You worked hard your whole career, became well-respected at your craft, saved well for retirement…and yet are having a terrible time pulling the trigger and retiring.
Why is it so difficult?
The answer lies in the psychological and emotional barriers that millions of people experience when making the transitions into retirement. Let’s explore those barriers along with some ideas on how they can be overcome.
We’re talking seismic changes here
Many people long hold the idea that they will just unplug from their working years and all of a sudden have all this time to do the things they always wanted to do, and their days will be filled with pure joy! However, rarely discussed are the real challenges that that we face in retirement due to the emotional changes that we face. Consider the following:
- What will you do when you move from a fully structured work day that flies by, to a blank canvas of options in how you fill your day?
- You are mentally stimulated and challenged through your work, what are you going to do to replace that stimulation to keep your mind sharp?
- You used to see and meet with your friends/colleagues daily in meetings and over lunch break, but now you have to call people up to make plans every day…and they aren’t often available. How will that make you feel?
- Your self-identity is strongly built around your work self, what will your new identity become now you will have to re-invent yourself into someone new?
- You were constantly ‘producing’ through the years, saving money, and growing your wealth. Now, you are finally to the point of living off your savings, but deep down there are uncertainties about how much you can spend and how much risk you can tolerate since riding out the next market cycle isn’t quite the same as it was before.
Pretty much everything gets reset when you move into retirement.
What to do, and where to start?
As you head into retirement, a number of questions become critical to think about ahead of time:
- What are you going to fill your days doing?
- Who are you going to spend your time with?
- What hobbies are you going to pursue (often determined by those you spend time with)?
- What did you always want to do, but just never had the time (learn a foreign language, wood working, volunteering, playing more golf, etc.)?
- What motivates you?
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you want your legacy to be?
- How will you structure your finances to not run out of money, but also emotionally handle the risks?
These are some heavy questions that require some heavy thinking.
Where to get help?
The biggest challenges faced by most pre-retirees is uncovering the answers to these underlying emotional questions, and then deciding to address them. Along the way, some find joy in figuring these out themselves while others benefit from getting help and advice through the transition.
There is certainly no shortage of financial advisors who are ready to help with the financial side, but that doesn’t help with the much larger and more important issue of lifestyle transition.
This is where a handcrafted lifestyle solution is needed.
The problem isn’t so much that you don’t know or have never thought about the answers to many of these questions, it’s that unless there is some structure provided to actually sit down and address them (take the time to think through them, write down all your thoughts and goals, prioritize the list, set time-frames, and then put together a plan you’re excited about), it just doesn’t happen.
Left unaddressed, these unresolved questions only grow bigger and more pronounced and can get in the way of living a care-free and happy retirement.
Let us know if you or someone you care about could use some help transitioning into retirement successfully and happily.