Retirement Can Be Stressful

Published on 15 April 2010 by in Senior Living


Another Late Payment NoticeMost folks think stress-causing situations mostly stem from problems in the workplace. Besides work, they also think finances or family issues or health problems cause a lot of stress. While it is true that these situations can all be stressful, another circumstance that can lead to stress is retirement. Yep, retirement is up near the top of the list of stressful situations.

For those who haven’t done it yet, retirement is that big shiny pot of gold at the end of the 9 to 5 rainbow. Retiring will solve all your problems and you’ll relax with umbrella drinks on a beach somewhere. In reality, retirement for most is quite different.

Retiring from a long life of working is a huge lifestyle change, however good, and any lifestyle changes can be stressful until you’ve adjusted. Stopping your work routine means you are stopping the daily routines you’ve followed for years. You may feel a little lost until you’ve established some new routines.

Another area that changes with retirement is that of your social support system. No longer are you chatting around the water cooler with your co-workers, trading stories and sympathy for each other’s problems. Once retired, these social ties are gone. Before retiring is a good time to build and cement relationships with those outside the job who will be there once you retire.

After you leave your job you do have freedom to do what you want, but with this new-found freedom you also have big decisions to make… should you downsize your home, move to another state, buy a vacation home in a sunny locale, sell all and travel fulltime in an RV, or try a retirement community? Big decisions like these can be stressful for anyone.

Financial issues can certainly cause stress at anytime in one’s life, but even more so when you’re retired and on a fixed income. Questions regarding whether they will outlive their money, can they afford what they want to do, and what about the recession loom larger than ever.

Another stressful concern for retirees is health issues. Some worry about their future and their own health as well as how to cope with a spouse or friend’s failing health. Others worry about becoming disabled, having Alzheimer’s, or needing a nursing home.

But, there are many ways to cope with stress in retirement. Before you can deal with any stress you may be having, you need to identify the source. What is causing it? If you’re watching or reading too much doom and gloom news, then limit your exposure and take up other activities like your favorite hobby or getting some exercise.

If you’re worried about your finances, see a financial planner and educate yourself. A planner can either give you a pat on the back about your finances or suggest a plan to help set things right. Just putting your questions to rest and knowing what’s going on with your investments can be a huge relief.

Keep in mind that even though a change of residence is a major decision, it’s not permanent. If you find you don’t really like living on the golf course because you don’t play golf, or that moving to Florida doesn’t really suit you, you can change course again.

As far as the big change in your day to day life, the stress you feel is probably temporary until your new routines begin to feel like old routines. Don’t forget to make exercise a part of your new routine. Take time out to have the fun you imagined you would have once you retired from work and if that includes sipping umbrella drinks on the beach… then do it.

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