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Ingleside at Rock Creek Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Are you psychologically ready to retire? 5 questions to ask

Are you ready to retire?

You may wonder how you’ll know. Will your decision be based on age, the number of years with a company or whether you feel financially set to leave the work world?

To make sure you’re on the right track, don’t overlook the importance of being psychologically ready as well. If you’re not, you may find yourself feeling a little lost and untethered.

Here are 3 of the more common reasons that can play havoc on your retirement.

1. Unprepared for changes

Many people underestimate the level of changes that retirement will bring. While you may have been looking forward to the day of no longer working, don’t forget to consider how you’ll fill that time.

2. Discovering your identity was closely tied to your work

So much of our lives are spent at work and it’s no surprise that we get entangled with what we do. You may find you need to rediscover who you are without the titles and responsibilities of a career.

3. Not having a plan

Work provides a daily routine. You probably had a schedule for your days and maybe even a project or task list. In retirement, the only list is one you create. It’s best to have a plan for what you’d like to do now.

Making sure you’re really ready for retirement

We tend to focus on being financially prepared to leave work and may overlook preparing ourselves psychologically, which might require more self-searching and insight.

Here are five questions to help gauge where you are on the readiness-scale.

1. Do you have an identity outside of work?

It’s easy to lose yourself, especially when you consider how much of your life was spent on your career. People begin to identify with what they do as defining who they are.

Spend some time separating yourself from your work and see what you come up with. Take time to remember who you were growing up, your interests and passions. You’re much more than the skills you have. It’s time to refocus your efforts on this new stage in life.

2. Are you looking forward to the last day at work?

There’s bound to be some hesitation and uncertainty about what retirement will feel like. After spending the majority of your waking hours at work, it’s understandable. Walking away from that routine will likely be unsettling.

But if you’re dreading your last day, there is something more going on. Are you unsure of what you’ll do with your time? Do you feel as if a large part of your usefulness is now over? It’s important to identify your feelings and what they may mean to your retirement plans. It could be that you’re just not ready to leave.

3. If married or have a partner, are you both on the same retirement page?

Most of us have retirement dreams. Some have envisioned this time of freedom for years while others may be more suited to take it as it comes. But the important thing for couples is to make sure you’re both in agreement for how this part of your life will look.

It’s common not to share the exact same desires but begin by discussing what each of you would rank as a priority for your retirement. Are there any similarities? Is there a way to compromise and meet each other halfway? This conversation is critical and the earlier you have it the better.

4. How will you spend the first year of retirement?

Today, the years spent in retirement can be many. Your short-term and long-range plans will likely be different. Be flexible. You’ll need to tweak and adjust your plans as needed.

It’s helpful to most retirees to map out their first year. It eliminates waking up on your first morning in a panic about what to do with yourself. Many people will travel or visit the grandkids in the beginning months but think through how you’d like to spend your time after that.

5. What’s your plan to stay physically active and socially connected?

Think ahead about how you’ll keep yourself engaged. Having friendships and a social connection with others may be even more important as we grow older. When you no longer have the social outlet that work can provide, how will you replace it?  

This is also not the time to neglect your physical health. Have a plan for continuing your fitness. Whether it’s taking a yoga class or working out at a gym, keeping yourself in shape should be a priority in retirement.

Could Independent Living help ready you for retirement?

For many people, letting go of homeownership responsibilities is a big part of their retirement planning. They are ready to give up the maintenance and upkeep and are exhausted by the seemingly never-ending list of what needs to be done next. 

Finding a place that can better support your desired lifestyle can make all the difference.

But the benefits don’t stop at a maintenance-free life. Most communities include a fitness center and exercise classes to help you remain in good physical shape. With a full calendar of social events and activities, you’ll also find it easy to meet and make new friends. With on-site dining, not only will you look forward to delicious meals without the cooking, but nutritious ones as well.

If you haven’t visited an Independent Living community lately, you may be surprised to discover that they’re designed with your retirement plans in mind. You may find yourself more than ready to begin this new exciting chapter in your life.

Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living

If you’re looking ahead to retirement, we invite you to visit our community at Rock Creek. As you prepare yourself for this lifestyle change, we think you’ll find our homes, amenities and programs offer everything you need to support the life you so richly deserve.

Although there are many decisions to be made when one is retiring, you may find that the right community can help everything else fall into place for you to live an engaged and fulfilled life.

Call (202) 905-0018 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.


Ingleside at Rock Creek: Engaged Living




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