Retirement Fears and How to Prepare for Them

Retirement is a drastic change to any individual’s lifestyle. There are many who find meaning in the work that they do, and for those who have built their entire lives around their career, a sudden retirement may feel akin to a break-up.

Like many drastic changes, people who are heading into retirement are going to have many doubts, especially when many of their habits and routines are suddenly uprooted. In this article, we take a look at some of the top fears surrounding retirement, and how we can overcome them.

Loss of Income and Social Security

The most common fear most retirees experience is outliving their income, or worse, outliving their hard-earned savings. What makes this fear more intense is that there is an age bias in the workplace. Losing your source of income is one thing, but knowing that you’re going to have difficulty finding work again is another. Coupling this with the chance that your medical bill costs might rise as you age is bound to put a huge black cloud of worry over any retiree’s head.

While there was once a time when losing your social security during retirement would have been the stuff of myths, times have definitely changed since then. There’s news about the looming threat of pension plans going bankrupt, which means that you might not receive the benefits you were promised. 

The Antidote:

Face your fear. It’s important to get an accurate bearing of your situation and to make a retirement plan in order to safely prepare for when the day comes. You could work with a financial advisor to help you plan out your retirement. As a last resort, you can even consider working with a real estate financial auditor to determine the accurate value of your home should you decide to sell it. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be homeless; selling your home can provide you more money to work with just in case you lose your social security upon retirement.

Degradation of Health

The body gradually begins to weaken after a certain age. Both physical and mental health are bound to be impacted as retirement nears. This is especially true if you don’t have a healthy lifestyle to begin with, but the importance of self-care cannot be stressed enough during this stage. 

The Antidote:

Exercise regularly, go for medical check-ups, adapt to a healthier diet, and find hobbies and activities that make you happy. 

Empty Nest Syndrome

Contrary to popular belief, empty nest syndrome is not a disorder of any kind, but rather, it is a period that older adults go through. It is a highlight of loneliness and pain of loss that older adults experience when their children leave the home they grew up in and start relationships of their own.

The Antidote:

As painful as it may seem, empty nest syndrome has a rather simple solution. Stay in contact with your children. Invite them over for visits, and try to look on the bright side. Your kids may eventually have grandchildren, who would be a joy to have over at your home. 

As Epictetus once wrote: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” With this in mind, retirees should try to pierce the veil of fear that clouds their judgment and paralyzes them. Fear is only a byproduct of being unprepared for an event. Any fear can be overcome through preparation and planning. With this in mind, stop worrying, and start preparing.