Imagine the joys and wonders of retirement: golf, yoga, meaningful volunteering, more time with family, daily exercise, and, of course…serious travel. How could it not live up to your expectations?
Although you will probably experience most of these joys, remember that retirement also presents challenges. Said differently, work offers certain unique advantages that may be lost upon retirement.
Here are five “lost benefits” to consider… before retiring.
1. Loss of purpose.
Work is a primary life purpose for most of us. It’s a source of pride, focus, and accomplishment…one of the reasons we enjoy getting up every morning. Unless we discover a satisfactory substitute, retirement may feel like being adrift without a rudder.
2. Loss of structure.
Freedom, escaping work-imposed structure, can be very enticing. Fortunately, most people are self-disciplined and able to impose order and accountability in their daily, retired lives. Others, however, cannot and soon discover that they need the structure of a job.
3. Loss of station.
Along with other factors, work informs us about our “station in life.” Station isn’t about status; rather, it’s about where and how we fit in. Given that most individuals work forty plus hours per week, retirement can blur those lines in the absence of such factors.
4. Loss of social connections.
Most of us have family and sufficient friends outside of work, but that’s not true for everyone. Work can be the primary, even exclusive, source of friendships for some; hence, retirement leaves them isolated.
5. Loss of salary.
Some people approach retirement confident in their financial circumstances, only to feel discomfort after taking the plunge. That discomfort isn’t caused by inadequate planning; rather, it results from a growing awareness that wealth accumulation is no longer likely or even possible. Said differently, they miss the security of a steady paycheck.
As you approach retirement, look beyond simple dollars and cents. The issues presented above can derail an otherwise successful retirement…even when money is no object. Think carefully…and proceed with caution.
The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
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