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Age well

Retire from stress

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.

Done working

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.
The money pit

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
Age like a fine wine

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
Your happy retirement

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 walkingrange 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.
More ways to beat stress

Even with work-life behind you, you may still need to work on reducing stress. Try one — or all — of these stress-busting tactics:

Retire from stress
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