shadow of a man trapped by a glass wall

Feeling trapped? Remove your own barriers.

A recent article by Robert Laura offers helpful advice for individuals who feel trapped in retirement. Though he is a financial advisor by profession, this young man has come to champion the necessity of life planning as well as financial planning.

In his article, Don’t get trapped by Old and Outdated Ideas about Retirement, Laura mentions how many retirees “start out hungry for a new life and want to get the most out of retirement, but struggle to make the transition.” He cites the reason for their struggle as not having planned for non-financial aspects of this new life stage.

This thought resonated with me because I have heard similar concerns during conversations in workshops and interviews with men and women approaching retirement. A major contributor to feeling trapped for men is distress over what they will do with the extra hours. Both men and women also worry about how the new found time together would affect the relationship with their mate.

These are all legitimate concerns that can be resolved with good self-evaluation and prior planning.

Three important steps you can take to avoid feeling trapped in retirement are:

1. Honest self-evaluation

If you retired early, what was you reason for doing that?

How do (did) you spend “free” time before retirement?

What was your favorite activity when not working?

What three things did you feel you could not do when working full time?

With more discretionary time in retirement, would you enjoy those activities now?

2. Let go of your grandparents attitude that retirement is for old people.

Start Moving

Retirement is not meant to be spent sitting in a rocking chair while enjoying the view.   

Statistics show that we are healthier and happier when physically active.

Get involved

Having a purpose in life is crucial to our self-esteem. Involvement in a cause or activity that has meaning for you keeps you healthy and mentally alert.

Stay connected with friends, family and community. 

The quality and quantity of social relationships affect mental and physical health.

3. Put your goals in writing

Written goals offer initial direction and meaning even if they may change in time.

And now, a question for you?

Those who recognize the value of physical activity and social engagement typically carry that lifestyle into retirement. Nonetheless, some still come to retirement unsure of how they will spend the coming years.  Workshops I have developed provide tips for maintaining a healthy and happy life after employment. Attendees have told me that the information was helpful and inspiring. Still, I am certain that there are more retirees’ concerns that should be addressed.

Financial workshops are abundant, but still there is not enough conversation on Life Planning for retirement. Will you share your major concerns or questions about this life stage and help me develop more workshops? If you were to attend a retirement workshop, what would be the most important topic you would want to discuss?

The most convenient way for you to respond to my request is in the comment section below.  However, if you prefer not to go public on this concern, please feel free to send me a Facebook message.  Your help will be much appreciated.

In gratitude for your ideas, I will send you a copy of the Seven Commandments of Retirement suitable for framing.

Also, please share this information with anyone you believe would benefit from these thoughts.