HAPPY RETIREMENT: DO YOU NEED TO BE MENTALLY PREPARED?
Do you need to be mentally prepared for a happy retirement? ……Yes, you do.
You need to prepare for your retirement mentally and not just financially to achieve a happy retirement.
What most people think about when they ponder the possibility of retirement can usually be summed up in the following three questions:
- “Do I have enough money to retire now?” or
- “How much money will I need to retire?”, and
more often than not, followed by
- “How long till I can afford to retire?”
For many, a happy retirement is that dream which has been instilled into peoples minds since they started working. People rarely think about the psychological preparation for their transition into retirement.
Therefore, many are just not mentally prepared for retirement. Mental preparation towards retirement deteriorates dramatically when you are forced into choosing the only option..….. Retirement
The financial preparation and planning for your retirement can be drastically changed due to events often out of your control like retrenchment or illness. This will have a profound mental and financial impact on an increasing number of older workers. There are a number of important things you need to think about before retiring?
The redundancy and retrenchment issue
A company’s first impulse and often the easiest is to reduce their expenses and increase profitability by downsizing their workforce. Directors and CEO’s often justify this approach as a requirement to pursue the new exciting strategy for the company moving forward into the future. Albeit without you.
Redundancy’s and retrenchments across so many areas are still making the evening news only when the numbers are in the thousands. The reality is when you have been made redundant your retirement plans are usually thrown into turmoil.
Work becomes such an integral part of life. People often identify with the company they work for, their self-worth and status often become entwined with their position title and status. Workers often have little warning, leaving them mentally and emotionally unprepared for their departure from the workforce. It may be referred to as retrenchment, redundancy, termination, downsizing or whatever euphuism the employer may wish to call it. The various terms never soften the blow of reality.
Very few are prepared for this event. If you are an older employee, you rarely imagine that the departure from your last working position certainly could be your last full-time job! Not realising that getting another job will be much harder than you would have ever expected. Discover the reality of being over 50 and unemployed.
To add to the woes, believe it or not, ageism is very much alive in the workplace culture of so many organisations. For many people over 50 years of age may not get full-time employment for 6 to 12 months at least. You may only obtain part-time hours which will result in less income. With limited or no income coming into the household this shortfall may require you to consider a transition to retirement strategy to cover this situation.
The effect of redundancy on your retirement
Such a strategy will depend on whether you have reached your superannuation preservation age. This is all dependent on the year you were born for this option to be available to you.
Implementing this strategy of drawing down your retirement savings earlier than you expected to survive and pay your bills will have a long-term negative impact upon your retirement nest egg. The reality is financial retirement planning is geared for many to fund a lifestyle they have envisaged for the next 20 to 30 years. Forced early retirement bodes badly for many in this situation.
During the later stages of your working life, you would normally be saving more for retirement and not having to use savings or being forced to access your savings due to long term unemployment.
Nobody foresees this complication as you always imagine yourself moving into your retirement phase voluntarily at a pre-determined time and date when you are financially ready. Not forced into it and suffering financial distress due to redundancy. This will have a very negative impact on your attitude towards retirement and how you will perceive the retirement stage.
Often, you will feel angry, resentful and worthless and be second-guessing the situations. These thoughts will often dwell on your mind. Reliving the situation about what had occurred or what could you have done to avoid it. This mindset and the constant replaying of these negative thoughts will often cloud your view and ability to psychologically move forward. You will rob yourself of the ability to enjoy the opportunities of a happy retirement.
For some, an earlier than expected retirement is the only choice due to ill health or a medical condition.
Again, very few people contemplate that they will be leaving work before their planned date of retirement would be due to illness or injury. This circumstance often robs them of the years when they expected they would be salary sacrificing a large amount of their income into their superannuation.
Some may walk away from a life of employment mentally bruised and with their egos battered. They often continue to recall how badly they felt and how they were treated. Many will rationalise the decision to retire early. These emotions will start a cycle of negative thinking.
Such a negative thought process will inhibit them from psychologically accepting the possibilities that their future life could be much better.
Rerunning past events for something that cannot be changed will rob them of the potential to enjoy future happiness in retirement.
For many people entering retirement can be an escape from:
- the commuting,
- pressures of work,
- dislike for the job role, or
- to avoid a bad situation or pain
are also reasons why you shouldn’t rush into retirement without some mental preparation.
Alternative retirement viewpoint
People need to break their emotional connection to their job. you will be free from the shackles of schedules, reporting periods or meeting KPI’s, or having to deal with various workplace personalities. You need to view yourself as entering a new phase to pursue new opportunities and not mourn the loss of what could have been.
If you happen to be in a good financial position, you need to acknowledge there will be an end date to your working life.
Conversely, you should consider that there is a commencement date for the rest of your life. You will need to make the decision to retire at some point. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s out of your control, for better or worse. Additionally, there are many important things you need to think about when retiring.
Retirement should never be perceived as you entering your End of Life phase. A large number of people have many productive years to enjoy life and do things. Retirement has been portrayed to be one of the most significant life events you will experience and rightly so. Many people are enticed into retirement for the apparent lifestyle and benefits it has to offer.
These include such things as spending more time;
- sleeping in
- playing golf
- working on a DIY project
- working through your bucket list
- watching TV or binging out on Netflix
- on our favourite hobby or interest
- with the grandchildren, or
- just doing nothing
The need to be mentally prepared for retirement
Prior to transitioning into a very different lifestyle, that is retirement you need to have a realistic plan and be mentally prepared. Otherwise, you will have trouble adjusting to this major change of lifestyle. There are many important things you need to know about retirement that unless you’re retired you are unaware of and wished you know about before retiring.
Many people often mistakenly believe retirement will be simply doing whatever they want when they want to without considering the reality of what the change in lifestyle will have on them and their partners.
It’s common knowledge that people in their 60s and 70s are much healthier, fitter and active than their parents and grandparents that were of a similar age. People, are living longer and demanding more out of each day.
Many more people aged between 65 – 70 want to work if they are in jobs they find satisfying. But this is not possible without removing the age discrimination issues from the workplace. Though the Government is already legislating for many to work longer, this really is not viable for every occupation.
You can still be a productive member of society and not just in paid employment. However, the stereotypical attitudes surrounding ageism in the workplace is prevalent. The concept that you reach a “use by date” in the workplace demeans the value and experience that you can offer.
Being mentally prepared for a happy retirement
So, you have been forced into retirement, you have literally been jettisoned out of the workplace notwithstanding how you feel about your job. You need to learn to accept your fate if you have had to leave due to health issues or retrenchment and cannot gain further employment. If you continue to harbour negative thoughts it will blind you to benefits and the possibilities that retirement can offer and rob you of having a happy retirement.
Your negative outlook will also limit your motivation to find anything that you would find personally meaningful to undertake. Possibly, you may not see yourself as a retiree in your own mind. As you will likely be consumed with anger, resentfulness and feelings of abandonment which could hold you back from living life to its fullest.
You owe it to yourself to develop your plan to become mentally prepared for a happy retirement which is the next exciting stage of your life. It’s the first step to a successful life transition.
Planned Wishes can help proactive people to get the most out of their Later Life. We will have you focus and plan for the various aspects that most people never consider before entering retirement. You will discover the new possibilities to enjoy living a life of purpose and eradicating the misbelief that your best years are behind you.
Planned Wishes helps you take stock, plan and live your retirement not just exist. To learn more visit us at Planned Wishes today to discover the possibilities to help you make the best of the next phase of your life by having a happy retirement.
What’s Your Experience of Adjusting to Retirement?
Have you been forced into early retirement due to redundancy or health issues?
Do you agree that you have to be mentally prepared for a happy retirement?
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why the need to be mentally prepared for retirement?
Prior to transitioning into a very different lifestyle, that is retirement you need to have a realistic plan and be mentally prepared. Otherwise, you will have trouble adjusting to this major change of lifestyle. If you harbour negative thoughts about being made redundant or forcedd into retirement due to medical issues it will blind you to benefits and the possibilities that retirement can offer and rob you of having a happy retirement.
What is a happy retirement?
A happy retirement is a concept or dream which has been instilled into peoples minds since they started working. People rarely think about the psychological preparation for their transition into a retirement lifestyle that will suit them and not just be soley focused on the financial aspects of retirement.
How do you become mentally prepared for retirement?
Through guided planning to achieve clarity and rid yourself of your negative outlook that will limit your motivation to find anything that you would find personally meaningful to undertake. As your preoccupation of being forced out of the workforce will likely cause you to be consumed with anger, resentfulness and feelings of abandonment which will hold you back from living the next chapter of your life to its fullest.
Author: Jeffrey K: Educator, Speaker, Transition to Retirement, Living in Retirement Life Coach and End of Life Planning Consultant