While money and finances are important aspects to consider when retiring, there’s more to retirement than just having a lot of money in the bank. In fact, sometimes what makes or breaks your retirement isn’t your monthly income, but how you feel. For a lot of retirees, if you don’t find a new identity after leaving your career, then retirement can be far from the idyllic vision so many younger individuals imagine.
To ignore the fact that retirement is a major transition in life has the potential to produce a variety of negative repercussions, some of which can be quite dangerous, not to mention aggravating. When you retire, psychologically your entire life changes, which means that if you’re not as mentally prepared as you are financially prepared, you’ll be facing an uphill battle.
While retiring can reduce emotional stress, especially if you’re in a demanding career, it can added a new set of stressors, like not knowing who you are or what your new purpose in life is. To avoid feeling “lost at sea”, experts recommend spending time considering the psychological effects of your retirement before you make the transition.
To help ease the emotional stress some people feel when they retire, start creating a new identity for yourself, one that isn’t attached to your career, profession or title. Making sure that you have purpose in your life will keep you from struggling with negative emotions, including depression. Remember, the more you have identified with your career or title in the past, the more difficult it will be to let that go, which means that preparing emotionally for the transition is even more important.
Experts also recommend looking at your personality type to help better understand how you will feel once you enter retirement. In general, individuals with a more relaxed disposition and who are better able to adapt to changing environments will do better during retirement than those who are more goal-oriented or rigid with their schedules. While retirement has the potential to be enjoyed by every type of individual, knowing where you stand right now will help you prepare for the road ahead – and that really can make all of the difference.