Freedom, relaxation, and stress-free are some of the words that come to mind when thinking of retirement. Well, that sounds awesome! However, is that what retirement is all about? Other than financial obligations that you’ve been prepared for throughout your career, the following are eight common retirement challenges you might not expect.
1. Being Busier than you were before
Thinking that you will rest a lot and have plenty of relaxation during retirement is a myth. The truth is that planning vacations, house-work, family obligations, volunteering, hobbies, etc. quickly overwhelms your schedule. Even though the fear of boredom is real, surveys have shown that the more significant challenge is getting time to do whatever you want.
The inability to estimate how much you can handle minus the 9-to-5 career impediment gives a false impression that one has time for anything. You soon realize that your career was a filter that helped you spot the non-negotiables, especially when they clashed with the main job. Anything that conflicted with the primary career was labelled extra-curricular and was dealt with accordingly.
Time management is a crucial skill in finding the balance for a healthy and happy retirement. Without proper time management, it’s easy to find yourself in chaos. You can use your time creatively to do many things. In retirement, the threat of extra-curricular activities running your life is real. It is, therefore, critical to manage your time efficiently.
2. Decreased Social Circle
You may not realize the value of your social interactions at work and how much you cherished them until they were gone. Making friends with your co-workers was a benefit that came with the job, and you probably didn’t consider it as part of your work. Unfortunately, loneliness can be one of the common retirement challenges, which can be difficult to overcome at an old age.
It takes more effort to have an active social life in retirement living. If you’re an introvert, consider activities that will force you to get out like signing up for a group activity or club. Otherwise, if you are an extrovert, get your friendly banter dose by doing lunches and shopping trips with friends and loved ones. Don’t be deceived; retirees use Facebook a lot. However, the truth is that there are no substitutes for sincere personal connections.
3. Your Expenditure Increases
The notion that retirees spend less because they have no more commuting gas bills, no more expenditure on work clothes, and no more out lunches is a myth. A survey conducted in Massachusetts showed that 50% of retirees’ spending was the same if not more than what it was while they worked.
4. Lack of Structure
Theoretically, a lack of structure sounds fantastic. Being able to do whatever you want without a mandatory expectation to report to work daily is enticing. However, once the daily career routine ceases to exist, you have to occupy yourself with some other activity. This includes hobbies, travel, among others. All these activities have financial obligations.
5. Unadjusted Spending Habits
Your decreased income will be one of the common retirement challenges, especially since spending habits are difficult to adjust. Yet they are detrimental and should not be ignored when budgeting. Factor them in your budget by coming up with realistic figures and then add an extra percentage to cater for unexpected costs. It’s essential to devise a new system to manage your time. This will help you keep your expenditure within your income.
6. Anxiety about the Future
Work has a way of diffusing anxiety because the tasks ahead keep you grounded. Retirement can open your mind to unfettered anxiety. Worries such as the potential of the market crashing, not having enough money, and the need for expensive treatments can terrorize you. Excessive worry can lead to a shutdown, even where concerns are valid. Take charge and don’t go overboard. Obsessing, insomnia, loss of enjoyment are indications that you need a healthier outlet.
7. Negativity Detection
Learn how to identify external sources that are feeding into your negativity and cut them off. For example, companies whose core business is selling products such as gold coins and reverse mortgages for senior citizens make big bucks by stroking their fears. They thrive in playing up your worries, anxiety and negativity. Get proactive and recognize the privileges in your life. If you’re unable to cope, kindly seek help.
8. Watching the Market Too Closely
Putting your livelihood squarely in the stock market forces you to watch the market closely. However, since you can’t control market fluctuations, it’s best to quit worrying since this hurts your health. Make a conscious effort to keep a positive outlook. The solution is to ensure you have sound financial advice as a solid strategy to negate fear, even when the market fluctuates.
Despite people spending all their life planning for retirement, the presence of unplanned realities faced by retirees in their golden years is undeniable. Although you may be unable to predict with certainty what would happen, you can learn from other people’s experiences.