“Financially speaking, we think we are going to be OK in retirement. However, we are a little worried about adjusting to our new life.”
The first questions that most people ask about their retirement have to do with money. For example, someone may ask “how much money will I need in retirement in order to maintain my standard of living”? While financial security is important, you will need more than money to enjoy your retirement; you will also need mental and emotional stability.
All major life-changing events (a death in the family, a divorce, retirement, etc.) involve mental and emotional adjustments. Unfortunately, while the mental and emotional impact of death and divorce has been researched for over 50 years, there hasn’t been nearly as much research on the mental and emotional aspects of retirement.
Here are a few of the mental and emotional questions that you will want to answer in order to enjoy your retirement:
- How will you find meaning in retirement? – During the years that you have been working, your career has probably provided meaning. In retirement, finding meaning is also important. Some retirees find meaning in family activities. Some find meaning by participating in volunteer activities with churches and other non-profit organizations. Others find meaning in educational and artistic activities (like those available to you by joining the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Furman University). The question is, “how are you going to find meaning in your retirement?”
- How do you currently introduce yourself to people that you meet for the first time? – For example, do you start by giving your name, your work title and then explain the type of work you do? When you retire, what will you say when someone asks you, “what do you do?”
- Are most of your friends work associates? – If so, in retirement, who will your companions be? Do you have a plan for seeing family and friends on a regular basis? Do you belong to organizations that can help you interact with other people?
How will you and your spouse (or significant other) adjust to the increased amount of time you will spend together? Your relationship with your spouse (or significant other) will likely change during retirement. For example, most couples are used to spending 8-10 hours apart, five days a week. Sometimes the new amount of time spent together can turn minor issues into real problems. Have you talked about what each of you expects in retirement? Have you discussed maintaining joint activities while also setting aside time for each of you to pursue your own interests?
These are just a few of the mental and emotional questions that you will need to answer in order to have an enjoyable retirement. At Goepper Burkhardt, we strive to help our clients answer both their financial and non-financial retirement questions. Contact us today to set up a complimentary appointment to discuss your retirement.