How to Adjust to Retirement

March 14, 2023

Retirement should be a time of relaxation and new adventures, but the transition from working is more challenging than it seems. Many retirees find the lack of structure stressful, and some need help creating new meaning. Of course, retiring doesn't have to be challenging — concrete goals and an understanding of the emotional process can help you enjoy your new free time.

Make Retirement Goals

You've carefully considered the financial aspects of your retirement plan, but have you thought about what you want to accomplish with your income? Careers provide a sense of purpose for many people; when they retire, they don't have anything to work toward. The good news is that you can create your own goals, essentially making meaning for yourself.

While your goals can be anything, starting small is a good idea, as lofty objectives may set you up to fail. Instead, make goals you can easily achieve:

  • Exercise every day
  • Read a book
  • Take a trip
  • Learn to cook a specific dish

Your small successes lay a solid foundation for more significant projects down the line.

Take Care of Yourself

One of the best tips for adjusting to retirement is to take care of yourself. You've probably spent a lot of time taking care of children, clients, or your work responsibilities — when you're that busy, it's easy to let your health fall by the wayside. However, looking after yourself once you retire is more important than ever.

As you age, you may face new health challenges, so visit your doctor for regular checkups, and don't be afraid to bring up concerns. You can improve your overall health by establishing good habits:

  • Exercise
  • Stimulate your brain
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay hydrated

You should also look after your mental health. Depression and anxiety are unfortunately common after retirement, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for misery. Instead, be kind to yourself — you've been through many changes very quickly, and it takes time to adjust. Give yourself space to feel however you feel, and know it's alright to be sad, angry, or disappointed. At the same time, take steps to improve your mental health:

  • Talk to a therapist
  • Meditate
  • Write in a journal
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Establish a routine

Stay Connected

Social connection is crucial for good mental health, especially as you age. Staying connected can be a challenge for retirees, particularly if they have mobility issues, but there are resources to help. For example, many senior centers offer transportation to activities at no charge. Nonprofits also provide programs to help retirees participate in their communities. You can also schedule weekly lunch dates with nearby family members or Zoom calls with faraway loved ones.

Keep an Eye on Your Retirement Accounts

Just because you retire doesn't mean financial stressors go away. Economic fluctuations can affect your accounts and income. That's why it's essential to maintain a relationship with retirement planning experts. As your needs or the economy changes, they can adjust your investments to mitigate risk. The result is a comfortable retirement and ample assets to leave your loved ones.

About 1891 Financial Life

At 1891 Financial Life we don’t just sell policies, we offer possibilities. We pride ourselves on giving back to the communities that we serve by providing quality and comprehensive insurance solutions. We are a not-for-profit life insurance Society, which means the sales from these financial service products help fund member benefits along with social, educational, and volunteer programs designed to respond to community needs.

Our portfolio is extensive, ranging from various life insurance policies to our annuities to support your financial needs no matter what stage of life you’re in.