When it comes time to retire most people have mixed feelings. A part of you looks forward to it because you want the freedom and time to explore other interests, while another part of you is worrying that retirement will be disappointing even be a major challenge for you. How will retirement change your life? Will you be able to manage financially? Will you get bored or miss your friends and co-workers? There sure are a lot of unknowns.
Mistake #1. A mistake people make when they retire is that they do not take the time to sit down and make any type of plan. They have this glimpse of what may lay ahead of them and what retirement may be like, but they do not create a plan of how they would like their life to look. They leave nearly everything to chance. When I talk about making a plan I am not just talking about financial planning. Finances are definitely important; it is the number one topic on a person’s mind when they think retirement. However finances are by no means the only thing that is worthy of planning when it comes to retirement.
Solution: Make a plan whether you are single or a couple. If you are a couple sit down together and discuss what your expectations are and how you would both like your retirement to look. Take various aspects of your life such as where and how you may want to live. Other than what you may have saved for your retirement how much money you have coming in each month and how you will use it. Plan a realistic budget. How you think you would like to spend your time. As a couple how might being together more affect your relationship and how you may deal with it. How you plan on staying healthy. What will you do socially? Where will family and Friends fit in?
Mistake #2. Many people don’t realize what an impact retirement has on them emotionally, mentally and physically. A lot of people feel they are no longer valuable to society when they retire, this can lead to depression which can lead to hiding away from the world which leaves some retirees feeling lonely and isolated. Many when they quit their job they break off the connections they had when they were in the work place.
Solution: Make a point of keeping in touch with your friends and co workers that you enjoyed being with, or make sure that you do something to meet new people. Join groups, take classes get out meet people. Loneliness and depression are emotions that unchecked could lead to mental and physical issues too.
Mistake #3. Not taking care of your own needs. Being afraid or feeling too guilty to say No! It is surprising how many people end up over committing their time to others and not doing what they want to do for themselves. This is especially so for those with kids and grandkids. Often a parent will retire only to be working harder and longer than ever looking after their grandkids. With some it is looking after their parents. As much as we may love them and want to help our parents and kids we can sometimes be taken advantage of. When you have worked all your life and looked forward to retirement you have to give this a lot of thought.
Solution: Be clear with what you are willing to do and what you are not. Obviously there are circumstances when situations are dire that you don’t really have a choice but in many cases what starts out as a favor or a little help or a little time can turn into something much more demanding, leaving your own retirement plans on hold indefinitely. Encourage them to look for other alternatives other than just you. Set a time limit right at the outset or figure out away to share the responsibility around so it doesn’t all fall on you. You need to have some of your well deserved time so that you can enjoy your retirement.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy we just fall into situations that can easily get out of hand or become an expectation. Plan and take some control over your life and choices before situations get away from you and it gets too difficult to bring things back into focus.