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Helpful Tips on the 5 Emotional Stages of Retirement

older couple enjoying senior living after the five emotional stages of retirement

When retirement is just around the corner, you’re probably looking forward to a life without clocking in, freedom to do whatever you want, and only having to answer to yourself. As you’re preparing for retirement, you should know that many people go through similar stages as they adjust to this new way of living.

For many people, retiring is an emotional process. Knowing what to expect and how you can prepare for the emotional stages can ease your transition into retirement. Follow these helpful tips on the five emotional stages of retirement so you can prepare for this exciting new chapter of your life.

1. Realization and Anticipation

In the pre-retirement stage, you’re counting down the days, people are congratulating you, and you’re realizing that you’re approaching a major life change. This stage is usually full of excitement and anticipation. But there are still items you can take care of at this stage.

As you’re still working, it’s important to make sure you’ve done the financial planning necessary to retire comfortably. Paying your remaining debts and checking your investment portfolios and savings accounts to make sure you’ve saved enough money to fully enjoy your retirement can prevent financial complications in the future.

2. Honeymoon Stage

During the honeymoon stage, you no longer have a daily routine structured around work. You may not have a retirement plan at this stage. Instead, you’re spending time doing everything you want to do.

This can include travel, seeing friends and family, and also taking well-deserved time to relax. One tip to enjoy the honeymoon phase is to let yourself relax but to still take care of yourself. It’s common to associate the honeymoon stage with no rules. But making sure you get exercise, proper nutrition, and plenty of sleep will ensure you’re feeling your best and can make the most of this stage.

3. Reality

As the honeymoon stage wanes, the reality of not having a structured daily life sets in. While this feels like a vacation at first, that emotional high eventually fades.

When you stop work, you may have also lost a sense of purpose. Some people consider taking up a part-time job to bring back some structure – and have a source of income.

However, you don’t have to return to a work environment at this phase of retirement. One tip for the reality phase is to realize this is a transition, and it will take time for you to feel used to it.

But you also have plenty of time to think about how you’d like to spend your time. A useful tip during this stage is to think about what you love to do, what you want to do each day, and how you can feel accomplished.

4. Readjustments

This stage can be a trial-and-error process as you try new things and establish what you believe will bring your happiness and fulfillment.

Do you find that you’re craving more socialization and interaction? This could mean you need to take steps to broaden your social circle or reconnect with friends.

Do you want to contribute to the community? You can find all kinds of volunteer opportunities that can help you connect with and help others.

Presbyterian Homes residents volunteering

You may also consider if your living space is conducive to the life you want to live. Are you in a remote setting and you want to be in an area that’s walkable? You may consider moving so you can have the retirement you want.

5. New Chapter

When you’ve made the readjustments, you’re ready to settle into retirement in this final stage. Your transition into this stage of life is complete, and you can look forward to how your life is going to bring you the fulfillment you deserve and help you stay healthy as you age.

This time is all for you to see family and friends, pursue your hobbies, join new clubs, and to truly enjoy your free time. And perhaps, this is the time you might start thinking about how senior living could contribute to your retirement.

Find Your Ideal Retirement at The Moorings

When you’re planning your retirement, you’re making a plan for life. Retirement should bring you peace of mind, be maintenance-free, and give you something to look forward to each day.

The Moorings of Arlington Heights is a retirement community that can provide that life for you. Making the move to independent living at The Moorings is the best step to setting up for the retirement of your dreams. Additionally, The Moorings offers higher levels of care should you need it, so you’ll never have to worry about moving again.
We’re here for you. Contact us today to learn about independent living at The Moorings.

retired seniors at lunch outside