For many retirees, retirement lasts much longer than before. After a few years, some might start wondering what happens when the honeymoon phase of retirement is over.
Why is retirement the focus of my company? It’s the same reason we hear about retirement on an almost constant basis. The reason for this is that around 12,000 people a day are retiring and will continue to do so for the next 15 years. Not only are huge numbers of people retiring, but these retirees will live much longer in retirement than any previous generation.
Gone are the days of retiring at 65 to live to be 70. For some people, retirement could last more than 30% of their life. A beautiful and long retirement? It’s like your honeymoon phase. Days filled with travel, dining out, more free time to do whatever you want, or nothing at all if you prefer. For me, I envision a lot of travel and maybe surfing all over the world. What’s wrong with that?
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We love the honeymoon phase
Unfortunately, they call the honeymoon phase a phase for a reason. The reason is that it does not last long. We love the honeymoon phase. It is filled with new and exciting adventures. We tend not to see the problems because we are so in love with our new life. Over time, however, we begin to realize that all is not quite perfect.
The end of the honeymoon phase comes with the realization for some retirees that they may have lost as much as they gained in their new retirement life. Loss of identity is the number one reason retirees are dissatisfied with their retirement. If I’m not an “insert your profession here”, then who am I?
With retirement comes a decrease in social interactions as well as a loss of routine. The same freedom to do what you want or don’t want makes many retirees crave routine. After all, you’ve been following a routine for decades, and stopping suddenly can be a difficult transition to make. A loss of identity in retirement can also lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression.
So how do we handle the end of the honeymoon phase? For starters, discovering your new identity can help. Ask yourself: what do I still want to accomplish in life? What excites me the most?
Volunteering helps create new social interactions
You have built a lifetime of skills and knowledge that others desperately need to learn. Are there any organizations you would like to support? Giving of your time can help establish a new routine, create new social interactions, and most importantly, give you a stronger sense of purpose.
Having a purpose in retirement has been shown to be one of the main determinants of retirement happiness. A sense of purpose can make retirees feel “normal” again. This leads to prolonging the feelings of the honeymoon phase long after retirement, if not for the rest of your life.
Retirement is much more mental than financial. Retirees have been shown to be able to adapt their lifestyles to most income levels, but retirement happiness has been shown to be harder to achieve.
have a plan before your retirement can help increase the chances of satisfaction from your retirement itself and, as they say in the surfing community, just enjoy the ride.
Securities offered by Kestra Investment Services LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered by Kestra Advisory Services LLC (Kestra AS), a subsidiary of Kestra IS. Reich Asset Management LLC is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Kestra Investment Services or Kestra Advisory Services. It is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations to anyone. We suggest that you consult your financial professional, lawyer or tax advisor regarding your personal situation. To view the CRS form, visit https://bit.ly/KF-Disclosures (opens in a new tab).
This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing advisor, not Kiplinger’s editorial staff. You can check advisor records with the SEC (opens in a new tab) or with FINRA (opens in a new tab).
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