time in an industry you love.
What are retirees doing now?
As baby boomers retire, we’re learning more about how people are structuring their retirement today. According to this survey, 79 percent of workers aged 57 to 75-years old said they want to continue working in some capacity after retirement. The top reason they gave was wanting to continue to bring money in, and have more flexibility in finances. The majority of respondents said they would like to be semi-retired, and either has a more flexible schedule (79 percent,) work in a consulting role (66 percent,) or work reduced hours with reduced benefits (59 percent.)
This is important information because as people live and work longer, it changes the nature of retirement and how we prepare and build wealth to support it.
Whatever your plans for retirement, or if you’ve retired already, know that you have options to make this phase work for you. You’re not alone if you want to keep working in some capacity, or if you want to put work behind you and move on to other interests. Whatever you choose, remember that it’s a process, and it’s okay if this phase of life looks different than you expected it to.
Here are some additional retirement resources from AARP about finding fulfillment and happiness in your retirement:
10 Secrets of a Happy Retirement
5 Retirees Find Purpose in Their Second Act Careers
How to Live with Less Financial Worry in Retirement
Do you need help planning for retirement? Contact me today to set up a meeting to talk about your goals.