Congratulations, you are retired! This is a great stage. You are so excited to be retired, you’re just livin’ it up. You’re hanging out, doing all the things you wanted to do, and then… you’re bored. While this stage is awesome, it rarely last longer than a year. This is totally new territory for almost everyone. Not only are in a stage of life you’ve never been in before, but you are also faced with more money then you’ve ever had access to. The temptation to spend is ever present, especially when you factor in boredom. Just because you’ve reached the magical age of retirement doesn’t automatically mean you’ve got great financial sense. Learning to be retired takes time and is what ultimately leads to the next stage.
You’ve been waiting your whole working life to be retired, but now that you’re here, you’re lost. Humans have an innate desire to be needed. It’s likely most of your adult life was spent being needed, from your job to your kids, you were always needed somewhere. In retirement, being free from this stress is relieving at first, but can make one feel adrift longterm. The average retiree watches 43 hours of TV per week! I’m just going to go ahead and assume these two things are connected. There are two paths one can take within reorientation; you either figure out you are wasting time, or you don’t. Those that do reengage in life by volunteering, picking up a hobby, or rekindling old passions. The most successful retirements are the ones that are flexible and open to adjustment.
The last stage of retirement is just another curve in the road. You are much older now, and health issues are going to be your biggest concern. This is also where things become gender-biased. Dan likes to call retirement a women’s issue, since women, on average, live longer then men. This is also the stage where many are faced with the looming threat of running out of money. Health issues and dwindling funds can add a lot of stress to the final years of life.
So often retirement is dealt with as an either or situation, either you are retired or not, but what Dan has shown us is how retirement resembles a winding path. It won’t look the same for everyone, and there will be bumps in the road. Listen to the rest of our discussion on The Pete the Planner Radio Show on 93 WIBC.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.