Retiring: What you need to know – It’s not just about money
If you are thinking about retiring, your priority must be about ensuring you have enough money.
There are at least 5 other just as important aspects that you should consider and plan for as it’s not just about the money. Otherwise, you will not be prepared for your retirement.
If you are like me and thinking of retiring, you discover when you search for retirement information you are confronted with an overwhelming amount of retirement articles and websites about saving for retirement, financial planning websites and articles about what we need to save to achieve either a modest or comfortable retirement.
The information revolves around our potential financial needs for retirement. However, there is very little practical information about the non-financial aspects or issues about retirement. Or how to develop a retirement mindset. Which should be a crucial part of everyone’s retirement plan.
“The main challenges in retirement for
many people isn’t just money!”
From various research findings and from the many retired people I have spoken with support – that to achieve the retirement that we would be happy with its often not only based on whether you have enough money to live a certain lifestyle in retirement but your mindset and attitude towards it.
For a growing number of retirees, retirement holds no sense of purpose for them. They become bored, unhappy and feeling depressed.
These aspects are rarely discussed in-depth and it includes not only emotional well-being but social interactions and physical health after retiring. If you don’t account for these important aspects as part of your retirement planning, you won’t be prepared for retirement.
The initial stages of retirement are a time of transition when you must navigate the new emotional realities that will be your new life. Many new retirees find this period often very stressful and emotional. This transitional period of change for many new retirees is something they never expected nor are they mentally prepared for.
Most new retirees would never have expected that they would have to handle the mental challenge of being retired! To make the situation worse, many of the retirees don’t know where to seek help, as there is very little written about it and even less practical guidance concerning these issues.
Adjusting to Retirement
From my perspective and of other retirees, it’s clear to me when making decisions about their retirement, it is never solely from a financial viewpoint. It’s a complex combination of:
- motivational and
- financial considerations
I believe that many retirees need to better understand that retirement requires much more planning than just relying on achieving a specific dollar amount in their superannuation funds.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) provides guidance on how much money may be needed for retirement. Specifically, to support either a “modest” or “comfortable” lifestyle from 65 years of age through to 85. With several assumptions including receiving a partial Age Pension.
The attainment of these dollar amounts is meant to enable a retired healthy homeowner to have a good standard of living. The reality is only part of the story if you wish to have a “good retirement”.
There is a need for more information for anyone thinking of or having to retire to make better-informed decisions about what the reality of retirement is like in the 21st century.
This information would help retirees to be
- better informed, thus
- able to make better decisions for their needs
- have a less turbulent transition into retirement
- allow for the adjustment and enjoy a more purposeful and happier retirement sooner.
What many fail to realize is that the traditional concept of retirement is much more than:
- just ceasing employment
- a goal to be achieved with enough financial resources
- void of aspirations
- slowing down and
- living a safe life until death
Today, retirees are;
- much healthier
- more active, and
- adventurous now than earlier generations of retirees.
Some retirees I spoke with stated that for them
“Stopping work didn’t mean they had to stop living”.
The retirees who seem the happiest were those that considered their retirement as a new exciting phase of their lives.
They believed that they had the ability and time to discover and create new experiences that couldn’t be undertaken when they were working or raising their families.
Finding yourself after retiring
Many retirees think retirement will be fantastic as they have retired from work but what most of them fail to consider is what are they retiring to?
If you are thinking of retiring, discover 15 important non-financial retirement essentials you need to know about at no cost to you so you can plan before it’s too late.
The media sells an image of retirement that is not always reality. This portrayal of retirement is by those advertising companies and people who have neither experienced transitioning to nor lived in retirement.
People that have not retired have a belief that retirement will be one of wonderful bliss and living a happy ever after life depicted as;
- sitting back on a cruise ship deck chair sipping a cocktail
- walking along a pristine white tropical beach hand in hand with your partner
- playing with the grandchildren, or
- pursuing lifelong hobbies in retirement.
Many people discover that once they are retired, it isn’t the dream life that many of them expected or were led to believe. People have difficulty in adjusting to a retirement lifestyle once the initial euphoric feeling of not having to go to work fades.
Quality of Life After Retiring
This initial stage of retirement is referred to as the “honeymoon stage”. You feel you’re on a long holiday, to do;
- whatever you want
- when you want
- with no stress or pressure and
- think this will last forever believing you have earned this opportunity after 40 years or more of work.
This honeymoon period lasts for approximately 1 to 3 months into your retirement. During this stage, you will have been on your;
- long-anticipated island cruise, or around the world trip,
- completed the home extension or
- whatever activity or hobby you had planned to do once you retired.
Many retirees may work through their travel bucket list or catch up on leisure and social activities they had no time for when working.
What I commonly hear from many retirees is that;
“I woke up one day and realized that I have no idea of what in the hell I’m going to be doing for the rest of my retirement”.
Even though they state they
“feel younger, energetic and believe they have much to offer”.
The reality of being newly retired is it creeps up on you and the honeymoon period has ended. You realize this once you start saying:
- “This doesn’t make me feel like I’m really living my life,”,
- “there must be more to retirement life than this?”
- “I have resigned myself that retirement life is the same old thing every day nothing seems to change,”
Many retirees begin to feel increasingly unhappy and bitter when they grasp that;
- life slows down and settles into a routine,
- every day seems like a weekend
- a lack of purpose or meaning
- nothing more planned
- no desire to accomplish any other goals
- miss the socialisation that work provided
- believe they have been robbed as they were forced prematurely into retiring, and
- only see retirement as the path heading towards the end of life
Many retirees do not have a plan for this part of retirement. Especially for those who are forced into retirement earlier than they expected due to:
- health issues, injury, or
- as a result of redundancy or company downsizing or mergers
they experience even more difficulties in adjusting to living in retirement.
Other Retirement Issues
Many retirees regret giving up work, blaming their spouse for suggesting or “forcing” them to retire to enjoy life together which in turn often has the unintended consequence of increasing the pressure on their relationship and marriage and on occasions resulting in divorce.
This is often made worse as the wife usually has her set daily and weekly routine that the husband must now work into. Additionally, the couple now has to adjust to being around each other 24/7 in retirement.
As most couples except for holidays together never spend this amount of time with each other at home. This can be the source of increased unhappiness and often without the responsibility of children can result in separation.
Feeling lost and unhappy many retirees think about returning to some type of work even if money is not an issue for them in retirement. Usually, the reason many retirees say they want to work again is that they are bored and miss the social interaction and purpose that a work environment brings.
Their retirement isn’t turning out the way they thought it would or should be and is usually due to inadequate planning.
Whilst other retirees begin to feel guilty, believing that retirement is meant to be more than what they are experiencing. Their feelings of guilt often stem from not making the most of this free time they now have and enjoying their retirement life the way they thought they would or should be!
Adjusting to these different stages and the emotions that retirement brings can be challenging as many retirees are ill-prepared.
You can reach a stage in retirement that there is;
- “no reason to get out of bed” as
- “You can easily be sitting around the house staring at 4 walls and feeling sorry for yourself.”
This disenchantment can take hold of many retirees for extended periods. They begin to slowly spiral into a state of depression. This is made worse as many retirees experience additional feelings of:
- An intense sense of isolation, the feeling of loneliness,
- loss of identity
- lack of confidence in themselves lack of motivation feel unsettled
- suffering from boredom and
- retirement is not living up to what they expected it to be!
They may never find any real meaning or purpose in their retirement. Some retirees have wasted years dealing with issues and regret not making the most of the limited time they have to enjoy this next chapter of their lives in retirement.
Whilst other retirees I have talked with use food or alcohol as their primary means to cope with their range of negative emotions. This behaviour then has a direct impact on their overall physical and mental health. They are locked into a negative spiral.
What is the benefit of Non-Financial Retirement Mindset Education?
Our non-financial retirement information and education can help anyone planning to retire or current retirees find meaning and purpose in their life after work.
Many of us me included thought if we were organised and had our financial plans in place that the non-financial aspects of retirement would all be ok. This is far from reality.
What I have learned is that the non-financial retirement planning aspect of retirement and ensuring you have the right retirement mindset is as important as planning for the financial aspects of retirement.
The traditional retirement planning process is backwards because it focuses first on money and then the non-financial aspect of retiring.
This is hardly ever done and if so, it’s only done very superficially.
“I believe that we need to focus on our mindset for retirement.
Money is not the sole defining reason whether we will have
a good retirement”.
Why You Need Self-Paced Retirement Coaching Information?
Transition to retirement and retirement self-paced coaching information enables you to plan to live the best version of your retirement life that you can.
As with many of our major life events, the transition from your working life into a retirement lifestyle can be difficult for many of us. Retiring is one of the greatest changes we experience in our lives and there is not much support or guidance available for the non-financial aspects of retirement.
Retirement coaching information assists you to effectively manage this period of major change. By allowing you to discover and map out a new life that you would be happy to live as it would be both fulfilling and enjoyable for you.
Planned Wishes retirement coaching information and support is a process that helps you design a meaningful retirement that meets your life goals and suits you aligning with your values and interests.
Many of the retirement issues that retirees experience when retiring can be lessened through insights achieved by guided activities, tools and resources to create a retirement life by:
- Assessing your readiness for retirement
- Gaining insight into what is important to you in the various areas of your life
- Having you focused on different potential opportunities and considerations?
- Focusing your investigations on the various options available to you
- Establishing goals,
- Developing a practical and achievable action plan to move forward
- Guiding you towards a new set of goals
Development of the right retirement mindset with the help of a Retirement Life Coach is essential to living the best retirement life you can. Your retirement should be the start of a new exciting and meaningful stage of your life and not living with a sense of loss or regrets.
You can avoid many of the non-financial retirement issues an increasing number of retirees are experiencing today.
Remember, you should view retirement life coaching as a necessity for your retirement. It should be part of your overall retirement planning as a team approach.
Just as you have a financial planner, an accountant and a solicitor which complement each other in providing holistic support to you.
- So, are you preparing for retirement?
- Are you already retired and finding you lack direction or purpose?
- Or you are struggling to adjust to the lack of structure and routine?
Most support offered for retirement is centred around the financial areas or retirement. Though very important we need to consider the other side of retiring, your mental wellbeing and happiness.
Please feel free to comment about what aspects of this article resonated with you?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main challenges for retirees ?
A lack of non financial information and support that helps retirees design a meaningful retirement that meets their life goals and aligns with their values and interests.
What are the common retirement issues retiree’s face?
Many retirees do not plan and are not prepared for the range of emotions and challenges that retirement brings including:-
– a lack of purpose or meaning
– an intense sense of isolation and loneliness,
– directionless, irrelevance, loss of identity
– lack of motivation leading to feeling unsettled and bored
– begin to feel guilty, believing that retirement is meant to be more than what they are experiencing
– slow spiral into a state of depression
What to do after retiring?
Retirees that enjoy their retirement the most view retiring as a new exciting phase of their lives. They plan the time to discover , create and undertake new experiences tailored for them which they couldn’t do before retiring.