Although many pre-retirees look forward to retirement as one long (well-earned) vacation, in reality there are often six to eight different phases.
The fantasy stage is those last years of work prior to retirement. The concept of a retirement lifestyle is more fiction than fact, but right now you dream about all of the things you want to do in this next phase of life. Dreams of trips to be taken or toys to be bought mark the fantasy stage. This is what most people think of when they think of no work or responsibilities.
The excitement stage is the year prior to retirement. Pre-retirees focus on the retirement date in the same way as we would the start of a holiday or anticipation of a special event. Here you should focus on finalising plans and strategies for the future.
The stress phase is when reality sets in. Now that retirement has started, it’s common for new retirees in the first year to focus on fears and concerns about this new life. Going from a busy and well-structured life to unstructured time is not as easy as it sounds. Often the routine of work is missed and some struggle to find a replacement.
The honeymoon phase kicks in one to three years after retirement. Retirees try to do all of the things that they had dreamt of in the fantasy stage. This is the perpetual long weekend.
The routine stage kicks in around roughly the three-year point. This is after the initial glow wears off, and the fact that retirement is a day-to-day way of living becomes apparent.
The disenchantment phase commonly occurs between four to six years after retirement. However, it can occur any time. Most often, the disenchantment stage is marked by recognition of your mortality. Depression is common and due to health issues or a bereavement, a retiree’s spirit is often challenged.
A reorientation occurs when a successful retiree makes an adjustment to his or her new reality.
The final stage of contentment is reached when the retiree begins to adjust to the new life he or she has created. Those who struggle to accept and adjust to this new way of life are likely to stay in the disenchantment stage.
The content from this blogpost is from our book ‘So You Think You Are Ready To Retire’ a self-guide book to prepare you for retirement, it can be purchased here:
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