Understanding the Transition to Retirement
April 14, 2017
Retirement is a great destination, which is why people look forward to it, often for many years. But most people only have a vague sense of what retirement will actually look like for them. They focus on not working and having lots of leisure time; but they think far less about what the dynamics of this new kind of time means for themselves and their spouses.
Here are few things to keep in mind as you plan that stage of your life:
Retirement is not Vacation
When you are on vacation and doing things that you love, it is always for a finite period of time. Retirement is in no way finite in the same way, and should not be treated as an ongoing vacation. If you love tennis, great, play it every day. But your whole life probably cannot revolve around tennis.
Retirement will not feel like you are on vacation. Many of the ordinary tasks that you faced while working, like shopping, cooking, paying bills, will be with you in this next stage of life.
Stress is Part of Retirement
Stress seems less obvious in the phase of retirement than in other life changes, like marriage, new job, or moving. After all, aren’t you leaving such stress behind?
But retirement is a new stage of life, so there will be many new experiences and feelings to discover, including new routines, new habits, and new people. For instance, moving into an early retirement community will be enormously helpful in facilitating your retirement and getting the most out of it. Even so, it is still a significant change.
This transitional stress is a good reason to maintain past relationships with friends and with family, who can provide important support in helping you find a new equilibrium.
New Dynamics with Your Spouse
For much of your life, you and your spouse have spent much of the week apart, except for weekends. Even then, you may have used that free time to pursue separate activities.
Keep in mind that when you retire, your spouse is also likely to retire. The two of you are likely to spend far more time together than you did in the prior decades.
This means that the two of you may need to find a new equilibrium together. It will be important for you to figure out together how to make the best use of your new time together.
New Relationship with Money
For many people, retirement means that they no longer have the same income. Especially if your retirement income is fixed, you and your spouse will need to develop a budget which accommodates that income shift. Often, that means changing spending habits and avoiding excessive discretionary spending.
At the same time, you still need to worry about unexpected expenditures—like for medical care or children who need unexpected support.
All these changes are great reasons to look at Delaware 55+ communities as vital assets in planning and enjoying your retirement. They offer a great strategy for transitioning and living fully in your new stage of life, with the least amount of worry, because they take care of some of the biggest transition issues, such as homeownership, access to activities you love, and new social circles.
To be prepared for retirement, you need to understand retirement. Why not consider seeing and even experiencing some part of it first? Schedule a visit with one of Delaware’s retirement communities.