Once you stop working you’ll face a serious life adjustment. It’s similar to the transition you experience going from the military to civilian lifestyle. Have you considered the emotional aspects of retirement and how to plan wisely?
In today’s world, people are working well past the age of 65. Some military veterans may not be ready to retire just yet because they like what they do, want to keep busy, or need the extra money.
If retirement isn’t in the cards just yet, it never hurts to begin preparing emotionally for the change that will occur in life when retirement does happen and a new phase of life begins. If retirement is knocking on your door, you may want to start preparing yourself emotionally for it now, because preparation goes beyond making sure you have enough income.
Dealing with Retirement
Retirement is an issue we all must face, but most of us don’t give significant thought as to how our life will change once we stop working. Because we often intermingle our identity with our work, we can be dealt quite a shock in determining “who we are” once we retire. Military personnel especially may find it difficult to face the issue of a new civilian identity.
Instead of looking at this new phase of life with worry or fear, consider it a chance to explore hobbies and do things you have always dreamed about. We can learn how to better prepare for retirement emotionally by asking ourselves a few relevant questions about the subject, such as:
If you are married, retirement will be a big adjustment for you and your spouse. Each person may have a different idea of their “dream retirement.” In addition, spending more time together can also put stress on a relationship, as you will need to adjust to each other’s new schedule.
If you are single, it doesn’t hurt to begin thinking about how you will want to spend your new freedom. Also, you might want to consider moving near friends or family members, or into a senior community in order to foster relationships and stay active. With so many questions that need to be addressed for the season of life after retirement, considering all of these areas before you retire can help you psychologically adjust better to the change.
What Determines Your Identity?
To properly prepare for retirement, it’s important to recognize that it is a major life transition that will impact you on an emotional level. It helps to prepare yourself emotionally by re-thinking your identity and your place in the world.
Your self-image is important, and many people identify strongly with what they do and the relationships they keep. You may identify as Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force . Those identifications can fall away the moment you retire, which makes room for new growth in your personal development.
According to retired counseling psychology professor, Nancy Schlossberg, there are different ways to approach retirement and finding one’s new identity. These approaches include:
Purpose and Retirement
Having an emotionally healthy retirement means acknowledging that you are transitioning into a new lifestyle, with new friends, experiences, and most likely a new identity. Retirement requires patience, adjustments, and consideration into your new purpose in life.
Don’t forget to be flexible, realistic, and patient with yourself when setting retirement goals and determining your new lifestyle. Also, don’t forget to take your health and physical activity into account when emotionally planning for retirement; maintaining your health as long as possible will allow you to do all of the things you want when you retire.
Lastly, when thinking about retirement, we cannot forget the financial aspect. As relationship managers at AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust, we are here to help you gain financial confidence and reach your retirement goals as you take on this important life transition. Please contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Barbara Shapiro- MSF- CFP- CMC- CDFA