When you mention retirement, people usually imagine a period of leisure punctuated by vacations, fishing trips and visits from the grand kids.
After all, retirement means no longer having to work anymore.
It’s the reward you get for thirty years or more of hard work, a well-earned rest and a chance to finally do the things you have always wanted to do.
This is a pretty idealized picture, however. The reality is bound to be a bit different.
The Reality of Retirement
To begin with, retirement should no longer be viewed as a period in which to sit back in a rocker and wait for the Grim Reaper to make his appearance.
Many people now live to eighty or even ninety years old, meaning that retirement could last for as long as twenty or thirty years.
This doesn’t just mean a long stretch of time to be bored in. The most serious consequence is actually its financial implications. How do you make your retirement money last so long?
What About Money?
Retirees can expect financial headaches if they were remiss in retirement planning. As a matter of fact, many people now consider starting a new career or working part-time is an integral part of retirement to help pay for their day-to-day expenses.
Others look into things like annuities or other investment practices like buying structured settlements to provide a more secure and consistent income.
Retirement is also a time when you could end up bored and lonely. People often do not realize that much of their social life depends upon their jobs. Once the job is gone, you are likely to fall out of the loop.
When you do go out with non-retirees, you might find yourself lost in their conversation. Having nothing to do might be fun for the first couple of months, but people who have been accustomed to high-pressure jobs and to a full work schedule might actually find themselves missing the action and the excitement.
To stave off this particular type of new retirement blues, you might want to do volunteer work or get involved in church or civic groups.
Who Are You Now?
Retirement can also make you question your self-identity. Having had a job define you for the rest of your life, you might not know who you are once you’ve let go of what you do.
Retirement may be a good time to switch your emphasis to a more spiritual means of defining yourself and your purpose in life. Luckily, you will have plenty of time to contemplate and even to take up activities like yoga and meditation.