Four Stages of Retirement

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Everyone talks a lot about how to prepare for retirement financially. But what about how to adjust your mindset in retirement and manage expectations? You might not be happy every single day in retirement, but that doesn’t mean your retirement won’t be happy. Transitioning into retirement is no small task, and research shows that the way people feel about their retirements follows a u-shaped curve; first, people are quite positive, then not as much, and then are positive again. It seems that there are 4 phases in retirement.

Stage 1: The Honeymoon

Many people idealize retirement. We see advertisements for trips we can take, cabins in the woods, and beach houses we can move to once we don’t have to go into an office every day. And when we’re busy, the idea of unlimited free time is tempting. So, when people finally reach retirement and don’t wake up to an alarm clock every day and go golfing instead of commuting, it’s no surprise that they experience an initial honeymoon phase. During the first few months, it’s easy to enjoy the simple pleasures and newfound freedom retirement offers, but boredom, loneliness, or a lack of purpose can set in after a while.

Stage 2: Disenchantment

The second stage is disenchantment. Some retirees feel an emotional letdown after a while of living without a schedule or productive role. If a retiree hasn’t replaced the social contract they had at work with frequent social engagements, they can feel lonely and miss the socialization work offered them.

Stage 3: Reorientation

After experiencing disenchantment, retirees can reorient themselves. Once they come to a more realistic understanding of what retirement is, they can make adjustments to their lifestyle that improve their attitude towards their retirement. Filling in schedules with more trips, time with family and friends, and meaningful hobbies, mentorships, or volunteering can help re-orient retirees towards a more meaningful retirement.

Stage 4: Stability

The final stage is stability. After a while, careers are considered the past, and new routines and goals are the new present. Even during times of boredom or disillusionment with retirement, retirees can remember that when it comes down to it, the financial stability that allows them to stay retired instead of going back to work is priceless.

Understanding the stages of retirement can help you through times when reality doesn’t live up to expectations. Retirement has changed, and yours may look different from your parent’s or your friend’s retirements. That’s why the professionals help people preparing for and in retirement create comprehensive plans that fit their unique lifestyle. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help! To your incredible FINANCIAL success! “RETIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE”

– SHATEKA Husser

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