17th Nov,2015
Article By
ClearWay Advice and Financial Management

Change can be scary: Retiring is emotionally challenging

One of the key components of the service offering of any Financial Planner is assisting clients through the process of retirement.

Understanding how change affects you will assist in improving the outcome that you will experience when it comes to retiring. There are a lot of changes to adapt to when ceasing employment and, for the sake of your emotional well being, it is important to understand what a future of retirement holds for you.

Psychologist, Nancy Schlossberg, has identified six different types of retiree pathways.  It is not used to compartmentalise candidates, but rather to identify the most suitable pathway for them based upon their unique personalities:

‘Continuers’ are those who remain connected with their past skills and activities.  Examples of how they do this could be through volunteer or part-time work.

‘Involved Spectators’ refers to those who maintain an interest in what they were previously doing, but who take on a different role within that industry.

Others are known as ‘Adventurers’.  These retirees are the ones who take up new activities or learn a new skill, not related to their background.

‘Searchers’ are those who struggle to find an identity in their new role as a retiree and who go looking for their niche.

‘Easy Gliders’, however, adopt a relaxed and go-with-the-flow approach to their daily life.

The only negatively identified personality type is the ‘Retreater’.  The ‘Retreaters’ slink into a state of depression; they give up on finding a new pathway.

(Source: http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov04/retirement.aspx)

Many who retire are initially excited; finally, they have free-time to do as they please, to tick off activities and experiences that may have become stale on their bucket list.  However, after the excitement wears off and the realisation kicks in, they feel deflated and can become anxious and worried; have they made the right decision? It is important to plan for retirement; how will you spend your days?  With whom will you spend them and where?

Retirement is the start of something, rather than the end.  When this perspective is assumed, it suddenly becomes a lot easier.  Rather than dwelling on what is being left behind, you are able to excite yourself over what is to come.

(Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1443511/pdf/bmjcred00527-0034b.pdf)

Matthew Syed, author of ‘Bounce’ and ex-professional sportsman, wrote of his experience in the world of professional table tennis.  Many parallels can be drawn from his experience in relation to those of a retiree.  A sportsman can dedicate years to training for a specific event.  After the event is over, any rush of elation they may have felt during and after, passes.  They are left feeling deflated and overwhelmed by the absence of that devotion in their life.  Much like a retiree, they have gone from 100 to zero in no time.  (Source: http://www.scilogs.com/the_science_talent_project/book-review-bounce-by-matthew-syed/)


Our trusted Advisors assist in Financial Planning day in and day out. They have a multitude of experience in working with those intending to retire, learning what is important to each individual and identifying the steps required in order to best adapt to the changes that come from retirement.

ClearWay Advice and Financial Management is a Corporate Authorised Representative Representative No.473095 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No.466137.

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