A lot of us baby boomers are switching gears — if we haven’t already — from the structured life of a full-time job to the less structured life of retirement. Writing for a tech startup called AboutLife, which says it helps everyone make smarter decisions about life, Lidia Shong has sent BoomerCafé “Six Tips to Get Mentally Ready to Retire.”
When Marty Stroud retired at 65, his retirement savings were not his biggest issue. In fact, he had enough to live comfortably. Marty’s problem was finding new meaning after decades in an all-consuming 9-to-5 job. “I lost purpose. Gardening may have saved my life,” he recalls of his first months of retirement.
Stroud is not alone. According to an Ameriprise Financial survey of the first wave of baby boomers, some common concerns among retirees include:
- Missing out on daily social interaction with colleagues (37%)
- Getting used to new routines (32%)
- Finding ways to give meaning and purpose to their days (22%)
Many retirees know that the change from a full-time job to a life with less structure and purpose can be challenging, especially emotionally.
So here are 6 Tips to Get Mentally Ready to Retire:
1. CELEBRATE WITH A PARTY
You’ve celebrated every milestone in your life-– new home, birthdays, weddings, and so on. Why not celebrate retirement? It’s an achievement, especially if you’ve saved enough to live comfortably. You’ve earned it! Go to Pinterest for great retirement party ideas.
2. REALIZE YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ANYWHERE
Gone are the days of waking up early, sitting in traffic, and drinking bad cafeteria coffee. You’re now free to lounge in your pajamas and take your time with errands. You can finally seize the day and focus on doing what you love, whenever you want to.
3. ENJOY AGING GRACEFULLY
Do you want to be 18 again? Probably not. With age comes wisdom, self-realization, and satisfaction. Enjoy your age at every age. Check out the Advanced Style blog for inspiration and proof “from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.”
4. SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Retired or not, this is the #1 wish for most people. Who doesn’t want to spend more time with the people they love? Now you can see your children and grandchildren more often. So plan a trip!
5. ADOPT A DOG
Share your life with a dog in exchange for unconditional, tail-wagging love. Besides the emotional benefits, research shows that dog-owners also need fewer doctor visits, have lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart attack compared to those who don’t.
6. STOP OBSESSING ABOUT RETIREMENT
You’ve probably been anxious about retirement your entire adult life. Now that you’re there, stop worrying. Live for the moment and enjoy being the master of your own schedule.
In Marty Stroud’s case, learning new things helped his transition into a new life. His daily ritual now includes making breakfast for the family and practicing yoga. “My time is filled with activities that inspire me and keep me healthy. I volunteer, paint, exercise, and cook regularly,” he gushes. “I love my life!”
Even if retirement seems a long way off, you can start on some of these ideas to prepare for an easier transition. When it’s time to retire, embrace your newfound freedom and make the most of it.