Some of us welcome the prospect of retirement. With the opportunity to kick back after years of toiling away at work, that retirement date can’t come fast enough. For others, the idea of retirement is something to be feared. As we will discuss in this article, there are worries that prevail, some of them tied in with the prospect of aging. Sadly, we can’t freeze time, so we do have to face up to our retirement fears, but there are ways to reduce them.
Retirement Fear #1: Diminishing health
Some of us fear retirement because we are afraid of the corresponding health issues around aging. We worry about losing our physical and mental faculties. We worry that we won’t be able to cope. And to be honest, these fears are very real, because we won’t always be as fit and able as we might be at present. However, we can take preventative measures to reduce this fear.
Tip: The key to staying healthy is to look after our mind and bodies. By living a healthy lifestyle now, we can reduce the risk of old age health problems, such as arthritis and heart disease. Exercising daily, eating a healthy diet, and cutting out unhealthy bad habits, are just a few of the ways to counter any problems in the future. And we can continue to do this as we age, living a healthy lifestyle in our advancing years, staying fit with senior exercises, and making sure we eat well. Regular checkups with our doctor is a must too, as any long-term health issues can be dealt with early if any warning signs are noticed.
Retirement Fear #2: Money matters
Another common fear is not having enough money to retire with. With a lack of a regular income, there will be concerns around those basic things, such as paying the bills and stocking the food cupboard, and there will be fears about not having enough money to pay for those nicer things in life to make retirement less undesirable. This is a fear many of us have, regardless of retirement, but for the long-term future, we can put things in place to make our lives easier.
Tip: To reduce your financial worries, you need to sort out your finances early. Choose the right retirement account for you, be that independent or something affiliated with your workplace, and add to it as much as possible with any savings you can make on a weekly basis. You might want to look into ways to increase your income too, perhaps by moving into a better-paid career, working towards promotion in your current workplace, and/or by taking on a side-hustle to boost what you regularly earn. And even after retirement, you might still be able to find part-time work, as providing you are healthy enough, there are some jobs perfect for retirees. As with your physical and mental health, the onus is on you to reduce this fear, so get your finances in order now, speak to a financial advisor if you need to, and then consider any money-making opportunities you can take on before and after retirement.
Retirement Fear #3: Losing independence
Closely affiliated with health problems around aging, this is another common fear for many of us. We don’t want to be reliant on others, but if we aren’t well enough to manage after retirement, we might have to be. However, the prospect isn’t as bleak as you might imagine.
Tip: Again, one way to counter to loss of independence is to take care of your health. If you can make the effort to live an active and healthy lifestyle, you should then be able to live longer, without the support and care of others. However, even if you do lose some of your ability to manage completely alone, there are solutions. Many retirement villages offer independent living, so while medical support and care will be available to you, there will be no need to completely give up on the idea of losing independence entirely. And thanks to advances in technology, it is also possible to continue living at home for longer, without the need to rely on family and friends for round-the-clock care. Consider the options available to you, and then speak to your family about them, so they are fully appreciative of your need for independence.
Retirement Fear #4: Feelings of loneliness
Many older people become isolated, especially when a partner passes away, and this can lead to a decline in health. For those people who thrive on social company, the fear of loneliness is of particular concern. Thankfully, this can be alleviated, as isolation does not have to become the norm for anybody, regardless of age.
Tip: If you are of able mind and body after retirement, it is possible to avoid loneliness, be that through meeting up with friends and family, joining social groups that are designed for those of an elderly age, and by volunteering within the community. Thanks to advances in tech, you can keep in touch with others when you’re at home, using Skype, FaceTime, etc. to talk to your friends and family. There are often befriending services available in local communities too, and by signing up, you might be able to visit other retirees to give them company or allow for the visit of somebody else to your home. And if you do decide to move out of your home and into a retirement village or other care facility, you will also have the advantage of regular social activities, whether you choose to take part in them or not.
You aren’t getting any younger, so the fear of retirement might be a very real one for you. We hope the suggestions in this article have been useful, but remember to speak to others about your feelings and concerns for further advice and support. By talking to your friends, family, and any professional agencies who may be able to help you, the prospect of retirement might become less of a problem for you.
Let us know what you think, and if you have any advice for any of our readers, perhaps because you have beaten your retirement fears, be sure to share any words of wisdom with us.
Take care, and thanks for reading!