Retirement is a big step that requires determination, courage and emotional intelligence to take. And we’re not talking only about the financial aspect here (although it is something you should definitely consider). We’re talking about the actual psychology of retirement and how it relates to independent living.
It’s unfortunately very common for people to dread retirement, mainly because all the myths and negative beliefs surrounding it. You know, there are a lot of social and personal expectations about retirement that do not necessarily correspond to reality.
Some people think that without their work, their life will serve no real purpose, as they won’t be productive anymore. On the other hand, others assume that just because they’re retiring, they’ll be sipping cocktails on a sandy beach all day long. Both (extreme) cases are the result of unrealistic expectations about retirement. Retirement is not the end of your productivity, but it’s not a piece of cake either.
Give yourself a mindset tune-up and find out if you’re guilty of unrealistic expectations. A lot of the times, these wrong beliefs are fuel for those uneasy feelings around a completely normal –and deserved– life stage. We encourage you to be absolutely honest with yourself and figure out which kinds of thoughts are making it harder for you to accept this new phase. That’s easier said than done though, but opening up is essential to figure out if you’re psychologically ready to take the step and make the best of it.
Do you want some advice? …Create an action plan.
Make the transition a lot easier by planning it. Don’t let things you know are bound to happen catch you off guard. Be prepared instead.
A lot of people make the mistake of not planning ahead, and when the time to retire comes, they inevitably feel stressed about it. We encourage you to ask, research, and replace worries with opportunities. Once you start associating retirement with independent living, you’ll realize that you won’t have time to “fill up” mindlessly, but to pursue your passions and nurture yourself instead.
Try to strike a healthy balance and while you take action of your own life, don’t fall into the trap of obsessing about the future. Keep in mind that ease, pleasure and self-growth won’t come out of frustration. So, if you ever catch your own thoughts circling on a dangerous loop of self-doubt, please stop. Do something that distracts you or confide in someone you trust.
Embrace what’s ahead and remember this beautiful quote by author Gabriel García Márquez.
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”