It may be easy to define success in your working career, but defining success in retirement can be more difficult. What does success look like in retirement? What will you do daily or weekly to get the most out of your retirement?

In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore a TEDx talk about the 4 phases of retirement that many (but not all) experience. Click play to hear how you can squeeze the most juice out of your retirement.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:52] How to squeeze the most juice out of retirement
  • [11:18] Help with spending more in retirement

4 phases of retirement

Most of us move through 4 phases of retirement, however, it’s not always a smooth ride. I watched this YouTube video after reading Fritz Gilbert’s article and realized that it coincides with my years of experience working with retirees.

The vacation phase – The initial phase of retirement is the one everyone looks forward to–the honeymoon phase. Every day feels like a vacation with no set routine. This vacation lasts about a year before it begins to lose its luster, and then you start to wonder if that is all there is.

Lost and loss – Once you start questioning your purpose in retirement, you have reached stage two.

Losing routine, sense of identity, relationships, and a sense of purpose can lead to the 3 Ds: divorce, depression, and decline.

Phase two is the most dangerous and it can be challenging to get out of it. While everyone experiences phase one, only some get stuck in phase two. However, it can be avoided entirely.

Trial and error – When you decide that you need to extract yourself from phase two then you’ve turned the corner and entered the third phase. This is when you ask yourself how you can contribute and ultimately make your life meaningful.

As this is a period of trial and error there will be plenty of failure while you experiment with new ideas and interests.

Reinvent and rewire – This is the phase when you can start to make the most out of retirement Listen in to hear the secret to reinvention.

How to squeeze the most out of retirement

These phases are typical but the amount of time spent in them is entirely up to you.

While we know the first phase is only temporary you should enjoy it to its fullest.

Phase two can be skipped and Dr. Riley remarks that 10-15% of people skip this phase. The best way to not fall victim to that sense of loss is with proper preparation.

When you plan and identify what a successful retirement looks like in advance it will increase your chance for success when you get there.

The trial and error stage can seem scary, but each failure will get you one step closer to discovering what you’d like to be doing.

While not everyone will make it to the fourth stage, those who can make the most out of retirement tend to have one thing in common. Listen in to learn how many find their sense of purpose in retirement.

Resources & People Mentioned

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