Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Overcoming Fear of Retirement: Why Retiring is Nothing to Fear

Retirement is a time of great change, and it’s natural to feel some anxiety about that. Where your days might have been previously defined by your work schedule, and your identity even connected in many ways to your job, now that’s no longer the case. That can leave anyone feeling uncertain and unmoored, especially after a long, productive career in the workforce!

But retirement is nothing to fear. In contrast, it’s an amazing time of freedom and opportunity. Not only are you no longer responsible for showing up to work every day, you also now have the time to do everything you never could while you were working. And your identity as a working professional doesn’t change — you will always be the role you were. You just don’t have to be defined by it!

Think of all the possibilities now. Don’t let the fear of retirement and boredom oppress you. Let the world be your oyster and let this article help guide you to knowing how to open it and enjoying the pearl within.

Here’s why retirement is truly nothing to fear when you think about it.

5 Tips for Overcoming a Fear of Retirement

No matter how you look at it, approaching retirement age is a major lifestyle change. It’s only natural that this can create stress in your life, but there are ways to minimize this stress and aid you to overcome the anxiety associated with the event. The following tips for overcoming your fear of retirement are likely to help.

1. Start Planning Early

The earlier you start planning for retirement, the more time you’ll have to save money, make decisions about your healthcare, and figure out what you want to do with your time. This involves plenty of financial planning, so it’s recommended you speak with a qualified retirement planner to help you make such major decisions more easily.

Bonus: This gives you the opportunity to get really excited about spending your time however you want. Start making plans for all the things you want to do and accomplish (from countries to visit to books to read to number of hours to spend lying on the beach with no responsibilities)!

2. Talk to Other Retirees

Talking to people who are already retired can help you get a realistic picture of what retirement has been like for them. Be sure to ask about what they like and don’t like about retirement and if they have any advice they can offer based on their experiences. This level of support can help you avoid mistakes and help feel better about your upcoming retirement.

3. Set Realistic Expectations

Don’t expect retirement to be perfect. There will be some challenges — expect to miss the social interaction built into a job, expect even to miss the ritual of your schedule), but there will also be plenty of opportunities for joy. Having realistic expectations about retirement life, including what your day-to-day activities will look like, helps you transition to retirement more smoothly.

4. Stay Active

Retirement is a great time to stay active both physically and mentally. Exercise, hobbies, and social activities can help you stay healthy and engaged. This is made even easier because you will have much more unscheduled time than you’re used to! Filling that time with activities that you enjoy and provide you with physical and mental stimulation is incredibly helpful.

5. Give Back

Retirement is a great time to give back to your community. Volunteering can help you stay connected to others and make a difference in the world. Whether it’s at a local school, a museum, your town or city hall, a hospital, a pet shelter, or any other similar place, anything that gives you opportunities to support your local community can be incredibly fulfilling for you and your community.

Ways to Overcome Fear of Retirement and Boredom

Some older adults are incredibly excited to retire, and then find themselves with a great fear of boredom in retirement. After all, you’re no longer working full-time, so you have a lot of free time on your hands. How do you fill it?

Here are just a few ideas:

1. Travel

Retirement is a great time to see the world. You can travel on your own, with friends, or with family. Check countries off the list, visit every state in America, even just visit certain friends and family from out-of-state more often.

2. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, make a difference in the world, and continue to feel valued and contributing even when no longer working. Consider a food bank, or animal shelter, or work a school crosswalk, or anything that aligns with your interests.

3. Take classes

Retirement is a great time to learn new things. You can take classes at a local community college, online, or through a lifelong learning program. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, or get a master’s in biology, or get good at Poker.

4. Get involved in hobbies

Retirement is a great time to pursue your hobbies. You can join a club, take lessons, or simply spend time doing the things you love. Remember how you always loved [INSERT A FAVORITE PAST TIME HERE] but never had enough time to do it? Now you do! Spend your mornings kayaking, or writing a book, or starting a movie review blog, or fostering puppies, or absolutely anything you want.

5. Spend time with family and friends

Retirement is a great time to spend time with the people you love. Make plans to visit each other, go out to dinner, or simply talk on the phone more than you ever got to before.

Biggest Retirement Fears Faced by Older Adults

Retirement can be a time of great joy, but it can also be a time of fear. Here are some of the biggest retirement fears faced by older adults:

1. Financial security

Many older adults worry about how they’re going to afford to live in retirement. They may be concerned about running out of money, not being able to afford healthcare, or not being able to maintain their current lifestyle (or achieve their dream retirement lifestyle).

2. Loneliness

Retirement can be a lonely time for many older adults. They may lose touch with friends and family, or they may find it difficult to make new friends.

3. Health problems

As people age, they’re more likely to experience health problems. This can lead to worry about physical and mental health, as well as the cost of healthcare.

4. Independence

Retirement can be a time of loss of independence. Older adults may find it difficult to drive, get around, or take care of themselves. This can lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration.

If you’re facing any of these fears, don’t despair. There are things you can do to address them. Talk to your financial advisor about your retirement plans. Get involved in activities that will help you stay connected with others. And take steps to maintain your health and independence.

Overcome Your Fear of Retirement by Moving to a Retirement Community

One great solution for all these fears is moving to a retirement community. Far from the “old folks’ home” you might be envisioning, modern retirement communities can consist of gorgeous, sprawling campuses of charming cottages, villas, and of course apartments if you want less space to worry about. They include built-in amenities, non-stop schedules of activities, endless opportunity for socialization, multiple dining options, multiple fitness options (think gyms and swimming pools and walking trails), and so much more.

Some communities, called Continuing Care Retirement Communities, even include health services such as assisted living right on campus, so if you ever do need a higher level of care, you don’t have to worry how you’ll afford it with continuously increasing healthcare costs — it’ll already be included in your monthly fees.

Retirement can be a wonderful time of life. Don’t let fear hold you back from enjoying it. Consider exploring the 27 lovely and fulfilling retirement communities overseen by Acts Retirement-Life Communities.

couple financial planning thin.jpg

Retirement Resources

We've done a lot of the research for you! Check out these great articles that will help make an informed decision.

Retirement Resources
VisitUsCallout2.png (3)

Visit Us

Come see how Acts can help you get more out of life.

Request a Visit