Retirement means a big change that involves some big decisions. Of course, all of this can lead to some level of stress. And not just with the transition — but with everything associated with retirement.
Leaving work means more than just being free of your daily commuting hassle. For some of us, it also means losing:
- a comfortable routine;
- a sense of identity and self-worth;
- important professional and social networks; or
- a big reason for getting up every day.
So if the thought of losing any of these things really bothers you, see if you can:
- make a gradual transition into full retirement;
- continue working on a part-time basis;
- start your own part-time business; or
- search "aging" in Find Support to find retirement groups and counselling services in your area.
Worrying about money can be a major contributor to stress. In retirement, when those regular paycheques stop, money worries can soar. So if you haven't done it yet, make a plan:
- Create a budget for everyday expenses
- Develop an overall financial plan including all of your assets, income sources and liabilities
- Evaluate the costs of your planned retirement activities
- Plan for additional extraordinary costs (like healthcare expenses that aren't covered by your provincial plan)
- Get professional help with your financial planning
Most of us don't get to retire when we're young. So along with the major lifestyle changes comes a bunch of aging and health issues that may cause additional stress. To help deal with these:
- Accept that you're getting older — denial will only make things more difficult for you and your friends and family
- Keep your chin up and look forward — you may have to slow down, but you don't have to stop
- Adjust your activities and schedules — to fit your new lifestyle
- Work with your healthcare provider — have regular checkups
So, now what? The answer to that question is: Whatever you want. Your greatest stress may come from doing nothing. But staying active and interested, and having a reason to get up in the morning may be your best way to prevent retirement stress. And there are plenty of things you could do:
- Revisit old hobbies and find new recreation and leisure activities in Find Support — experiment!
- Travel — even if it's to a nearby community you've never visited before
- Stay connected with work friends
- Look for ways to meet new people — and build other social networks
- Go back to school
- Do volunteer work
- Get more involved with your adult children, grandchildren and other family members
- Get a pet — search "pet" in Find Support for animal shelters and rescues in your area
- Exercise — it's never too late to start! Try fitness walking, range of motion exercises or even weight training to keep you "pumped" for retirement fun. And if you have a specific fitness goal in mind, use these tips to help you succeed.
- Eat right — ensure you maintain healthy eating habits and know that what you eat could be stressing you out.