Take a look at a typical retirement ad and you would think everyday is a resort life. Everything is fun and joyful. There is not a care in the world. Unfortunately, for many that is just not reality.
I live in a 55+ community. I see people who live the resort lifestyle. They are having a blast in a post career life. However, I see a lot who struggle through uneventful and predictable days. They battle through loneliness, isolation, and boredom.
Gloominess is a reality for many when they choose to exit a career.
“Depression after retirement is also common. It’s estimated that almost one-third of retirees in the United States develop symptoms of depression at this stage of life.” Psych Central
There are solutions to avoid those retirement blues, which I will get to in a second.
Before I start, I want to emphasize the importance of seeking the proper professionals to help if you feel you are suffering from depression. It is a real condition that may require medical treatment. Don’t discount or ignore your feelings.
Now, consider these ways to establish a meaningful lifestyle plan to help you define what is important to you so that you proactively fill your time with pursuits and activities that bring you joy and contentment.
Create a life purpose statement (LPS)
An LPS is a concise, understandable, and definitive description of your retirement hopes and what impact you want to create during this period of your life. It should define the reason for your existence, how you will exist, and what satisfaction you will get for what you plan to do.
Complete a Retirement SWOT Analysis
Many companies regularly complete a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) as they plan out their business strategies. A retirement SWOT analysis helps provide clarity and purpose.
Develop a robust goal planning system
Tie in your life purpose statement to the goals you will establish to a post career life through a bucket list, long-term goals (2 – 4 years out), annual goals (1 year out), and short-term goals (3 – 6 months). These should all be adaptable, allowing for adjustments depending on your needs and desires.
Manage time in retirement like you managed it in your career (or better)
Time should be just as important post career and in career. Diligently set systems in place that fill your life with quality activities that keep you engaged physically, mentally and spiritually.
Reassess your financial strategy
When you head into post career, make sure you are not a stranger to your financial advisor. Continually challenge your strategy to make sure you manage your resources to their maximum lifestyle benefits, through the advice of your wealth management team.
Plan a typical week
Push yourself to create a normal week that is rich and diverse, not a replica of each day. You want to be able to adjust your environment.
There is no full proof system or method to prevent depression from happening at any point in our lives. Nonetheless, when you invest time to create a strategy that fills your time with events and activities that enhance your way of life, you’ll find that life looks a lot more like resort living than isolation and boredom.
Get a handle on post career planning now using these resources…
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