When someone brings up the topic of retirement, the first thing that comes to our minds is usually money. It’s drilled into us that we need to save, save, save and that we have to work tirelessly right up until our retirement date, just to maintain our current standard of living throughout these later years. But in all the hustling around to set your retirement finances in order, have you neglected the psychological transition that occurs as well?
What Is Transition Risk?
There’s no denying that retirement is one of life’s significant milestones. It’s frequently on our minds, no matter our age. But when retirement arrives, we can be blindsided by the mental and emotional changes it brings. This is particularly true for women. Women are more likely than men to experience depression in the retirement years, especially in the initial transition out of their working years.
No matter how much you’ve looked forward to retirement, you’ve also dedicated many years to your work. Saying goodbye to your career, your colleagues, and your routines can cause anxiety and depression. But if you focus as much attention and preparation on the psychological aspects of retirement as you do the financial, you can set yourself up for a fulfilling and happy retirement.
Keep A Foot In The Door
Retirement doesn’t have to be the end of your working days. Whether it’s self-employment or part-time or contract work, staying in the workforce after retiring from your full-time career can improve your mental and physical health. As you draw closer to the end of your official working years, put some thought into a second career. Is there a hobby that you can turn into a business? How about a job that you’ve always wanted to try your hand at?
Give Yourself To A Worthwhile Cause
Have you ever wanted to give your time to certain activities or organizations, but couldn’t find the room in your schedule to make it happen? Retirement is the ideal time to reevaluate those desires and make a plan to follow through. When your working years suddenly end, and you are left wondering what your purpose is, committing yourself to volunteer work gives your days meaning. Any kind of volunteering is beneficial to your psychological wellness, whether it’s shelving books at the library, walking dogs for the local animal shelter, or even giving your time to a cause related to your career. Volunteering is not only crucial for your emotional health; your physical health can benefit as well. One study of retirees found that those who volunteered 200 hours a year were less likely to develop high blood pressure.
Retirement can be lonely. You may think you will now have all the time in the world to spend with family and friends, but the loss of your work community and routine make it difficult to maintain friendships. Set goals for yourself to get together with friends regularly, and find ways to make new friends who are in the same transition as you. You may meet people through volunteering, taking classes, or joining local retirement groups.
Women tend to struggle with the social changes retirement brings more than men do. In fact, one study shows that 62% of women say they miss the daily social interaction they had at work, and retirement happiness for women depends on the quality of their social life. It’s never too early to start investing in friendships and social ties that will help you ease into retirement.
Strategically Pursue Your Passions
Retirement often conjures up images of having endless amounts of time to finally pursue the things you love, but you need to strategically plan your time so that you follow through on your plans. It’s easy to let the days pass by if you don’t have a game plan in place. Before retiring, make a list of things you want to do and places you want to go. Then, map out a strategy to make them happen. It’s easy to lose your identity when you say goodbye to your career, but setting goals and venturing out into new territory will help you build a new identity and prevent feelings of depression and anxiety. Make sure you have something to look forward to before you retire in order to make the transition as smooth as possible!
How We Can Help
At The Athena Network, we want to see women feel optimism about their future. We also believe in taking steps today to plan for a thriving retirement. Let us help empower you by making sure you are on the right track and are considering every aspect of your life in preparation for retirement. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org, call 484.224.3439, or click this link to schedule a call and take the first step towards a happy retirement.
Lisa Strohm, CFP®, MBA is the founder and CEO of The Athena Network and Good Life Advisors of the Lehigh Valley, fee-based wealth management firms. She specializes in providing financial planning, investment management, and life management services for women and their families across the U.S. With more than 16 years of industry experience, she sets her firms apart from traditional wealth management companies by focusing on providing clients with an educational, collaborative, supportive experience that inspires her clients to engage in their financial lives. If you have a question, please click this link to schedule a phone call today. To learn more, visit https://the-athena-network.com/ or connect with Lisa on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Investment advice and financial planning offered through Good Life Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor. The Athena Network and Good Life Advisors, LLC, are separate entities.