Most clients we work with at Resolute have been thinking about their retirement savings for years and building strategies to achieve their goals. However, most have not given that same attention to developing the right retirement mindset.
Why is this important? Well, the financial part of retirement planning is critical, to be sure, but there’s another piece of the puzzle. Along with financial preparations, it’s equally as important that you prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for this significant life transition. Everything you’ve become accustomed to over the past few decades of your life will suddenly be vastly different. So, it’s important that you have the right retirement mindset as you tackle this new phase. Below are a few common mindset challenges retirees struggle with, along with tips on how you can change your perspective to overcome them.
Retirement Mindset Challenge: Discovering Yourself Outside of Your Career
After spending so much of your life invested in your work, it’s understandable if you attach your identity to your career. Consider how you introduce yourself to someone new at a conference or event – most people lead with their job title or industry. If you enjoy your work and consider it a passion, it’s even more likely that your career shaped large parts of how you view yourself. And, there’s nothing wrong with work having a significant influence on who you are as a person. It just means that you may need to adjust your retirement mindset a bit once you feel ready to leave the working world.
It’s common for retirees who identified strongly with their careers to find themselves struggling with a lack of identity in retirement. It can happen if you fail to think about who you are and who you want to be outside of your work. As you begin working on your retirement mindset, it’s often helpful to start by thinking about what’s meaningful to you outside of your career, and what you want for yourself in this next phase of life. Explore what brings you value or makes you feel productive outside of your work, what sort of tasks and activities bring you joy, and what new things you’d like to learn.
The answers to these questions are going to be different for every retiree. What’s important is to build your identity and sense of self on a new foundation separate from your career where you can begin to spend your time and focus.
SEE ALSO: 7 Habits for a Happy Retirement
Retirement Mindset Challenge: Transitioning from Saver to Spender
You’ve spent decades upon decades diligently saving and accumulating as much wealth as you can to support yourself through retirement. Chances are you’ve also sacrificed things along the way to support your future goals. After all this time spent in the accumulation phase, it can be difficult to switch your retirement mindset from saving to spending. You may even feel a sense of guilt for taking distributions because it feels so different from the saving mindset you’ve focused on for so long.
Concerns running out of money in retirement can exacerbate this hesitancy to spend. Unfortunately, the result is that many retirees don’t get to fully enjoy the results of all their hard work because they live in a state of fear. This is a retirement mindset challenge that can be difficult to overcome, but working with a trusted financial advisor to develop a retirement income and spending plan can give you more peace of mind, as well as greater financial security.
Retirement Mindset Challenge: Adjusting to a Lack of Structure
The freedom to do what you want in retirement should feel like a luxury… right? That’s certainly what many of us believe during our working years. However, many retirees struggle with all the newfound flexibility in their schedules. Even if you think you’re ready for a life of leisure, the lack of structure can introduce feelings of boredom, depression, anxiety, and even loneliness if you’re not prepared.
Developing your retirement mindset can certainly help you avoid or overcome this challenge, so try to be as intentional as you can with building a vision of what you want your life to look like in retirement. Get a physical calendar, or use your phone, and create a daily or weekly schedule. Even if you’re just scheduling in one or two things per day, you’ll begin creating a structure and routine to live by in this phase of life. Many retirees find that this helps them to better manage their time and navigate the change of pace so that they don’t feel aimless or unproductive.
Retirement Mindset Challenge: Navigating Changes in Your Relationships
When you and your spouse or partner are working 40 or more hours each week, retiring and finally getting to spend increased time together can seem like a dream. After all, you’ll finally be able to take those vacations you’ve always talked about, go on walks together, and enjoy each other’s company without the demands or constraints of work. However, the reality is that the sudden change can be difficult for couples to navigate. Not only are you suddenly spending much more time with your partner, but now that one or both of you have stopped working, household responsibilities may need to shift as well.
The best way to navigate this shift in your relationship is to adopt a retirement mindset focused on open and honest communication. Talk with your partner about what you need and how you’re feeling and give them the space to feel safe doing the same. Be intentional about setting boundaries for one another and then respecting those boundaries when spending time together and apart. And remember, these retirement mindset conversations can happen before retirement so that you can go into this new chapter on the same page and ready to tackle challenges as they come.
Are You Spending Time Developing Your Retirement Mindset?
You spend so much of your life planning and saving and preparing for retirement, so when it finally comes, it should feel like an achievement – not something fraught with stress and anxiety. As you’re planning and saving for the financial aspect of your relationship, be sure to prepare for the psychological and emotional changes that it brings as well. An intentional retirement mindset can go a long way in helping you enjoy this phase of life more fully.
Would you like to discuss your retirement mindset or financial strategies? Give us a call today to learn more about Resolute and our financial planning services in Findlay, Ohio. We look forward to hearing from you!