Is retirement going to make you happy? Our guide to the six emotional stages of retirement helps you to understand what to expect and how to best handle your emotions in a positive way.
The 6 Stages Of Retirement You Cannot Avoid
No matter when we start retirement, for most of us the six emotional stages of retirement are unavoidable.
First Emotional Stage of Retirement – Pre-Retirement
The first stage of retirement is a pre-retirement stage. Some people feel positively excited imagining their new life and planning for it. Others start to feel scared and sad about the fact that they have to give up their work-life. This stage begins between 5 to 15 or more years before the actual retirement date.
Most people plan their financial well-being. Others also start focusing on where they want to live like a golf community or a retirement community with a marina for example.
Others ask themselves what they want to do. Moving to a state with a low tax rate is often on top of the list.
Overall, for many, this stage is a time of excitement and anticipation. These are the ones that tend to retire early. Others, find that works gives their life purpose and they plan to extend their career.
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Second Stage: Honeymoon or Full Retirement
The second emotional stage of retirement is the honeymoon phase of retirement phase. It occurs after the last day of work. Most people experience positive feelings in this phase.
Joy, excitement, relief, relaxation, freedom are some of the most common emotions in this second stage.
In addition, many retirees are filled with energy to start a new life with more time for family, friends, hobbies and traveling. Others find this full retirement life more challenging as they find themselves not knowing how to fill their days and communicate with their spouses or partners. Furthermore, these people realize that they lack the feeling of being important as they have lost all their business privileges like cars, business travel and other amenities. Another challenge can be the fact that they are faced with spending all day with a partner they might have outgrown. Often, relationships have come to an end and full retirement forces them to face a different reality.
Third Emotional Stage of Retirement – Disenchantment
The third emotional stage of retirement is emotionally very challenging as the emotional high of retiring has worn off. As a result, many retirees feel a sense of disappointment and disillusionment. They ask themselves why they get up in the morning and question their purpose in life. Many people describe that they feel useless. A positive side of this third stage of retirement is the fact that retirees start focusing on the next generation. They invest more time on estate planning, reach out to trust companies and family offices and start teaching the next generation how to handle money.
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Fourth Stage – Reorientation
Many retirees find the fourth emotional stage of retirement the most challenging stage. The reason is that they sense a lack of purpose and boredom. Some find it helpful to join retirement clubs, move to a retirement community or have a deeper look at their retirement bucket list, feel a loss of purpose, and begin to evaluate their retirement experience.
Reorientation involves creating a new sense of purpose and adapting your lifestyle. This can take some time and effort to accomplish. But this process is rewarding as it helps you to build a solid foundation for the next stages.
It also offers you the opportunity to improve your mental and physical strength.
Fifth Emotional Stage of Retirement – Simplification
This stage may start between 70 and 75 years. Retirees in this stage tend to find the need to downsize and simplify their life as they often feel overwhelmed by the many responsibilities that come with living in several or big homes. As a result, they prioritize simplifying their lives and living a healthy and more relaxed lifestyle. The big question becomes: how can I keep my independence – even if I experience certain physical declines. It is a great time to use your fear to proactively start planning ahead for aging in place, moving into a lifecare community, setting up a power of attorney, thinking about incapacity planning and adjusting your annual financial plan for the need for more care expenses. All these steps give them confidence and peace of mind.
Sixth Stage – Fear & Instability
This final emotional stage of retirement usually begins at the end of the 70th when physical health and fitness tend to decline. Unfortunately, this stage also marks widow or widowerhood. Thus, one spouse has to start a life on his or her own. As a result, mental health becomes an issue for most retirees as this stage brings a very high level of uncertainty.
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This is way it is most important to have a solid plan that considers a need for more self-care and help. In addition, the sixth stage of retirement is the one where we rely on our children, friends of a professional family concierge. For many retirees the sixth stage of retirement is the one where they start improving their health infrastructure like finding a concierge doctor, set up telemedicine services, check the hospital at home services in their county and get familiar with their local hospital infrastructure. In addition, they can reduce their fear by getting familiar with their local senior services.
A Word From healthylifestyleflorida.com
Knowing the six emotional stages of retirement helps us to be more balanced and realistic about what happens after we stop working. In addition, it prepares us to be more realistic about our relationships and ask ourselves what truly matters to us. Looking at our values and reconnecting to them can be a healing and meaningful exercise.