Why you need to emotionally prepare for retirement too

couple walking through the park with a bike

When it comes to retirement, much of the conversation revolves around your finances. In fact, you may have read our recent blog on our website about how to create a budget when you’re approaching or in retirement.

This is undoubtedly important; after all, you’re going to need money to live on once you finish work, and so knowing you have enough is a vital step to take in securing your future.

But often, by only talking about money, you can miss the fact that thinking about the emotional side of retirement is just as crucial.

That’s why it’s useful to remember that you need to emotionally prepare for retirement, as well as financially.

Work out your goals to fill your time

A key part of retiring is knowing how you’re going to spend your time. Employment tends to occupy a great deal of your time when you’re working, so knowing how you’re going to use the free time you now have is a worthwhile exercise.

To do this, it’s worth giving some thought to what you actually want to achieve. Whether you want to travel and see the world or simply spend time with your family, knowing how to replace the time filled by work is an important step to take.

Include your partner in these discussions. They might have goals and ambitions that you could target together, too.

Take your time

When you’re approaching retirement, there’s no harm in taking your time and making it work for you.

In the past, the standard retirement was to reach retirement age and then instantly stop working. But now, you can be far more flexible in how you want to retire.

Retirement can be a process that lasts for many months, potentially even years, as you wind down the amount of work you’re doing.

For example, you could ask your employer whether you could take a more phased approach, slowly cutting down your workload and working part-time so that you can ease into retirement.

There’s no harm in taking your time in this way, especially if it helps you to reach your goals on your terms.

Learn to live without work

For many people, work becomes so central to their daily life that it becomes an important part of their identity. As a result, when you give it up, it can feel like a wider transition of who you are, as well as the tangible fact of no longer going to work every day.

There’s nothing to worry about here; it’s common to feel like you’ve lost your sense of purpose. However, it’s all about learning to live without the structure and drive that work can provide.

This is all the more reason to have retirement goals. Having targets to work towards and goals to achieve gives you a project to focus your energy on.

Create a routine to give structure to your days

As part of learning to live without work, it can be useful to create a new routine so that your days have a bit of structure.

Unlike when you’re working, this doesn’t have to be a fixed routine of doing the same thing every day. Instead, simply try to ingrain little habits that create that structure for you.

For example, you could try waking up at a similar time each morning and taking some sort of early morning exercise to invigorate your mind and body.

You could also consider making regular appointments to volunteer at a cause that’s important to you or perhaps have a regular slot when you look after your grandchildren.

Having dates in the diary like this can be instrumental in defining your “free” time, making it even more valuable.

Remember to keep active

One of the most important things to remember is to try and stay active, whatever that means for you.

Whether that’s as part of a daily exercise routine or regular socialising with other retirees in your community, staying active keeps your mind sharp. This is particularly important at this time, when you might find that you’re not giving your brain a workout as often.

Socialising can be particularly important after finishing work, as you can lose those regular interactions that occur every day in the office.

Find opportunities to replace these interactions. Whether that’s spending time with family or meeting up with friends, it can be so useful to your general wellbeing to keep socialising.

Work with a planner

Of all the things you might worry about with your retirement, money shouldn’t have to be one of them.

If you’re approaching or in retirement and would like help managing your finances, please do speak to us at Novus.

Email info@novusfs.co.uk or call 01423 870731 to speak to one of our experienced advisers.

Please note

This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.

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