Retirement Changes Everything

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You work and work all those years, aiming for a good retirement when you can kick back and relax. For too many of us, though, retirement turns out to be one stress after another.

Studies have come up with some alarming results: Your risk of clinical depression goes up 40 percent after retirement. The chance of being diagnosed with a medical condition rises 60 percent. It makes sense that retirement is high on the list of life’s worst stresses. Retirement changes everything and not just from a financial standpoint.

Without work, going to the same place every day and having a routine to follow becomes much more difficult. As a result, boredom can set in, and anxiety can climb as our former work-identity is left behind. Finances might not go the way they were planned, especially if retirement isn’t voluntary and is brought on by downsizing.

You may end up with too many hours in the day, or maybe not enough hours if you try to cram too many things into your schedule. If your social life was tied to work, leaving the workplace can leave you feeling isolated.

Before you retire, give it a trial run to prepare yourself for the inevitable stresses. For six months, spend only the money
you will have during retirement, so you can see what it will be like. Join a group or two so those social connections will be in place with new acquaintances and friends. Stay physically and mentally active.

Volunteer somewhere if you can fit it in while you’re still working. Aim for a healthier lifestyle with diet and exercise. Make a plan for everyday things you’ll do in retirement, even though you’re still working. Catching a vision for what things will be like can help you transition.

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