Colorado Senior Counseling Blog

by Dr. Karen Midyet

Life Transition: Evaluating Your Life Following Retirement

Congratulations! You've reached that stage in life that you never thought you would. And now you're there: RETIREMENT. Yet, there's a lot of life yet. So, now what?

Here are some things you need to consider when you are retiring or considering changing your career.

1. Financial Health
Develop a financial plan that takes into account your new budget.  Be realistic about expenses and spending.  Since it is difficult to live without a consistent paycheck,  look into downsizing your house and/or expenses in line with you new income. It may be necessary to meet with a financial planner to help you figure out how to provide medical insurance, etc.

2.  Physical Health
Plan time for exercise that you feel comfortable doing.  It may be going for walks, taking a Pilates or Yoga class or working out with a personal trainer.
Plan healthy meals that include protein, vegetables, and healthy fats including olive oil.

3.  Psychological Health 
This is a time of Life Transition.  It is a time to reflect upon the things in life that have brought you joy, fun, and feelings of passion.

Keep a journal of ideas that are on your bucket list of things you would like to do before you are out of time. That's right... a bucket list!
Keep another area in your journal about things that are depleting emotionally. 

At this point you have finished raising your children (if you have them). You are either contemplating leaving your work, or perhaps you are facing an early retirement.

This is often a time of loss as well: Loss of purpose,  of physical abilities, of job, or of friends.

What have you learned to do when you are faced with such overwhelming change?

This is a time to share with family and friends about ideas that you are mulling about in your mind.

Sometimes we feel we are afloat without a rudder, going aimlessly without purpose.  Now is the time to re-evaluate, what next?

4. Family
Who is most important to spend time with?  Do you have elders that you are taking care of? If so, what is your self care plan?  How much time are you spending taking care of you?

5.  Time
We will no longer have a regular job to structure our time.  Are we going to do volunteer work, get a dog? or spend time with grandchildren?  Do we need to get a part time job to make ends meet?  Or do you have a business idea that you are burning to try out?

Just because you retired from your present job, doesn't mean that you need to stay retired?  For some individuals, now is the time to start anew.

Start writing your thoughts about the future.