The transition to retirement may be a challenging change in life and in some cases, unhealthy. Going from a 40-hour week of mind-consuming (or body-consuming) work to a retirement that takes the form of one long weekend could produce serious issues, both mental and physical. This retirement advice can help you prepare to transition into a satisfying and healthy retirement.
Transition to Retirement Advice #1 - Physical Activity
A job or career that has long dominated and directed a person's existence can restrain his own capability to direct a fulfilling life when his job finishes. Throughout his working years, weekends had been needed for relaxing from the tension or exertions of his job.
But when he retires into a single long weekend of relaxation, problems could ensue. In the event the job required substantial physical effort, then weekend exercise was hardly ever sought or needed. But in retirement, exercise is very important to maintain the physical training that his work supplied. Get some exercise equipment or sign up for a fitness center and create a schedule to workout - consistently.
If motivation is lacking, get a personal trainer and have fixed workout times each week. Pay in advance. This structure will ensure that you get to your workouts. Similarly, you can take a group workout class that meets at specific times. You may want to have one of the group members be your buddy. Each buddy calls to ensure that the other buddy gets to class on time.
At minimum, walk every day. Get a fitness tracker that helps you track that you walk 10,000 steps per day.
Transition to Retirement Advice #2 - Goals
In the event that work used a person's thoughts and mental capacities and established his self-worth, then he may have to significantly re-align his self-evaluation for retirement. Not everyone is so afflicted in retirement, however, there are some suggestions to transitioning to a fulfilling retirement.
Begin considering your life to re-orient your mind. Answer these 3 questions to focus on 'life' - not work, the stock market, hobbies, or any other diversions. They'll help instigate retirement efforts consistent with the importance of your existence.
1. If money wasn't a problem in retirement, how would you live your life - and what would you modify?
2. If you were to be healthy but die unexpectedly within the following five years, what life would you've wanted to live?
3. If you quickly started to be terminally sick and confined to a bed, what would you think you missed in life or not get to perform?
Create a plan to do these items and create some goals for your self.
As suggested above, if motivation is an issue, steps you can take:
- tell others of your commitment to yourself
- get a buddy who holds you accountable to your plan
- write down your goals and completion dates
Transition to Retirement Advice #3 -Mental Activity
Here are several simple techniques to start your mental transition for a satisfying retirement:
• Become involved in learning something that has constantly captivated you. Perhaps you are able to get a degree or certificate in that subject (or simply study on your own). My wife taught herself French at age 50 and went to live in France for a year!
• Start your retirement not with a 2-week trip, but with a journey to locales that'll take a month or so. Choose an adventure that excites and challenges you. Include some goals to achieve. Discover a way to make the journey affordable (e..g rent an RV or borrow one from a friend)
• Organize working only half-time - when possible - and utilize the other half to develop a pastime or pleasant task that'll engross your mind.
The summary retirement advice is not to focus only on a financial strategy but to also restore control of your mind - and existence. This focus can help you rediscover yourself and the energy inside you to undertake some of your dreams. Getting a hold of your finances and retirement income can go a long way to supporting your retirement choices and we provide a retirement advice to financial issues elsewhere on this website.
Transition to Retirement Advice #4 - Social Life
Social support increases survival by some 50 percent. This is not simply conventional wisdom. Results from 148 studies which included a total of 308,849 participants definitively prove that your social life is critical to a healthy well being. For many, work provides their social life. In retirement, you must actively structure a social life. Schedule activities such as:
Dinner night - a rotating member of the group cooks dinner for the others once per month. Or restructure this as potluck night to spread the cooking burden.
Movie night--one member of the group picks the movie either at a movie theatre or on a streaming service. The venue rotates among the group members.
Just one such group activity per week can have anyone feel connected to a rich social circle.
Social networks not only serve longevity, but they also serve good health. Lab studies have shown that, in a stressful situation, blood pressure and heart rate will increase less when people are accompanied by a person who is close to them. Brain imaging also shows neurological differences between a person who is alone and a person who has support: in a lab-induced tense situation, brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region activated in times of stress, is attenuated when people have a close friend or relative alongside them.
Sheldon Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University exposed hundreds of healthy volunteers to the common cold virus, then quarantined them for several days. Cohen showed that the study participants with more social connections and with more diverse social networks — that is, with friends from a variety of social contexts, such as work, sports teams, and church — were less likely to develop a cold than the more socially isolated study participants.
Transition to Retirement Advice #5 - Minimize Changes
You may have a plan to relocate in retirement. However, it is not a good idea to do that immediately. Retirement itself is a stressful transition. There is no need to add other stressors at this time.
In fact, it is best to smooth the transition by not breaking too quickly from your previous work life. For example, try to have lunch weekly with a colleague from work or continue other routines that you had while working. These routines might include going to the same gym, golfing with the same foursome, attending poker night, etc. The fewer elements of your lifestyle that you change upon retirement the better will be your transition.
Transition to Retirement #6 - Working
A 2009 study led by Mo Wang, PhD, of the University of Florida, found that people who pursued post-retirement bridge employment in their previous fields reported better mental and physical health than those who retired fully (Journal of Occupational Health Psychology). The Working in Retirement report found that employed retirees report levels of health, well-being and life satisfaction on par with those who have not yet retired — despite age differences. The report also found that working retirees tend to rate their workplaces more positively than those not yet retired.
A study of nearly half a million people by French researcher Carole Dufouil of the research agency INSERM, presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in July, found that for each additional year they worked, people reduced their risk of dementia by 3.2 percent.
You can see how working can impact fulfillment from this retiree's comment:
"Retired school nurse at age 65 and am now 69. And loving every stinkin' minute! Working part-time at a special needs school and co-facilitate an amazing group of nurses who have/had drug and/or alcohol issues and have had their licenses inactivated - they are all working to stay sober and return to nursing. Both 'jobs' aren't jobs because I love what I'm doing. I also work out - swim at least 3X/wk, group workouts, cycle. We aren't wealthy but we stay busy. Very busy. Oh and the grandchildren. What a special privilege to have the time to be a part of their lives."
Transition to Retirement #7 - Ward Off Depression
Depression after retirement is not uncommon. Dr. Philip R. Muskin, a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University contends:
"...those who have not prepared to retire or are forced to retire suddenly because of job loss, health problems or other unexpected reasons are not likely to feel the same way. “Any situation where the retiree has no choice but to retire places the person at risk,” Muskin says. That is true for every worker, from white-collar executives to blue-collar laborers. “I think the key is not what someone does but if the person defines him or herself by what the person does,” Muskin says. “Many people are what they do, and it defines them. A construction worker who retires following an injury, even if the injury leaves him still able to live a good life but he can’t fix things, may feel he is no longer the man he once was. The physician who retires is just as vulnerable if she defines herself only as a physician and has no other interests. If all a person has done in life is work, then without work, what is there?”
Knowing that depression is not uncommon, you can take actions to reduce the impact on you.
The key seems to be staying busy. Whether it is part-time work, volunteering, maintaining a full social calendar or visiting the grandkids, staying active appears to be the best way to keep depression at bay. Those who sit around the house and ruminate on their past are most at risk.
Transition to Retirement #7 - Planning
If you retire without sufficient financial resources, you can be consumed by worry. Therefore, formal retirement planning rather than guessing is best. Consult a professional. Get the numbers on paper on how your income will cover your expenses and what adjustments you need to make (e.g., reduce expenses). Or, you may spend too much of your financial resources at first only to realize in later retirement, you're broke.