Retirement is a very exciting time for most people.While the majority of people look forward to retirement changes, they often fail to recognize that changing lifestyles after retiring can bring about some unexpected feelings, both emotional and physical. Many people find they need help coping with life transitions after retirement. Life after retirement is a complicated time. Not only do you have to worry about your retirement savings, but, you also need to find meaning in your life.
Here are a few things most people learn after retirement:
Life keeps changing
The changing lifestyles after retiring include having a lot more time on your hands. Initially, many retirees keep on doing what they’ve always been doing, except they don’t go to work. There’s more time for shopping, doing home repairs, seeing friends and playing golf. But after a while it begins to sink in: Time is a precious resource. People begin to reflect on their lives, start to say no to activities they really don’t want to do and consciously focus on the important, more purposeful things in their lives. Change doesn’t stop just because you’re retired.
A new search for fulfillment
Some retirees experience a kind of post-work crisis as they search for a new purpose that will give them a sense of fulfillment. Many retirees find the answer in helping other people in one way or another. They may volunteer to help kids with their homework, serve meals to elderly widows and widowers, coach a sports team or help raise their grandchildren. Are you a golfer, a gardener, a volunteer or a world traveler? Many people have found that they develop a new role in retirement. Establishing a new identity can be a challenge, but also an opportunity for a fresh start.
Surprise–Money Doesn’t Guarantee a Happy Retirement
One of the biggest concerns about retirement was running out of money. Many retirees start out feeling financially secure, but then realize they don’t have any idea what to do in retirement. While it’s essential to plan for how you’re going to generate the income you need, it’s also important to figure out the interests and activities that will make retirement a rewarding and worthwhile period of life.
The days are long, but years fly by
It’s ironic that we can’t see how quickly time passes while we’re living it. When you’re in it, it can go real slooooow. Retirement offers the priceless gift of time, but you need to determine how to use it. Without a goal or some kind of focus, you might feel busy, but have nothing to show for it. It’s easy to fritter away time watching TV, going shopping, running errands and keeping house. For many people a truly rewarding retirement comes only when they try to accomplish something that’s important to them. When you reach the end of the day or the end of the year, you want to leave a mark, create a memory or make someone happy.
You still have to work on new relationships
Many retirees are surprised to find that their relationship with old work colleagues fades away as their interests begin to diverge. Other friends may die or move away. Loneliness is a well-recognized risk of retirement as friends move away or die off. While retirement is a time to relax, you still need to make an effort to keep your personal relationships alive with your spouse, children and friends. Consider doing something special for your spouse, make an effort to see your children and pick up the phone to call a friend. You should also reach out to make new friends, perhaps new neighbors or the people who share your new interests.