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Adjustment to Retirement

Retirement requires gradual psychological adjustment. Proper financial, psychological and physical preparation help one to adjust more easily to retirement life.

Common Myths about Retirement :

Myth 1: Retirement requires no planning : Studies show that those without positive goal and planning for retirement would not adjust as well as those who have.

Myth2: Retirement leads to boring life : Studies revealed that those who expect to have a satisfactory life after retirement have better quality of lives than those without such expectation 5 to 6 years after retirement.

Myth3: Retirement means becoming a useless and worthless person : Studies prove that retirees who maintain active participation in community activities find their life more satisfactory.

Myth4: Retirement leads to health deterioration : Physical health usually deteriorates between the age 60 to 65. As retirement takes place at the same time, it may be mistaken as the cause of the deterioration. In fact, unhealthy life style would be the main risk factor for such health deterioration.

The Gains and Losses from Retirement :

To accept the reality of the losses and to make the best out of the gain

"Losses" after Retirement

"Gains" from Retirement

  • stable income

  • freedom in spending

  • career identity and job satisfaction

  • sense of belonging to the career or organization

  • opportunities to socialize with co-workers

  • daily routine and regular working hours

  • personal working space

  • direct involvement in societal changes and opportunities to acquire new knowledge as well as working skills

  • self-worth and sense of value from one's contribution to the society

  • more choices in daily living without limitation due to working hours

  • freedom from work stress

  • flexible use of time

  • more time with family

  • more opportunity to be with old friends and make new acquaintance

  • new identity with seniors, retirees or voluntary organizations

  • more leisure time

  • can move beyond working place

  • more choice for life-long learning

  • more time to practise healthy life style

  • greater freedom to do the things preferred

Adjustment to Retirement

The following points should be noted for better adjustment :-

1. Finance : It is important to plan well ahead for retirement. Once retired, income would stop or drop, so do some expenses. Make the ends meet by cutting budget and making the best use of the pension or savings. Take advantage of the discounts for the elderly. In case of financial strain, be open-minded to accept help from family, friends or the government. Avoid high-risk investments, high-interest loan or heavy gambling behaviors. Do not re-mortgage the house for loan or turn it into a gift to anyone.

2. Health : Always practise healthy life styles, such as having regular exercise and balance diet. Do not smoke or drink.

3. Family Life : Value and enjoy family life but avoid making extra demands on children. Similarly do not indulge family members, which may lead to their dependence and stress you out.

4. Marital Life : Cherish the opportunity to be with your spouse more often. Communicate positively and strengthen the relationship. Be understanding to the changing needs of each other before and after retirement. Respect and appreciate each other so as to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life together.

5. Social Life : Never isolate yourself. Maintain existing friendships. Make new friends and extend your social network, such as by visiting Social Centres for the Elderly. Take the initiative to develop quality relationships.

6. Leisure Time : Retirement can be your "second life". With better use of the additional spare time to participate in health-enhancing leisure, sport, cultural activities or volunteer work, you can have a rewarding retirement life with new defined meanings.

Summary

1. Retirement can cause tremendous changes to your life. It requires planning well ahead and appropriate adjustment. It takes time to adjust.

2. Retirement is a new stage in life. It can be meaningful and productive only if you make it.

~ ~ Healthy Life Style Makes Retirement Better ~ ~