While, for some people, the transition to retirement goes perfectly smoothly, that’s not the case for everyone.

Most of us are counting the days until retirement. We’re excited by all the prospects this new stage in life will bring. However, some people struggle with the change. In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll look at a common issue with retirement from a psychological perspective with this article from Psychology Today.

In the listener question segment, I’ll touch on how to bridge the gap between the beginning of retirement and collecting Social Security and discuss how to invest for the short-term in retirement. It’s time to up your retirement game; press play to get started.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] I just retired so why am I unhappy?
  • [8:55] What the hapipest retirees do
  • [11:00] How to generate income to bridge an income gap before Social Security
  • [16:05] How to invest for the short-term in retirement

Why retiring doesn’t always make people happy

While retirement is often anticipated as a joyful milestone, it can also bring on unexpected emotional challenges. Many retirees find themselves feeling bored, lonely, and even unhappy.

Those who struggle with the change may be reeling from the loss of the positive things we formally get from work: routine, purpose, and social connections. Losing these things can bring on sadness and confusion.

Additionally, many people have a vision of retirement that never comes to fruition.

Many people are surprised by emotional turbulence a few months after retirement. After the initial thrill of sleeping in and watching daytime TV fades, unexpected boredom, loneliness, and purposelessness can set in.

Others might over-schedule their first few months, leading to exhaustion and unsustainable busyness.

How to avoid retirement unhappiness

To address these emotional challenges, it’s crucial to identify and fulfill needs previously met by work. Engagement, social connection, structure, achievement, and a sense of contribution are keys to a happy life.

Retirees must find new ways to stay engaged and develop a sense of purpose. One way to do that is to reflect on what was emotionally sustaining during your work life. Seek new activities to meet those needs.

Consider what you’ll do to meet your needs for engagement, purpose, contribution, achievement, social connection, structure, and creativity.

For many, work provided a sense of safety or autonomy.

What will you keep in mind to stay happy as you make the transition to retirement?

Resources & People Mentioned

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