What Creates A Successful Retirement?

Research has validated the top 15 factors needed in our lives to create a successful retirement.

Each of us will find some if not all of these factors will need our attention before we can transition into a phase of life that fulfills those long awaited expectations and desires.

I have identified over my many years of work as an HR professional, and now as a retirement coach, there is one ALL-IMPORTANT factor you must address, either before or at least early in our retirement, to assure a successful emotional adjustment to retirement. Replacing work satisfiers.

For most of us, our work gave us a sense of ego-security knowing we are “somebody”. We have to replace those satisfiers we unconsciously receive from work. Most of us have worked more years than not. Over those years work has become an integral part of who we are. So much so that elements of work have become satisfiers in our lives and when they are removed without comparable replacement, there is a loss.

There are at least five satisfiers received from working:

1. Money is, of course, number one. Sources of ongoing income have to be earned, saved or received from investments. Without adequate money there is no funding for those things we find fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful.

2. Time management. Work has filled some portion of our day. Scheduling activities to make use of our day is essential. The average age of first retirements is now 57.5 years of age. We are healthier, better educated and more highly skilled than our parents at this age and therefore working, in the same or a new career, continues to be the number one choice after the first retirements.

3. Utility: In addition to just using our time, we were paid for services that were of use to others. This gave us a sense of utility or usefulness. Finding activities where we can be useful can keep us challenged and slow our aging mentally, emotionally and physically.

4. Socialization: developing a new network of relationships to replace a need satisfied by our coworkers is not well understood. Family, while critical, does not provide the more objective conversations, common daily experiences and perhaps fun when we interacted with others during our workday.

5. Status: each persons need for status differs, for some it will continue to bea title, for others it need only be the look in the eyes of those they help.

Ignoring the need for these 5 satisfiers is one of the leading causes of a retiree’s number one emotional malady: depression.

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