Just like any other major life change, the journey through retirement follows a similar emotional pattern. Just like the first time you attend school or your first job in the working world it takes some time to adjust to your new life. Well, it’s the same with retirement, retirees need to begin to familiarise themselves with their new life. It can be broken down into 5 different stages, from pre-planning for retirement to being content and happy with the life you are living.
Stage 1: Pre-retirement
Pre-retirement is the stage before you retire, this usually is around 5 to 10 years before you retire. Around this time many people begin to shift their focus from levelling up in their careers to focusing on the financial planning aspect for retirement.
Planning financially is an important part of retirement planning, but don’t forget to plan emotionally for retirement. This is the time to start considering what you want from retirement and what you believe will make you feel happy and fulfilled. You may want to start thinking about where you want to live, if you want to downsize and if you want to travel.
This stage is full of excitement and anticipation for the next chapter in your life, but it can also be filled with worry and doubt – so spending some time planning financially and emotionally can make the transition into retirement a lot easier.
Stage 2: The honeymoon phase
The day has finally arrived, freedom! During this stage you may have feelings of excitement, liberation and relief from the stresses brought to you by the working world – these feelings often last for 1 to 2 years but can last for much longer depending on how you choose to spend your time.
Often your time is filled with reconnecting with friends, family, partners, indulging in hobbies and interests and going on holidays and just enjoying more freedom to do whatever you please.
Stage 3: Disenchantment
After the emotional high begins to wear off and the honeymoon phase is over, many people begin to feel disappointed and let down with their current life. Retirement is something that many of us look forward to and spend a lot of time hyping up, so once you’ve settled into retirement it can begin to feel like it’s not as exciting as you once thought. Many people may be left feeling lonely, bored and feel like they've lost their sense of purpose.
Read our blog on how to fill your time and make retirement enjoyable.
Stage 4: Re-orientation and finding yourself
Just like any other stage of life, you eventually begin to adapt to your new circumstances and navigate your new life. This is the hardest part of retirement, as the process of re-finding your purpose and establishing who you are takes time and lots of conscious effort. Even though it can be tricky, this is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable stages.
This is the time to try new things, find new hobbies and re-find your purpose in life. Without a full-time job and no children to care for it can be hard to find a purpose. But it is crucial to find something that reignites your spark, this could be pursuing a passion, volunteering, looking after your grandchildren or just adding fun, interesting activities to your daily routine.
Stage 5: Stability
The final stage of retirement brings feelings of being content and feeling positive and happy in retirement and your new life. You may find yourself settled into your new routine and lifestyle, doing things you love and that make you feel fulfilled and be enjoying your life with your new sense of purpose and identity.
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