Today people work well past 65 years old before retiring. There are people in the retirement age who are in good health. They may not think about retirement nor are they ready to retire just yet. 

  • They like what they do.
  • They want to keep busy.
  • They need the extra money.

If you aren’t ready to retire yet, it never hurts to begin preparing emotionally for the life changes that will occur when you retire. If you are ready to retire, prepare yourself emotionally now. Preparing for your retirement goes beyond of the numbers you see in a retirement plan.​

7 Key Questions You Want to Ask Yourself When Creating Your Retirement Plan or Getting Ready to Retire

We all must face retirement at one point. Most of us don’t give significant thought as to how our life changes when we stop working. Many humans intermingle their identity with their work. But what happens with our work identity and “who we are” when we retire?

It provides an opportunity for you to explore hobbies and do things you have always dreamed about. 
A few relevant questions to ask yourself when you think about retirement:

  1. How do you plan to live when you retire? Do you prefer a house, condo or apartment?
  2. Where do you want to live? Will it be near your children, your family and friends, or in another state or country? In the city, suburbs, or in a rural area close to nature?
  3. Do you prefer a warm or cool climate? Do you want four seasons?
  4. Are you married or have a significant other that you live with? If so, how do they feel about your answers to the questions?
  5. How is your current health? Will you require assisted living?
  6. Do you want to be part of a senior community in order to foster relationships and stay active?
  7. How much of your money do you want to spend during your retirement? Do you want an allotment set aside for your children?

If you are married or in a relationship, retirement will be a big adjustment for you and your spouse. Each partner may have a different idea of their “dream retirement.” Spending more time together than usual can put stress on a relationship. You’ll need to adjust to your partner’s new schedule.

If you are single, you want to think about how you want to spend the time you have more of after your retirement. 

Changing Your Identity from Working to Retiring: A Major Life Transition

It’s important to recognize that retirement is a major life transition that will impact you on an emotional level. Your retirement planning needs to include these thoughts.

Rethink your identity and your place in the world BEFORE you retire.

According to retired counseling psychology professor, Nancy Schlossberg, there are four ways for retirees to find their new identity:

Being a searcher:

This is someone who looks into different activities and hobbies once they are retired, similar to how a high school graduate may try different things before settling on a college major. Searchers may seek out different volunteer opportunities, take on new projects, or try a new hobby.

Becoming an adventurer:

People who fall into this category upon retirement typically seek out an entirely new adventure. For instance, an architect may become an artist, or a dentist may become a baker. This type of person considers retirement as a way to make an exciting change in life. ​

Being a continuer:

Continuers take something they did as a career and adjust it to continue on through retirement. For example, a journalist might become an author or start a blog. In these roles, we maintain some form of our work-related identity but it manifests in a different way. ​

Becoming an easy glider or retreater:

Other identities post-retirement include easy gliders, people who don’t have a set schedule and may do something different each day, or retreaters, those who stay at home until they decide what path they want to take next.

Including Your Purpose in Your Retirement

​Planning an emotionally healthy retirement means acknowledging that you are transitioning into a new lifestyle, with new friends and new experiences. This includes taking on a new identity.

​Your new purpose as a retiree requires patience, adjustments, and consideration.

Setting Retirement Goals

Be flexible, realistic, and patient with yourself when setting retirement goals and determining your new lifestyle. Also, don’t forget to take your health and physical activity into account when emotionally planning for retirement. Maintaining your health as long as possible is important and will allow you to do all of the things you want when you retire. 

Now that you are aware of the emotional aspects for retirement don’t forget to set up your financial retirement plan too. We are here to help you gain financial confidence and reach your retirement goals as you take on this important life transition.

​For more information or a complimentary consultation contact the financial planning, wealth management and investment services team at Hudson Companies today.



Emotional Side Of Retirement Planning
Barbara Shapiro- MSF- CFP- CMC- CDFA

Preparing Yourself Mentally For Retirement
Nanci Hellmich

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