By definition, retirement is the act of ceasing from a job or from active work life. One can achieve retirement when reaching the retirement age, i.e., 62 or 65, or can be earlier than the retirement age due to health reasons, personal reasons, or whatever reasons may be.
Others think of retirement and financial independence the same thing. One may achieve retirement when he is financially capable of providing his needs beyond years of his life by having enough savings, investment, or pension income.
Nevertheless, whatever reasons may affect your retirement, it is essential to consider the other factors that may contribute to you as an individual when you reach the golden years of your life, that is, your emotional and mental conditions.
No matter how financially prepared you are for your retirement period, you must also prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for as for you enjoy the rest of your years.
Experts say that the most crucial factor to consider to achieve an enjoyable retirement is not how much savings you have but how prepared you are psychologically.
Five Stages of Retirement
This article will help you understand the stages of retirement and how are you going to prepare yourself for a happy retirement. According to studies, there are five stages of pre-retirement and retirement that affect the emotional aspect of a retiree.
During this stage, though the person is nearly approaching the age or their retirement-ranges from 15 to 6 years before retirement age, they most likely do not think of retirement yet. Their attention is more focused on pursuing careers, paying bills, providing the needs of the family, bringing children to college, etc.
On the other hand, as their retirement age is getting closer, they begin to think of their retirement objectives and needs. But still, retirement is not on their top list.
About 5 years before retirement, the second stage comes, which is anticipation. In this stage, there is a feeling of great excitement and hope when people thought of retirement. At this point, their financial resources are almost in place, they take extra time planning for recreation, vacation, think of new hobbies to do, prepare for more family activities, and even think of some post-retirement careers.
Nevertheless, worries and doubts- as to what would happen when they retire- are still there because they have not yet experienced the change in their life. But in this stage, people begin to think more about their future and make plans further aggressively.
According to an expert, most people are just making the thought of a great retirement but never give much thought of what to do to accomplish this goal. Always remember the more you plan for your o retirement, the more ready you will be.
This stage is referred to as the honeymoon phase because this is where the feeling of enjoyment, enthusiasm, and hopefulness sets in when people retire. This stage is short-lived and tends to last for a year only.
During this stage, people are completely involved in the different opportunities come. They find themselves busy doing various things such as relinking with spouses and families, doing new hobbies, even traveling or starting a new business.
The most crucial stage of retirement is reorientation. During the first few years of their retirement period, a lot of retirees tend to accomplish all their to-do lists, and as a result, they find themselves doing nothing.
This is where they reorient their priorities, activities, relationship with the families and often find that retirement is not what they thought or imagined, that it is more challenging than what they used to do before. This stage could last up to 15 years.
The experiences under this stage are categorized as follows:
- Worried Strugglers- having a hard time of coping
- Uncertain Searchers – mixed emotions, still trying to discover goals and purpose in life
- Carefree Contents – hopefulness and satisfaction with less restless lifestyle
- Empowered Reinventors – new challenges, escapade, contentment
The last stage of retirement happens approximately 16 years after the retirement day when they feel contented in retirement. In this stage, people are hopeful and have to deal with all stressful situations during their retirement.
The Psychological effects of retirement
Retirement can affect the psychological aspect of a person. Once you decided to retire, mostly everything about you would change. Though planning for your retirement helps you to become ready for it, we cannot deny the fact that there are some psychological issues that you need to deal with to optimize the golden days and have real-life satisfaction.
So, what are the things that retirement could affect you mentally and emotionally?
First is the uncertainty of the things that retirement would bring. There is no guarantee that once a person decided to retire, his expected output for a particular retirement option will happen.
Secondly, the sense of identity.
According to studies, most retirees become emotionally disturbed because of the loss of their sense of identity. The feeling of being insignificant to the community can lead to negative emotions. This feeling can be noted when the person often inclined to self-description. Self-description usually involves mention of a former profession or job.
The third is the transitional stages.
When a person retires, the transition from being employed to disengagement from a work routine can cause him stress and anxiety as the inertia of work-life ends. Some people usually find it hard to adapt to change.
Next, losses, the experience of loneliness and social isolation.
The thought of the loss of their status, job, friendships in the workplace, and their significance can affect a retiree. Also, the person may initially feel void in terms of “what or who am I, now that I am retired?” And if not appropriately dealt with, it may lead to depression.
The experience of loneliness and social isolation can also affect a retiree. Family support could result in a positive adaption to retirement. Participating in community activities, such as social gatherings and community services, and having supportive friends are strong predictors of well-being in retirement.
How to get fulfillment from retirement?
Just like what is stated above, you have to prepare for your retirement. Getting ready for it is a big check before you retire. Nevertheless, your expected outcome may not actually happen when you retire. For you to get fulfillment from retirement, this article has suggestions to be considered.
1. Make a difference. Your retirement does not define who you are. Instead of thinking what or who you are now that you are retired, you can use your life by making an impact on the community. Share your skills and talent to others by participating in community service, join an outreach ministry, or volunteer in an outreach program.
2. Make yourself valuable. Retirement is not the end of your personality development activities. Make yourself active by doing some physical exercises, attend social gatherings, eat a well-balanced diet, read books, go for window shopping with your family, enjoy your retirement.
3. Have the right perspective. Understand and accept your situation that you have retired. Instead of reacting to the negative side of retirement, put it positively. Do not limit yourself to your situation. Explore and be a blessing!
Structure Your Day in Retirement
To optimize your retirement every day, here are some suggestions that you may consider.
- Keep things in perspective. Manage your time properly. Set your priorities and goals. Be sure they are doable.
- Make a schedule to prioritize things. Organize your daily activities. Make a to-do list for essential items to avoid overwork. Be sure to have enough sleep.
- Learn to slow down. Don’t rush on many things. Take a rest or do things slowly.
- Alternate periods of structured activity with free time. Do other activities in your free time. You may take some part-time or seasonal work that you can do, some volunteer work, or the things that you love to do.
- Limit time for TV and the internet. Don’t let yourself be hooked on TV and the internet. Set a particular time for that stuff.
- Adopt changes. Don’t hesitate to change your schedule as the need arise. Be flexible with your schedule. Don’t worry about exploring something new.
Planning for your retirement and getting ready before it comes will more likely make you positively adapt to your changing situation. Having the right perspective over some retirement issues will lessen your stress, shock, and anxiety during your retirement period.
Understanding the effects of retirement on your mental and emotional aspects and dealing with those positively will help you optimize the fulfillment of your retirement options.
Structuring your activities, managing your time, exploring new things, and coping with the changes in your retirement needs in a positive way will help a lot. We hope that this article enables you to understand the positive and negative effects of retirement and be ready for those.