3 Tips for Embracing Change in Retirement

When someone starts to think about stopping working, it’s a total mind shift. For years, you’ve been in earnings mode with a constant income stream to support your needs. You’ve also been in a constant state of socialization (whether you liked it or not), with a boss, coworkers, and/or a team relying on you for guidance. What happens when these “spigots” are suddenly turned off; instead of earning, you have to rely on savings? Social interactions aren’t an automatic part of your day anymore.

Tips for Embracing Change

Modern times have brought a new definition to the term “retired.” For many, retirement is largely positive, and it’s important to live these years to their fullest enjoyment. But not every retirement is perfectly rosy all the time.

Retirement is a change.

All changes, both negative and positive – bring some degree of discomfort. As you’d expect, changing a routine that you’ve had for 30, 40, 50+ years is not easy. Work provides structure and security, and when that is eliminated, some people can feel lost. But structure is something you can recreate for yourself, with planning, education and resilience.

How can you create a fulfilling retirement for yourself? A major aid will be to not only change your mindset, but also to embrace the concept of change.

The following thoughts were composed by Money Quotient, a non-profit financial life planning organization based in Portland, OR. We share these thoughts with their permission

Reflect back on your personal history of change

Life is a continuum—an accumulation of experiences that makes us who we are and influences how we view ourselves and the world around us. As we review these experiences, we realize that our lives have been permeated with change. As ironic as it may seem, change is the only constant in our lives. Therefore, how we respond to and initiate change can have everything to do with how well we manage our lives and the successes we experience.

Hone your transition skills

A famous Virginia Satir quote states: “Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” We can’t stop change, but we can often do a better job of anticipating and preparing for change. How we respond to change will have a profound effect on the decisions we make, the opportunities we seek, and the quality of life we experience.

 So too can our willingness to initiate change improve our lives and the lives of others. William Bridges, author and preeminent authority on change and managing change, defines transition as the psychological process people go through to come to terms with a new situation. Overcoming challenges and taking advantage of opportunities are key elements of making successful transitions throughout life’s journey.

 Understand the financial tether

It is also important to understand that making successful transitions requires both practical strategies and emotional fortitude. We all encounter both expected and unexpected changes as we go through life. However, those who are resilient are better able to navigate each change, bounce back from disappointments, and welcome new experiences. In addition, because nearly all of life’s transitions have a financial tether, it is important to consider how we can increase financial resilience.

From a practical standpoint, financial resilience requires a foundation of basic knowledge and a strategy for building security. From an emotional standpoint, financial resilience requires self-confidence. This is achieved by identifying fears and behaviors in regard to money, and by working to understand and overcome the underlying issues.

Prism Planning Partners’ Final Thoughts on Embracing Change

On a personal level, your life satisfaction will increase as you continually seek to respond to change in healthier and more productive ways. You can embrace change in retirement more easily by remembering past transitions, honing your skills, and understanding your financial tether.

What changes are you coping with in retirement? Send us a note with your questions.