Retirement is something we have ambiguous feelings about: it’s what we look forward to because it will mean we no longer have to go to work, but also we dread it because it’s an undeniable sign that we’re old. Even though retirement has a lot of wonderful things in store for us, the way we feel about this period in our lives depends greatly on how we perceive it. We have taken it upon ourselves to prepare a list of all the great things you can expect as you’re approaching your ‘golden years’, so you’d feel less afraid.
Fear of not having enough money
There’s a thought that can frighten even those who consider themselves to be fearless – not having enough money in retirement. Because you can’t possibly know how much money you will need, you can’t actually forget about this issue. Saving money is imperative, but even if you have a late start you can still be able to put aside enough to dispel your fears a bit. In addition, being retired doesn’t mean that you can’t earn any money: you’ll have enough time to pursue your hobbies, and you can always try supplementing your income by renting your place, or using the internet to sell something you’ve made.
Fear of being left alone
Whether we like it or not, this is the time when we have very few people we can rely on. Our families shrink as children grow and make their own families, and it can be truly frightening to think that one day you will wake up all alone. This is one of the reasons why so many retired people have chosen to live in residential communities such as Bellmere: you live in a community of people you can socialize with, you can enjoy your hobbies, and you know that there are professionals to rely on in case of emergency. Residential communities are becoming increasingly popular because they are places where the elderly can lead fulfilling and active lives.
Fear of saying ‘goodbye’ to work
Saying goodbye to your workplace will certainly awaken conflicting emotions: you’re probably attached to your coworkers, your office, and possibly some of your clients, so letting go can be difficult. These feelings are complex and difficult to deal with, so you might want to start writing things down in a journal, talking to your spouse or family about it, or even praying or meditating about it. The important thing is to find something to keep you occupied: start volunteering, spend more time with your (grand) children, or find a hobby that interests you.
Fear of changing your lifestyle
Waking up every morning without any idea what to do that day may be refreshing in the beginning, but it can make you depressed, too. It’s important to make retirement plans on the things that will make you happy and keep you occupied. Waking up every morning with a smile is refreshing, and when you have a list of goals you want to accomplish you will feel the need to be active. Develop different strategies to help you reach your goals, but be flexible – this isn’t about meeting deadlines and following schedules anymore. You don’t have to make it hard for yourself, and if you’re patient and enthusiastic, you will certainly be able to accomplish a lot.
There are people who fear their retirement because they see it a sign that their lives are over, but that is far from true. If you make just a little bit of effort and add a pinch of diversity into your life, you’ll soon realize how many wonderful opportunities await you once you retire. Getting over this fear can be difficult, but at the same time it’s really worth it, so don’t give up – the reward is always on the other side of fear.