Professionals usually look forward to retirement and the freedom that comes with it. The thought that commutes and deadlines will one day be a distant memory is enough to excite anyone to the idea of retiring. But when the day comes to leave the daily routine, many retirees admit to feeling a little anxious about how they will find structure.
Retirement is a big transition, and Robert Delamontagne, PhD, author of the 2011 book “The Retiring Mind: How to Make the Psychological Transition to Retirement,” notes that some retirees experience anxiety, depression, and even a feeling of loss by calling it a career. Some of these feelings can undoubtedly be attributed to the lack of motivation some people feel after retirement. Without a job to do each day, people can start to feel useless. Overcoming such feelings can be difficult, but finding ways to build daily structure can make the transition to retirement easier.
• Find something to really commit to. Professionals who truly enjoy their work tend to be fully committed, so it’s no surprise that these people have difficulty adjusting to retirement. Some may suggest that volunteering can help fill the void created by retirement, but researchers from the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College have found that only people who are truly committed to their volunteering after retirement experience the psychological benefits. such activities. So before retirees jump straight into volunteering as a way to create structure, they should first do their due diligence and find an opportunity that they will find genuinely engaging.
• Embrace the idea of “bridge employment”. “Bridge job” is the name given to the trend that has seen retirees take part-time or temporary jobs after retiring from full-time work. COVID-19 has undoubtedly skewed post-retirement work statistics since the World Health Organization first declared a pandemic in March 2020, but a 2019 survey from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute found that 27 % of pre-retirees with at least $100,000 in assets expected to work part-time in retirement. Even part-time work can provide enough daily structure to help retirees feel like every day isn’t just everyone’s game.
• Make a concerted effort to be more social. Volunteering and working are not the only ways to create structure in retirement. A concerted effort to be more social can help retirees fill their days with interactions with like-minded people who may have similar feelings. Join a book club, a local nature group that does daily or semi-daily morning hikes, or another local community organization. These are great ways to build structure and meet new people. Retirees can create social media accounts to find local community groups that match their interests. Although it may seem hard to believe, many retirees are looking to structure their retirement life, and social media can make it easier to find such people in your community.
Structure and retreat can seem like strange bedfellows. But many retirees crave structure after calling it a career, and there are lots of fun ways seniors can create more organization in their lives.