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Adjusting to the Changes Brought By Retirement

The transition from a working life to retirement is a stark change to many aspects of a person’s life. When people plan their retirement, they spend a great deal of time and resources on making sure that they have an adequate income for their golden years. As a matter of fact, a savings plan is the only thing that people focus on when they say that they are preparing for their retirement.

The truth is that retirement is a complete change in the way you live. Not only do you have to account for the income that you will need, but you also need to take care of your emotional, social and psychological needs as well. Some people laugh off their retirement by insisting that they will simply travel the world with their spouse. But when you actually get to your retirement, you realize that it takes more than just casual activities to fill some significant voids.

Social Contact

Think about how many people you interact with on a daily basis because of your job. If you work retail, then there is a never-ending line of customers to go along with your co-workers. If you worked different shifts throughout your working life, then you have probably been exposed to more people.

It is estimated that the average retiree loses contact with almost 50 percent of the people he knows after retirement. The steady stream of anonymous customers is gone and most of the co-workers will move on with their lives.

Human beings are social creatures that require contact with others to maintain their self-perceived status in society. As you plan your retirement, you should also research different social clubs, charities and organizations you can join to maintain your social network and stay in contact with people.

Personal Purpose

When you were working, you had a long list of responsibilities. People love to complain about their jobs, but most people feel that they are defined by their occupations. You feel proud of the responsibilities you are given and you work hard to meet everyone’s expectations.

After retirement, you no longer have those daily responsibilities. The resulting void left behind can make you feel empty. The best way to counteract these feelings is to take up a hobby that requires dedication and resources. If you do manage to join volunteer organizations, as was previously mentioned, then take those opportunities to develop a new set of responsibilities.

Some people decide to get more involved in their family life and take on greater responsibilities for their children and grandchildren. In many ways, replacing the responsibilities of work with family can be much more rewarding and help you to have a smoother transition to retirement.

You And Your Spouse

Each transition in life causes your relationship responsibilities with your spouse to change. When you are first married, there is a period of time where the two of you are determining who takes care of the family finances and how to divide up the other important tasks. When children start to enter the picture, the roles may change again.

There does come a point where you and your spouse develop a lifestyle that is almost completely based on your work schedules. You schedule your day around work, you take vacations based on your jobs and you develop childcare schedules based on when each of you will be at work. Once you retire, all of those changes.

The problem that retired couples have is that they think that it should be easy to change gears and be retired. Unfortunately, it is not easy. To make the process smoother, the two of you should discuss the pending changes and be patient as you work out your new routines.

Your financial world is not the only thing that changes once you are retired. You soon realize that a large portion of your personal identity and your personal habits is dictated by your work schedule. When the time comes for retirement, everything changes. Couples who do not spend time preparing for those changes can find the transition awkward and even difficult.

As you work on your financial plans for retirement, you should also spend time discussing your lifestyle as well. The more you prepare for changes, the easier they are to make.

Michael Gritchie enjoys saving money more than your next personal finance blogger but he also loves to learn new ways to invest his money. He has bookmarked the following sites to help him gain more knowledge in different investing arenas that include forex trading and generating a positive return on investments; OANDA, Investopedia, and the countless personal finance websites online.

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