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3 Common Fears About Retirement

Navigate retirement anxiety by facing your fears head-on.

Key points

  • Plan for retirement early.
  • Because you are more than your job, do an identity check.
  • In order to enjoy retirement, get regular health examinations starting well before you retire.

Imagine you are retiring. What comes to mind? For some, it is a fantasy of relaxation, travel, time with family, and pursuing hobbies. For others, retirement evokes fear. If you fall into the second camp, hopefully this information will prove useful!

The most common fears people have about retirement are:

1. Not having enough money: This is the number one fear of retirement, and for good reason. The cost of living continues to rise, and Social Security alone may not be enough to cover all of your expenses. If you haven't saved enough for retirement, you may have to make some difficult decisions about how to cut back on spending or ways to increase income.

2. Losing identity: For many people, their job is a big part of their identity. Upon retiring they may feel lost and unsure of what to do with their time. It's important to start planning for retirement well in advance so that you can have time to find new activities and hobbies that you enjoy.

3. Health problems: As we age, we're more likely to experience health problems. This can be a major concern for retirees, as it can impact their ability to live independently and enjoy their retirement. It's important to stay active and healthy as you age and to have a plan in place for how you'll manage any health problems that may arise.

If you're feeling anxious about retirement, there are a few things you can do to manage your fears:

1. Start planning for retirement right away: It is never too early! Take this one step at a time to avoid emotional overload. Start by assessing your financial situation. You can check your Social Security account to see how much money you'll get monthly by electing to receive benefits at any age between 62 and 70.

2. Do an identity check: Assessing and understanding one's identity is a complex and ongoing process involving introspection, self-reflection, and exploration. Prior to retirement, reflect on your values, beliefs, interests, and passions. We are all more than our business card and can take time in retirement to explore parts of ourselves we didn't have time to when working. Explore your passions and interests!

3. Get regular health examinations: Prior to retirement, get regular check-ups and preventive screenings. Don't put off the important screenings and wellness checks. These check-ups include dental, vision, and medical.

Retirement can be an emotionally complex time for many, especially if the retirement wasn't expected or is expected but occurs earlier than at typical retirement age. Don't hesitate to seek help from a professional, who can help you understand your fears and provide you with coping mechanisms.

Remember, retirement is not just an end; it's a new beginning. With careful planning and self-discovery, you can navigate this transition with confidence and look forward to a fulfilling retirement that reflects your true self and your passions.

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