GREENSBORO, N.C. — When you think of retirement, your mind automatically goes to money. Are you prepared financially?
What most of us overlook is whether are we prepared mentally to handle retirement.
“When I go to bed at night and I say what did I do today that made it a better day for somebody else or for the world, and the answer is usually nothing,” said Andy Ritz.
Ritz thought he was ready for retirement when he left his pediatric practice after 34 years. He had saved enough money, but his mental state was at a loss.
He's not alone. A study by the Institute of Economic Affairs shows retirement increases the likelihood of depression by 29%.
A financial planning website had an article about the five emotional stages of retirement and how to prepare.
Realization. There's a big change and a rough idea of what retirement looks like.
Disenchantment. This is where you start looking for inspiration.
Reorientation. This is when you make some adjustments instead of just thinking about it.
Stability. Finding contentment in how you're spending your time.
“People underestimate the amount of change that is about to take place. It's about finding meaning, living with purpose, and leaving a legacy,” said Scott Miller, a certified retirement coach.
Experts say before you retire, you need to think about replacing the social connections you will lose in the workplace, this is the time to identify and explore new passions and figure out how to use your skills to volunteer or mentor others and find that purpose.