Helping You Understand The 5 Emotional Stages of Retirement
Post by: Eastlands Estate, 29 Sep 2020
When you’re working long hours and feeling tired and stressed, the thought of retiring – of finally being able to do what you want, when you want – seems irresistible. But as you get closer to that magical day, different emotions can come into play.
Retirement is a major life change, and studies show that retirees experience a range of emotions as they process and adapt to this change. While people experience retirement in many different ways, there are practical and emotional stages most go through leading up to, and in the months immediately after, retirement.
Here are some of the most common:
When people talk about planning for retirement, they often mean financial planning. Which, is, of course, one of the most important things you can do to ensure you have a comfortable retirement.
But there are other plans that need to be made too.
One of the biggest decisions is where you will live. You may already have downsized after your children left home, but have you thought about whether you want to stay in your current area? Perhaps you’d like to move closer to your adult children and grandchildren? And what about in later years when you’re less physically able than you are right now? Perhaps an active retirement community might be ideal – giving you the independent lifestyle you need right now, with the comfort of assisted living and medical care on your doorstep should you need it later on.
It’s important to take the time to think about the kinds of things you’d like to do in your retirement, and then investigate your options accordingly.
This is a really important emotional stage as it helps to prepare you mentally for the new way of life you’re about to embrace.
Think about all the things you’ll have time to do now that you no longer have to go to work every day. Travel, pursuing hobbies, spending time with friends and family…all guilt-free! Thinking about all the experiences you and your partner will share together creates a lot of excitement, and that’s something you can tap into during those times when the other, less positive emotions (financial worries, for example) creep in.
Yes, this isn’t a life-stage exclusive to newly-weds! It’s natural to experience a wonderful honeymoon period after you first retire. It’s a little like being a kid in a candy store with limitless pocket money – so many wonderful treats to choose from and no one’s telling you that you can’t have them!
But once the initial “high” wears off, and you’ve ticked a bunch of things off your To Do list, there’s the danger of boredom setting in, or even of anxiety – what on earth are you going to do today, and tomorrow, and for the next 20 years or so…?
It can suddenly seem like a lot of time to fill, and this is when it’s very important to make future plans so that you really enjoy the retirement you worked so hard for. Joining groups and clubs, taking up new activities and meeting new people are all ways to live a happy, active and fulfilling life.
At this point, the magic has really worn off and the honeymoon period is most definitely over! Things can start to feel a little “samey” – surely there are only so many hobbies you can do before you go mad! This is the stage to be wary of, as it can lead to feelings of depression.
Many people feel as though they’ve lost their sense of purpose and are simply living a meaningless life. If you are at this stage, it can be very helpful to find something to do that serves a greater good. In other words, do something to help someone in need. Volunteer for a community project, for example, such as helping out at a local orphanage or helping to plant a community garden.
You might also consider taking a course of some kind to learn a new skill.
Tying It All Together
This is often the final emotional stage people reach when they retire. They’ve been through the gauntlet of all the other emotions – from anxiety to excitement, boredom to disillusionment. But once you’ve worked through and processed those stages, you usually find you’ve reached a peaceful, comfortable stage where you know what your hopes and goals are for the rest of your retirement.
This is the time when the bigger pictures swims into focus, and you truly begin looking forward to your Golden Years with a redefined sense of purpose and structure.
If you’re considering retirement, or perhaps you’ve already retired but aren’t sure what your next steps are, why not come and see us at Eastlands Mature Lifestyle Estate to see the kind of retirement our residents enjoy?
With a wide variety of activities on offer and an active, welcoming community of residents, we feel sure you’ll feel right at home the minute you enter our gates.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
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